Digital Transformation in the insurance sector SCV

Why SCV is important to the success of digital transformation in the insurance sector

Swapnil Yemde, New Business Development Manager, Argility

Single customer view (SCV) is a ‘holistic’ representation of an organisation’s key assets

These assets can be customer, product, account, policy, supplier, inventory, equipment etc. For B2C industries such as insurance, retail and banking, SCV is crucial to understanding their market. For B2B industries such as manufacturing, SCV can help create a ‘golden record’ of machines and equipment to inform lifecycle management and operations. In essence, irrespective of the asset it talks to, SCV enables businesses to understand their assets better, manage them efficiently and leverage them effectively for driving growth and profitability.

Few organisations appear to have been able to implement SCV successfully, let alone leverage its maximum potential. Further, as businesses and technologies have rapidly evolved, the context of SCV has been reshaped to take on new meaning and purpose in the age of digital transformation and omni-channel customer experiences.

Today’s digital savvy, time starved and information hungry customers are demanding experiences and not just goods and services. They are asking businesses to support their self-directed purchasing journey with tools for evaluation and comparison. At the same time, they expect businesses to understand their context and personalise service delivery.

Customers are now demanding that this expectation be supported consistently and conveniently across multiple channels and touch points. They also expect businesses to enable them to switch channels whilst they progress on their journey.

The insurance industry has been struggling to move from risk-based product focus to customer focus. Also, with mergers and acquisitions and a proliferation of products, insurers have a difficult battle to win over customers selling products that are intangible with benefits that are realised in future years, if at all.

It is important for insurers to make good use of every customer engagement. It is necessary to capture, manage and analyse every interaction and index them against the customer’s ‘golden record’ for current as well as future operational needs. Changes of contact details needs must be updated on the golden record and made available to all of the touch points, channels and lines of businesses, even to the company’s extended enterprise that includes partners, agents and brokers. Details on changes to premiums, customer complaints and claims can be tagged on the golden record. All of this can help insurers to develop key customer insights, identify cross-sell and up-sell opportunities and deliver better customer service.

A single view of customers, or key organisation assets, is only the starting point of digital transformation and omni-channel customer experience initiatives. Once this fundamental building block is in place, insurance businesses can look forward to leveraging this golden record by augmenting their capabilities in various areas including:

Customer engagement and loyalty

With a single view of customers, insurers can drive certain behaviours with customers that serve to lower their risk profile. This can encourage customers to update their details, provide referrals, share positive experiences or to remain short-term insurance claim free.

Contextual engagement

In the insurance industry, context includes data generated from telematics (driving data of insured for motor vehicle insurance). The data available from both physical and digital channels enhances the value of a single view solution.

Decision support (from data to insights to actions)

Data is the new differentiator. With the Internet of Things (IoT), organisations now have access to massive amounts of data on products and customer behaviour. Businesses looking to invest in enhancing their existing business intelligence capabilities or augmenting it with predictive analytics, machine learning and AI solutions should first ensure the quality and relevance of existing data.

With most insurers’ growing through acquisitions and mergers, it is not uncommon to have multiple databases and systems that use, operate and process data on key information assets such as customers, policies and brokers. This results in data fragmentation, lack of standardised processes and complex architecture that often inhibits the transition to a digital enterprise – where personalisation and omni-channel customer experiences are key to success.

With SOA architecture-based solutions for data integration, insurers can tackle complex integration environments by allowing systems with diverse data models to talk to each other. With a common data model for key enterprise entities such as customers, policies or brokers, insurers can cater to diverse requirements of different product lines, processes and systems.

Insurers can then a run a sequence of data quality actions that processes data from multiple systems, standardising, removing duplicate copies, cleaning and merging records on a continuous basis with the goal of creating one golden record. This golden record is the master record which is fed data from all publisher application systems and which in turn feeds data back to all subscriber applications.

All of the above actions would enable insurers to improve the data quality of key information assets, enhance inter-departmental collaboration and ensure data availability across the enterprise from marketing, sales and operations, through to customer service.

In conclusion, SCV provides a central repository and one version of the truth of the key information assets. It brings structure to massive amounts of operational and unstructured data. It also ensures that information on your key assets is continuously refined and hence relevant. It is critical for insurers to drive personalisation for enhanced customer service, new product development and better customer engagement, which in turn promotes loyalty. SCV is the fundamental building block for insurers to transform to a digital enterprise and deliver high-quality omni-channel customer experiences.

Read moreData Science & IoT

For more information contact Sales on 011 712 1300, email info@argility.com or visit the Argility Website.

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Marko Salic CEO, POPI act

Meeting the challenge of POPI

Complying with the Protection of Personal Information Act (POPI) will mean taking a long hard look at your organisation’s applications and databases. The same kind of methodical approach that got us successfully through the Year 2000 crisis is needed.

SA technology innovator and leader in the capture and analysis of information, Argility, highlights the challenges around POPI compliance.

Argility CEO, Marko Salic, notes that 18 years ago, the world was in the throes of the Year 2000 (or Y2K) crisis. The IT Industry solved the problem by sheer bloody-minded persistence, creating and executing massive projects to locate and fix lines of code that used the two-digit date format, and might be compromised by the arrival of a new year using the “00” that could mean 1900 as well as 2000.

“A similar, though smaller challenge, faces South African companies as POPI comes into effect. Fundamentally, the Act requires any South African institution or juristic person to collect, process, store and share a third party’s information in line with certain requirements. The intent is to protect valuable personal information, and to ensure that individuals never lose control of information about their identity and thus, by implication, that identity itself,” says Salic.

In order to comply with POPI, organisations will need to identify where this kind of personal information is stored on their systems, and then put measures in place to protect it from hackers, and from being used improperly by the organisation itself. “As in the Y2K case, it is highly likely that this information will be found in disparate places across the organisation’s databases and applications. Most organisations have an untidy patchwork of legacy systems that have grown organically rather than been designed from scratch. Just tracking it down will be a significant task.

“Only once the location of the personal information has been ascertained can the appropriate policies be implemented.”

Salic confirms that at the practical level, organisations must first understand that POPI compliance is essentially a business issue. “The fines from non-compliance can range from a hefty fine or a goal sentence, or payment to those whose information has been compromised. There is also the question of reputational damage. The business therefore has to take ownership of POPI compliance, and ensure that a team is in place. It should not be seen as an IT issue, although IT will of course assume responsibility for the information that is stored and processed digitally – but personal information may also be stored and used outside of the IT system.”

The good news is that the date by which POPI will become effective has not yet been announced. “There will be a year’s grace period for organisations to comply, so it would appear that the earliest date would be in December 2018. But this should not be seen as an excuse for putting POPI compliance on the back burner. This is a very large elephant that will have to be eaten in small mouthfuls – best to begin now to avoid indigestion later,” Salic concludes.

For more information contact Sales on 011 712 1300, email info@argility.com or visit the Argility Website.

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Innovation to build a new world

Innovation for a Better World

Argility has formed a relationship with local social change organisation (SCO), Partners for Possibility*, who bring school principals and business leaders together to develop strong leadership capacity and principal support processes in schools.

In collaboration with Partners for Possibility (PfP), Argility has embarked on a project at Enkanyezini Primary School in Phiri, Soweto. Work is well underway not only to upgrade the facilities but also to add value to the school and assist in strengthening its academic offerings.

Argility’s divisional executive, Jai Kalyan, explains that PfP coordinates courses for the nominated business leader and the relevant school principal to identify needs and develop a strategy to address them.

“To date, the Argility team has been responsible for the re-opening of the school library which had been turned into a storage room due to lack of resources. We commenced a company-wide drive that resulted in the donation of many books from staff keen to be involved in this worthy initiative. Another exciting development is that our customer, Shoprite, donated 30 computers to the school. The Argility team then configured and set up the PCs on site,” says Kalyan.

He confirms that Argility staff are visiting the school regularly to assist not only with computer skills but with mathematics, science programmes and other academics.

The team has been responsible for the upgrading of the school’s playground area and other facilities by providing solar geysers for the kitchen, and a solar heating system is planned for future installation. The students previously attended classes in unheated rooms in the midst of winter.

Kalyan notes this is an incredible project. “The Argility team has much to be proud of in their work in this initiative. We have agreed to sponsor the soccer team with a sports strip. Our work is ongoing and forms an important part of our company culture and corporate social investment policies aimed at adding value to the broader South African community as a whole,” says Kalyan.

Dr Louise van Rhyn, CEO and founder of Partners for Possibility, says Argility’s contribution to the school is a significant example of where business can elevate South African education. “Argility’s contribution will make the staff environment more comfortable and assist in the efforts to grow the leadership ability of the school principal, who leads tens of teachers, hundreds of learners and thousands of community members,” concludes Van Rhyn.

Partners for Possibility: http://www.pfp4sa.org/

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