Innovation & Insight Day – a recap

Innovation & Insight Day – a recap
On March 23th Celent gathered over 350 bankers, insurers, vendors, news media, and colleagues for our annual Innovation & Insight Day. It was held at Carnegie Hall. For the first time in I&I’s history, we literally were SRO (standing room only)! It was truly an international event in an world renowned venue – I think we had people from 18 countries in attendance. We never expected such a great response to our event (and we are still scratching our heads as to why!). Although we had to improvise with an overflow room that streamed video of the main stage (thanks to all who helped us accommodate this nice problem), the main purpose of the day was never lost! We celebrated and learned from the winners who helped showcase best practices in implementing insurance technology and innovation from around the world. The event also afforded tremendous networking opportunities and provided an unbiased view of the hottest issues in this space today. The Insurance Team recognized fifteen model banks across five categories: Digital; Data Mastery; Legacy and Ecosystem Transformation; Innovation and Emerging Technologies; and Operational Excellence. We produced our annual Model Insurer report which highlights all fifteen Model Insurer case studies, including our Model Insurer of the Year, LV= (from United Kingdom). Clients may download the report at Celent.com. Here is the list of Model Insurers for 2015: Data mastery and analytics Celina Mutual Insurance Company: Mastering machine learning for predictive analytics Farm Bureau: Incorporating predictive analytics in workers compensation underwriting Markerstudy: Using big data analytics to compete in the UK market Digital and omnichannel ICICI Prudential Life Insurance Company: Complete digitalization initiative Security First Insurance: Developed personalized videos for homeowners policyholders Società Cattolica di Assicurazione: Creating an omnichannel experience called Click2Go Innovation and emerging technologies Achmea Australia: Managing Farm Risk on the Farm American Family: Implemented a company-wide idea contest to spur mobile innovation Citizens Property Insurance Corporation: Building a clearinghouse to redistribute property risks Legacy and ecosystem transformation MetLife: Life insurance for the middle market Pennsylvania Lumbermens Mutual Insurance Company and Indiana Lumbermens Mutual Insurance Company: Combining two affiliated insurers’ rating and policy administration platforms Virginia Farm Bureau Mutual Insurance: Achieving results with a new end-to-end suite Operational excellence in non-core systems implementation Aegon Netherlands Centralizing and leveraging document management Operational excellence in IT Management Hiscox: Building a successful, continuous delivery pipeline Model Insurer of the Year: LV=  Fast Track innovation In addition to our model insurer panels we had excellent keynote speakers. Debra Jasper and Betsy Hubbard of Mindset Digital used about 300 [sic] slides in 45 minutes to prod us all to rethink how we present ourselves, not just in person, but through emails and social media. One concrete hint: think about five sentence emails (five.sentenc.es). Closing out the day was Suresh Ramamurthi, the Chairman of CBW Bank, who showed us what a sub $20mm asset bank can do by completely rethinking its technology platform. And we even had a 14 year old violin prodigy, Elli Choi, kick off the event; remember, we were in Carnegie Hall! Celent also thanks our sponsors: Saffron, Mindtree, Indra, Guidewire, Wipro Digital, Inetco, and RGI Group, who together with our media partners Bank Technology News and Insurance Networking News, helped make the day a success. We’re already starting to think about next year’s event; it’s not too early to start submitting nominations. We’ll be sending out hold the date announcements shortly.

Round up of Making Innovation Happen – London

Round up of Making Innovation Happen – London
On Wednesday the 24th Celent hosted our event Making Innovation Happen in Insurance : Hedging Against the Future. The aim of the event was to move beyond the call to action, beyond the cries that innovation is necessary to discuss some practical ways insurers could innovate or have innovated. The feedback suggests we were able to do just that. Jamie Macgregor welcomed our guests and introduced the day, swiftly followed by Mike Fitzgerald setting out Celent’s view on how innovation is not a dark art, but something that insurers can cultivate. [Read more…]

Celent Innovation & Insight Day Preview

Celent Innovation & Insight Day Preview
Celent’s Innovation and Insight Day is about a month away, and everyone at Celent couldn’t be more excited. We have great external speakers bookending the day, and we’ll be exploring exciting technology implementations with 15 Model Insurers in five categories (plus Celent’s Model Insurer of the Year):
  • Digital and Omnichannel
  • Legacy and Ecosystem Transformation
  • Data Mastery and Analytics
  • Innovation and Emerging Technologies
  • Operational Excellence in Non-Core Systems and IT Management
Our first speakers, Betsy Hubbard and Debra Jasper, are from Mindset Digital, an online social media training firm. As financial firms grapple with their approaches to social media, Betsy and Debra’s perspective, delivered in a completely different style than what most banks are used to, will provide ample food for thought and some concrete next steps. Celent analysts will be presenting research throughout the day as winners are announced and cases are discussed.  Jamie MacGregor will also offer his perspectives on the state of innovation within the industry as well as where he sees the industry moving over the next few years. Ending the insurance day will be Rod Willmott, Innovation Director at LV=, one of UK’s largest insurers and the third largest motor insurer.  Listen as Rod discusses how LV= established a “Fast Track Innovation” process to facilitate rapid responses to business needs and to accelerate strategic business objectives that were previously considered too challenging or costly to consider. Registrations are running well ahead of last year, and our Carnegie Hall venue may well get to Standing Room Only (although you won’t be able to buy tickets at TKTS on Monday morning). We hope to see you there on March 23rd; to learn more and to register, please visit our I&I day site. model insurer logo

On the cusp: regional integration in Asia

On the cusp: regional integration in Asia
It’s 2015, the mid-point of the decade and a good time to start looking at major trends in Asian financial services over the next five to ten years. One of the major themes will be regional integration, which is another way of saying the development of cross-border markets. There are at least two important threads here: the ongoing internationalization of China’s currency, and the development of the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) in Southeast Asia. RMB internalization is really about the loosening of China’s capital controls and its full-fledged integration into the world economy. And everyone seems to want a piece of this action, including near neighbors such as Singapore who are vying with Hong Kong to be the world’s financial gateway to China. The AEC is well on its way to becoming a reality in 2015, with far-reaching trade agreements designed to facilitate cross-border expansion of dozens of services industries, including financial sectors. While AEC is not grabbing global headlines the way China does, we see increasing interest in Southeast Asia among our FSI and technology vendor clients. From Celent’s point of view, both trends will open significant opportunities across financial services. In banking, common payments platforms and cross-border clearing. In capital markets, cross-border trading platforms for listed and even OTC products. In insurance, the continued development of regional markets. Financial institutions will be challenged to create new business models and technology strategies to extract the opportunities offered by regional integration. It’s the mid-point of the decade, and the beginning of something very big.

World Economic Forum: Why aren’t insurers leading?

World Economic Forum: Why aren’t insurers leading?
As you all likely know, the World Economic Forum is this week in Davos. I have reviewed much of the information, as the world economy interests me, and one area was the list of 100 strategic partners. I clearly do not know every company but it appears that 13 of the 100 are banks. That makes sense, given the topics. So I look at companies whose focus is insurance. We are a huge part of the economy, so I thought we would be equally represented.   Just six.   Two are local Swiss insurance giants — Zurich and Swiss Re, so you would expect them to be involved. One is a huge world-wide insurance brokerage, risk management and consulting firm — MMC (full disclosure, Celent is a part of MMC).   That leaves three insurers:
  • Aetna
  • Old Mutual
  • Prudential
  I obviously don’t know why other major insurers are not involved, but it does seem interesting. My perception, having been in this industry for over 30 years, has always been that insurance companies are followers, not leaders. You only have to look at our research on online customer service in the life insurance industry to see that, as an industry, we are not very advanced.   What is really keeping insurers from leading in multiple areas? We have experts in risk and financial management. We have experts in technology. We know everything there is to know about mortality and morbidity. Shouldn’t we be leading?

Same old, same old – which vendor did I just see?

Same old, same old – which vendor did I just see?
As part of my role as an industry analyst, I attend a number of vendor sponsored analyst meetings. Some are vendors entirely focused on the Financial Services space, but most are larger vendors with a much broader perspective. The meetings are interesting, as we hear from their leadership team about their perspective on both modern technology needs as well as what their company is doing to meet those needs. What surprises me, and perhaps it should not, is how the presentations are so generic and common. We see the same buzzwords: Cloud! Digital! Mobile! Innovation! Yes, usually with the exclamation points. I honestly believe you could change the logo from one vendor to another and their CEO could happily and easily give the presentation. Worse, at a recent conference, three different executives gave essentially the same presentation but with different slides. At least they agreed. The vendors do differ, however, on their approach to these meetings. I have a new theory on how to rate these vendors, which is based in humor, but I often wonder if it could be validated with data. 1) Let me talk to your customers The majority of the vendors hold their analyst days completely separate from the customer meetings. Usually they are back-to-back, so the customers are nearby, but they don’t let us talk to them. My scoring system would rate a vendor higher based on their willingness to let us mingle in a completely uncontrolled manner with their customer base. An example could be:
  1. Analysts attend the customer meeting and are given total access to the customers
  2. Analysts attend part of the customer meeting and are scheduled with select customers in a controlled manner
  3. Analysts attend a separate meeting, but are given one-on-one access to company leadership
  4. Analysts attend a separate meeting, attend lectures on how great they are and go home
One vendor gets the highest rating because they combined 1 and 2. We were in shared sessions, shared meals and shared entertainment plus they scheduled one-on-one meetings to discuss projects interesting to my specific speciality. 2) How well do you organize a meeting? If you claim to be the company that should come in and revolutionize my company, you ought to be able to manage a decent meeting. The best meetings are well-organized with personalized agendas that focus on the analyst’s speciality and with one-on-one meetings with the right people. The worst meeting I recently attended started off poorly when they didn’t have a name badge for me and cancelled my hotel room. I certainly didn’t feel loved. Worse, they never did get me a badge or an agenda, so I suspect I missed many one-on-one meetings. Since that was the last session of the day, I did the only thing I knew to do. I went home. One vendor put the analysts front and center, at tables, and each spot had both power and a wired internet connection. Outstanding. 3) What are your production values and who are your presenters? Again, if you want to transform my company, you should be able to do an amazing job in your pitch. You should at least upgrade to purchased photos from clipart. I am amazed at the number of presentations that look like they were prepared on the plane ride to the meeting. Some don’t even have the company’s logo. Oh, and don’t forget, I’ll recognize the templates that come with Microsoft Office. Perhaps even coordinate the presentations to ensure they are not all the same, or worse contradictory. At the other end of the spectrum are the professionally prepared presentations, clearly not done in Powerpoint, that include appropriate use of videos, etc. The vendor mentioned above again wins this prize as their materials were outstanding. They also understood that they needed to be both informative and entertaining to keep our interest. The corollary to production values is the concept of who is presenting. At a recent meeting, I heard from a range of company execs but noticed one thing was missing. Not a single customer presented. At the other end, virtually all the presentations were customers, sharing their unique, positive experiences with their customers. I suspect you get the point by now. Hopefully any vendors reading our blog will too. To the vendors: Feel free to call me to discuss! (exclamation point mine). If you’ve read this far, you’re probably wondering what this has to do with financial services or research. Well, nothing, but now you know a little more of the pain that we go through for your benefit.  

It Wasn’t the Big One– Yet

It Wasn’t the Big One– Yet
I was jolted at 3:20 Sunday morning by a 6.1 earthquake. I live about 15 miles as the crow flies from the epicenter of the quake. I woke up as the bed began to shake –noticeable enough to wake me – and then stronger and stronger. The quake went on for about 20 seconds- which actually feels like a VERY long time – and it was a noisy one. You could hear the house creaking as it shook back and forth. I laid in bed thinking –I wonder if this is the big one.   It’s been almost 25 years since the 1989 Loma Prieta Quake which was the last big quake to hit the bay area. I was out of town when that hit – at the national CPCU convention –and trust me –there is no weirder place to be than an insurance convention when a major disaster hits. It was the night of the confirmation dinner and the hotel commandeered every television in the place so the different insurance carriers could meet the rest of their crew, huddle in front of the television and decide what they were going to do.   The shaking got stronger. It wasn’t a rolling motion – it was back and forth. Imagine your bed on an electric toothbrush or an oscillating saw. I was in a third floor bedroom and was reminded of my great grandfather who survived the 1906 earthquake because he was in a top floor bedroom when the hotel he was staying in collapsed, killing almost everyone in it. He rolled under an iron bed as the ceiling began to fall and that was part of what saved his life. (whew! Thanks Gramps for being smart enough to do that.  I kind of like being here.)   We all know that disasters happen. I write and speak regularly on topics such as catastrophe management but it always feels like such a remote possibility that anything will REALLY happen to me. But this weekend, as the house shook back and forth, I realized it has been a while since I checked the contents of my emergency kit, made sure the water supplies were fresh, backed up copies of all my documents to the cloud, or updated my home inventory.   The shaking calmed down and then stopped. Nothing seemed damaged – nothing had fallen over or broken. I turned on the radio and began to listen to see what had happened. At 3 in the morning, it takes a while for the pre-recorded program to be interrupted with real news. But Facebook and Twitter – oh thank you social media – was already live with friends actively posting information from a wide variety of sources. And I was already getting messages – are you okay.   The news came on and one of the first things mentioned – in the first thirty minutes after the quake – was a mention of a large carrier who had already contacted the news station to let them know where adjusters would be, an 800 number and mention that they were already out contacting people. And remember – this is earthquake insurance – most people don’t even have coverage. Talk about rapid contact.   Later that afternoon, I was out to lunch with friends as we celebrated a birthday. The topic of conversation kept coming back to the earthquake. Light comments – “Did you see what happened at Silver Oak? I volunteer to go clean it up – with a straw!) as well as detailed discussions about emergency kits, and what we’ll do in the event that the big one hits.   It wasn’t the big one… for me. But in Napa, it was the big one for a lot of people. It’s times like these that remind us why we’re in this business.

Nominations for the 2014 Asia Insurance Technology Awards (AITAs) are now open

Nominations for the 2014 Asia Insurance Technology Awards (AITAs) are now open
The Asia Insurance Technology Awards (AITAs) recognize excellence and innovation in the use of technology within the insurance industry in the Asia Pacific Region.

Nominations for the 2014 AITA Awards are now open. Please find more information on Celent website http://www.celent.com/aita, and you can download the nomination form from there. The deadline for submitting the nomination form is 15 September 2014.

AITA AWARDS CATEGORIES

IT Leadership Award

This award honours an individual who has displayed clear vision and leadership in the delivery of technology to the business. The recipient will have been responsible for deriving genuine value from technology and has demonstrated this trait with a specific project or through ongoing leadership. Nominations accepted from insurers. Vendors are welcome to assist their client insurers with their nominations, however vendors/suppliers are not qualified to receive this award. All nominations MUST include insurer contact information, and all follow-up will be done with the insurer, not the vendor.

Best Insurer: Technology

This award honours the insurer who has made the most progress in embracing technology across the organisation. The recipient will have deployed game changing technology projects in the area of core insurance and broker processes. Nominations accepted from insurers. Vendors are welcome to assist their client insurers with their nominations, however vendors/suppliers are not qualified to receive this award. All nominations MUST include insurer contact information, and all follow-up will be done with the insurer, not the vendor.

Digital Transformation Award

This award honours an insurer or broker who has made the most progress in implementing digitization initiatives, such as sale and service of products online, eco-system integration (such as with business partners, repair shops, medical providers, distribution, etc.), leveraging social networks, work-place enablement (such as BYOD, collaboration tools, etc.), business process automation (STP), engaging user interface design, or analytics (analyse customer behavior, propensity, risks, etc.). Nominations accepted from insurers. Vendors are welcome to assist their client insurers with their nominations, however vendors/suppliers are not qualified to receive this award. All nominations MUST include insurer contact information, and all follow-up will be done with the insurer, not the vendor.

Best Mobile Application

This award recognises the insurer who has exhibited true innovation in the use of mobile technology. The recipient will have developed a unique and compelling application not seen elsewhere in the industry. Nominations accepted from insurers. Vendors are welcome to assist their client insurers with their nominations, however vendors/suppliers are not qualified to receive this award. All nominations MUST include insurer contact information, and all follow-up will be done with the insurer, not the vendor.

Newcomer of the Year

This award recognizes the best new player in the insurance technology field. The recipient will have introduced a game-changing solution to the industry. Nominations accepted from insurers or vendors.

Innovation Award

This award recognizes the innovation business model or in the usage of technology. Nominations accepted from insurers or vendors.

6.26.2014 Celent Insurance Webinar: Functionality and Technology Trends

6.26.2014 Celent Insurance Webinar: Functionality and Technology Trends
Jamie Macgregor, Senior Vice President of Insurance and Nicolas Michellod, Senior Insurance Analyst This event is free to attend for Celent clients, flex-plan clients, and the media. Non-clients can attend for a fee of US$250. If you are unsure of your client status, please contact Chris Williams at cwilliams@celent.com or at +44 208-870-7875. Please click here for more information.

6.11.2014 Celent Webinar: How to Better Leverage Celent

6.11.2014 Celent Webinar: How to Better Leverage Celent
Celent CEO, Craig Weber This event is free to attend and we expect you to walk away with a better view as to how you can get more from working with us. For more information, please contact Anna Griem at +1 603 582 6137 or agriem@celent.com. Please click here for more information.