Leading insurers gather at Insurance AI and Innovative Virtual Tech Event
The insurance industry continues to evolve at a breakneck pace. What were once long-term development strategies have become more immediate action plans as carriers bring new digital solutions to more demanding policyholders. Insurers who need to stay competitive are seeking out thought leadership and technical innovation to help them keep pace with a change-driven market.
On May 27-28, 2020, at the Insurance AI and Innovative Virtual Tech event hosted by Insurance NEXUS (now part of Reuter’s Events), Microsoft brought its expertise in the area of driving better insight in insurance. At this virtual event, one of the largest 2020 virtual insurance conferences in North America, Microsoft presented the innovative session Removing data silos to drive insight in insurance. Jim Wray, Technical Leader, Business Applications at Microsoft, joined with Luke Mansour, Sales Technology Leader at AFLAC, to deliver a unique conversation centered on the role of data in CRM and customer insight.
Microsoft helps companies remove data silos and achieve more insightful engagement experiences across the insurance industry and identifies the high-level forces driving change in the industry. These changes, initially identified pre-COVID-19, are only accelerating during the pandemic: changing customer expectations, complex regulatory environment, increasing frequency and severity of claims, and threat of disruption and disintermediation. Customers and agents have come to expect a “new normal” of digital experiences. Whether it’s a mobile experience for agents or more intuitive service for customers, the need for data-driven insight is paramount.
Making sense of myriad signals
The Microsoft perspective on how best to do that is to make sense of myriad signals based on data at the center. The challenge is that data is often siloed across systems. Microsoft is making it easier to bring this data to stakeholders through a shared data model via its recently launched insurance accelerator. Whether using Microsoft Dynamics or other solutions, insurance companies can leverage the Common Data Model to pull all data together and drive better insight.
Luke Mansour, Sales Technology at AFLAC, explained how AFLAC uses Azure to connect their data from legacy systems including their Book of Business data. Luke further explained how Dynamics 365 is needed to easily integrate the data “non-captive” or independent agents need to effectively engage with customers. Recently, AFLAC created its first Power App called the Sales Tool Belt; it’s easy to use and includes innovative features such as one tap Route Planning. The app displays all daily activities and sits in the Agent Hub, creating a convenient one–stop experience for agents. Luke also spoke to how Power BI enables effective reporting through visual graphics. Finally, he shared his three tips to successful adoption:
- Executive management buy–in to long-term CRM efforts.
- Commitment to keeping tools simple to use for agents.
- Ensure that the technology tools are appropriately tied into the sales process.
The virtual event also included a live panel, Steer the ship through change with data, where Jim Wray was joined by Jim Tyo, Chief Data Officer, Nationwide, and Mano Mannoochahr, SVP and Chief Data and Analytics Officer, Travelers. This in-depth conversation featured a discussion on how AI and other tech tools are dramatically changing the insurance landscape. The conversation also reiterated the importance of transparency and trust in this new insurance landscape.
New innovations solving complex business challenges
The event was a showcase for new innovations which are solving complex business challenges. Microsoft is enabling these innovations faster than ever for its clients through its new Financial Services Accelerator. James Galvin, Principal PM at Microsoft, shared an enlightening demo, Enabling the future of customer experience in insurance, that showcases the data interoperability of the Common Data Model and your ability to build solutions on Dynamics 365 and the Microsoft Power Platform. Its purpose is to provide common insurance industry concepts, applications, and processes so you can jumpstart your solution with a model shared across Dynamics 365, Power Platform, Microsoft 365, Azure, LinkedIn, and augmented by industry partners.