Electronic Chat with Tara Kelly
Laura Mazzuca Toops | February 24, 2020
A serial innovator, published author and founder of SPLICE Software, Tara Kelly is passionate about technology’s potential to change lives for the better. She has consistently channeled that belief into developing technologies that enhance operations, enable better service delivery, and improve the customer experience. This has resulted in creating three customer experience companies and turning an innovative idea into a patented, proprietary technology that harnesses data streams to create personalized, automated messages. SPLICE solutions were included in Gartner’s “Cool Vendors in Insurance, 2016” report and Forrester’s “IoT and Analytics Startups Can Turn Insurers into the ‘Good Guys’” brief.
An open source activist and recognized user experience designer, Kelly has served as a board member for the International Board for Voice User Interface Design, the Canadian Cloud Council, Technology Alberta and the Entrepreneurs Organization. Kelly’s expertise, combined with tenacity, knowledge of market trends, and strong communication skills, has allowed her to create dynamic solutions and successful teams; not only in her businesses, but also as a community leader on volunteer boards including Food for the Sol, EO Water Walk, and Special Olympics Ontario. Kelly shares these experiences–and her goal of creating a healthy, humane work environment–in the recently published book, Our Journey to Corporate Sanity: Transformational Stories from the Frontiers of 21st Century Leadership.
You were just named among the 10 most trustable insurance tech providers by Technology Headlines. What makes SPLICE Software so trustable?
We’ve earned our clients’ trust with honest conversations about how and where we create value and by sticking to our commitments, including timeframes for platform rollouts. In this regulatory environment, compliance with GDPR and CCPA, as well as general data compliance standards are table stakes — clients rightly expect that, but they look to their customer engagement platform partner for more than that.
Clients trust SPLICE because of our technical expertise and innovation, our obsession with security and compliance, and our unwavering focus on delivering ROI. But we also earn trust by working with clients to understand what they want and focusing on their objectives. Some want access to a technology platform, whereas others need that plus consultative guidance. Those are our perfect customer partners — we deliver service on their terms.
SPLICE's foundation was based on a bad AI experience at a bank. Please tell us a little of how you went from there to starting the company.
I’ve been a coding nerd since I was a kid, but I’m also an optimist with an unshakeable belief in technology’s capacity to make life better. When I had that experience with the robotic voice interface with my bank, I was already a technology entrepreneur with a company that was helping smaller businesses (dog groomers, massage therapists, etc.) engage customers.
The experience with the bank got me to thinking about how to scale the service we were offering to smaller businesses. It occurred to me that companies of all sizes collect a lot of small and large data from customers, and if we could combine that data with a warm, friendly automated interface, we could make customers’ lives easier. That was the inspiration behind SPLICE Software.
What do you think are the biggest challenges facing insurers today?
There are generational and communication challenges that loom large today. Consumer values are shifting, and insurers have to respond to that. At the same time, communication channels and service expectations are changing, and insurers must respond to that, too. Younger consumers have a different worldview than previous generations. They aren’t as focused on material possessions.
Millennials and a growing number of other generations tend to value experiences more than material things, so in one sense, there may be fewer things they own to insure — maybe they’re participating in a ride-share scenario, taking a sabbatical or working at home from a foreign country. But they need insurance as much as ever to protect them from risks. Also, they respond to authenticity and demand personalization in their communication with brands.
Communicating value authentically and in a highly personalized way across multiple channels is a huge challenge, but I also see it as an incredible opportunity. Insurers who understand how consumer values are changing respond with a diverse product approach that addresses those needs and find a way to meet customers where they are and consistently deliver relevant information and value will prosper.
How do you see insurtech evolving over the next decade?
Companies are already laying the groundwork for the future of insurtech in the movement to the cloud, standardization of offers and ecosystems of partnerships that are driving value. The API economy is coming into its own, allowing companies to offer products and services by tapping into existing business-critical information from an array of sources — all without creating a stand-alone ecosystem.
The API economy will bring increased agility in insurtech, enable consent-driven responsiveness and allow insurers to reach out to consumers at the micro-moments along the customer journey to provide the information and assistance people need. It’s an enormous opportunity for insurtech to prove its value, and companies that don’t will be winnowed out.
With everything that’s going on in the insurance field, how can companies maintain their focus on the customer experience?
The fundamentals still apply: walk a mile in their shoes. That’s a concept I’m a stickler for in my work. Whether we’re building a form or creating a dialog or developing an interface, I believe it’s essential to test it and go back to the drawing board if it’s not a process we on the backend absolutely love and would enthusiastically experience ourselves. It’s important because the ability to deliver a great customer experience is more crucial than ever.
The possibilities for creating an excellent experience have expanded, which is so exciting. Thanks to technology, we’re able to create a one-to-one experience at scale, and that’s a huge accomplishment that will get more refined over time. Insurers compete on a lot of axes, including offer assortment and price point. But at the end of the day, the customer experience is the key differentiator.
The convergence of big data and different data sources is creating more concerns (and regulations) around data privacy. How is SPLICE working to protect consumer privacy?
We are committed not only to compliance and data security but also to creating trust between consumers and brands and making it easy for clients to see where they stand. We’ve profiled the customer journey and architected a process to capture consent at appropriate touchpoints, and we’ve worked with clients to gamify the process, rewarding people who handle consent and data the right way.
I believe that creating incentives for people to do the right thing contributes to a rewarding and fun environment on the brand side and builds trust on the consumer side. When companies respect their customers’ boundaries and consistently deliver value, that’s good for customers, employees and brands. That’s the way the relationship should work — as an honest, transparent exchange of value.
# # #
- Digitalization, COVID-19 Spurring More IT Investment in Cybersecurity
- Electronic Chat with Michael DeGusta, CEO, ClarionDoor
- U.S. Consumers Significantly Underestimate Flood Risk, New Survey Finds
- The Future of Insurance: Opportunities in Ecosystems
- Electronic Chat with Todd Greenbaum, CEO, Input 1
- Majesco to be Acquired by Thoma Bravo
- The Evolving Role of Managing General Agencies
- Electronic Chat with Char Hu
- Electronic Chat with Allan L. Egbert, Jr.
- Electronic Chat with Christopher Tramontano and Zbigniew Gawienczuk
- Data Science is Gelato
- Insurance Innovation: Alive and Kicking
- Independent Agents Divided on Digital Experience, New Survey Finds
- Electronic Chat with Michael Jones
- Electronic Chat with Paul VanderMarck
- As Auto Insurance Premiums Shrink, Insurers Need Mobility Ecosystem, New Study Finds
- Property & Casualty Insurers Raise Digital Games as COVID-19 Elevates Customer Expectations, J.D. Power Finds
- Electronic Chat with Bobbie Shrivastav
- Meet the Board: Marissa Buckley
- Big Data and Insurtech: A Carrier Perspective
- Traditional Insurers Need Open Ecosystems, Partnerships to Remain Competitive, CapGemini Report Finds
- Electronic Chat with John C. Siegman
- 4 Ways AI is Empowering Insurers During COVID-19
- 6 Big Changes to Insurance from the COVID-19 Crisis
- Electronic Chat with Christopher Ewing
- Independent Agency Staff Morale High During COVID-19, New Survey Finds
- Electronic Chat with Brad Epker
- Tapping AI to Improve Policyholder Experience
- Electronic Chat with Manisha Bhargava
- ITA Pro Magazine, March/April 2020
- COVID-19 a Game Changer for Workers’ Comp
- Electronic Chat with Steve Comer
- COVID-19 Pandemic Forces Cancellation of ITA LIVE 2020
- Leveraging Digital Resources in the Time of COVID-19
- Electronic Chat with Robert Hartwig on COVID-19 and Insurance
- Celent Study: Most Small Businesses Still Unclear on Importance of Cyber Insurance
- The January/February 2020 ITA Pro is here!
- Deloitte: New C-Suite Roles Mean More Opportunities for Women
- Electronic Chat with Pankaj Parashar
- Electronic Chat with Tara Kelly
- Electronic Chat with Chuck Wilson
- ITA, InsNerds Collaborate to Enhance ITA LIVE 2020 Content and Coverage
- How SMBs Can Compete in Digital Ecosystems in the 2020s
- 4 Ways Insurance Can Prepare for New Data Privacy Laws
- Brewer Lane Ventures Launches and Hires Insurtech Vet Martha Notaras as Managing Partner
- 2020 GIA Cohort Launches on January 14
- The November/December 2019 ITA Pro is here!
- Electronic Chat with Joshua Snead
- Electronic Chat with Wendy Aarons-Corman
- Simplifying the Move to a Third-party Print Provider
- Take a Business-Driven Approach to Continuous Improvement for Core Systems and Processes
- Electronic Chat with Ron Glozman
- Guidewire’s Data Guru Mike Byam on How Insurers are Using Internal and Third-Party Data
- Electronic Chat with Russ Bostick
- Electronic Chat with Rock Schindler
- Electronic Chat with John Siegman
- Electronic Chat with Martin Burlingame
- Insurtech Landscape 2019: Top 5 Takeaways
- Grinnell Mutual Tackles Massive Transformation -- in Stride
- A Candid Conversation with Paul Mang
- SageSure Insurance Managers Improved Competitiveness by Consolidating Payments to a Single Digital Platform
- Digital Does Matter in Insurance-- And Insurers are Missing the Mark
- The 22nd-Century Insurer: Taking a Cloud-First IT Approach
- The September/October 2019 issue of ITA PRO magazine is now available in digital format here:
- ITA Pro Magazine May/June 2019
- Spotlight on the 2019 IASA Conference
- ValueMomentum Selects Erie as Site of Regional Development Center
- Capgemini and Majesco Become Alliance Partners
- Electronic Chat with Dr. Dan Shoham
- Electronic Chat with Todd Greenbaum
- Martha Notaras: The “Outsider” with an Amazing Inside View
- Electronic Chat with Larissa Tosch
- Martha Notaras Will Join ITA LIVE 2019 as a Keynote Speaker
- Five Things to Consider When Evaluating Your Cyber Risk
- ITA Pro Magazine, January/February 2019
- Synergy Between Insurers' IT and Analytics Teams Key to Operationalizing Insights, Says Novarica
- Major Ransomware Attack Could Hit U.S. with $89B In Economic Damages
- ITA Announces 1st of Three Keynote Speakers at ITA LIVE 2019
- Electronic Chat with Jeroen Morrenhof
- Legacy Systems Are Dead. Really? Don't Count On It.
- Now Accepting Nominations for the 2019 ITA Bridge Awards
- It's time to register for ITA LIVE!
- Registration is Now Open for ITA LIVE 2019!
- What to Expect from a Digital Experience Platform Implementation
- ITA Pro Magazine September Edition is Now Available
- It's National IT Professionals Day
- Save the Date for ITA-LIVE 2019
- OneShield Software and UrbanStat Work Together to Improve Real-Time Analytics and Risk Decision-Making
- ITA LIVE 2019 - SAVE THE DATE!
- Insurance Technology Association Announces New Editor-in-Chief
- August 2018 Edition ITA Pro Magazine is Now Available
- Enterprise Architecture in an Agile World
- Top 10 Tips for Securing Your Mobile Devices and Sensitive Client Data
- Industry Insight: 4 Global Insurance Trends in Digital, Data, Content Services and Security
- Diving Deeper into Prioritizing Your Strategic Digital investments
- Why Content Rules
- How Mass Personalization Will Open the Small Business Benefits Market
- At Year End 2017, Will Your Organization Be Protected from Cyber Risks?
- Do Insurance Bots Dream of Mitigating Risk?
- Conditioned to Respond
- Managing & Mobilizing Insurance Data in a Connected World
- Race to the Finish Line
- New Tools, New Opportunities in Claims
- ITA LIVE: Reaching Insurance Industry Crossroads
- Advice to Insurance IT Leaders: Keep Your Eye on the Ball
- New Date, Venue for ITA LIVE 2017
- Guidewire Makes Major Push to Small and Midtier Market by Acquiring ISCS
- Insurance Disruption is Happening Right Now
- Insurity Adds Strategic Investment Partner, General Atlantic
- Beyond Transformation: The Convergence of Finance, Risk, and Actuarial Functions
- The Rapid Evolution of Consumer Protection Regulation
- Talent Hunt: Finding, Attracting, Retaining Top People
- Insurers Flexing Their Distribution Models
- Technology Driving Disruption in Insurance
- Fear of ‘Next Bubble’ Challenges Life, Annuity Carriers
- Technology Allows Commercial Lines Insurers to Stand Out
- Single Sign-on Viewed as Biggest Tech Challenge for Agencies
- ISCS Observes 20th Anniversary; Scurto Predicts Major Changes Ahead
- Policyholders and Their First Impressions
- Progressive Making Progress on the UBI Front
- High and Dry: Insurers Search for Disaster Recovery Plans
- Insurers Sign The (Un)Dotted Line
- Reflections of a Retired Insurance CIO
- Mobile Device Management Just One Answer to BYOD Issue
- Lessons from GEICO and Progressive on Winning the Critical Buying Stage
- You Are a Target for a Cyber Attack
- Web-based Systems are the Next Evolution in Claims Technology
- Gaining a “Wow” Experience from Web Users
- Time to Shift from Business/IT Alignment to Business/IT Alliance
- Healthcare Insurers Changing to Consumer Model
- Organization is the Key for Selecting Software Vendors
- Analysts Expound on the Needs of the Mid-tier Insurance Market
- Finding the Cure for Obamacare’s Website
- New Software Solutions Benefit Insurers on the Inside and Outside
- Products, Market Impede Investment in Systems for Life Insurers
- Combatting Cyber Threats: Predict, Prevent, Persist
- The Future of Telematics Heads Beyond Insurance
- The Shame in Cyber Security Lapses
- Building Policy Administration Systems for the Future
- Insurers Look Into The Eyes of Their Policyholders
- It’s a New Dawn for the ITA
INSURANCE IT NEWS
- IAT Insurance Group Selects One Inc for Digital Claims Payments
- Majesco Implements Oracle Cloud HCM
- Ohio Mutual Insurance Group Partners with Centric Consulting to Develop New Mobile App
- Acrisure Acquires Tulco’s Artificial Intelligence Insurance Business
- Wolverine Mutual Insurance Company Goes Live on the BindExpress Suite from SpeedBuilder Systems
- IMS Extends Telematics SDK Partnership with Onlia
- Risk Placement Services Implements Instec Policy System for Public Entity Program
- Protective Insurance Selects Majesco for Commercial Auto, Workers' Comp
The Email Chat is a regular feature of the ITA Pro magazine and website. We send a series of questions to an insurance IT leader in search of thought-provoking responses on important issues facing the insurance industry.
ITA LIVE 2020
ITA LIVE 2020 –SAVE THE DATE!
April 5th – 7th, 2020
The Diplomat Resort
Become a member today to receive updates – www.itapro.org/MR
BLOGS AND COLUMNS
Denise Garth of Majesco examines how insurance can tap into the synergy between companies and customers that helps meet the needs of all participants... READ MORE
Today's MGAs, fueled by changing technologies, must follow a “jack-of-all-trades” mindset by wearing many hats and leveraging multiple competencies... READ MORE
You have surely heard it said that small businesses are the growth engine for America. Today, the phrase has a special ring to it for benefits... READ MORE
With stagnant growth and lingering low interest rates, the life insurance industry faces a challenging future... READ MORE
Finding insurance carriers willing to write commercial lines risks has always been a challenge for producers... READ MORE
As Guidewire Software prepares for the start of Connections, its 11th annual user conference that begins on Nov. 2, Brian Desmond, chief marketing... READ MORE