Electronic Chat with Manisha Bhargava
Staff Writer | April 21, 2020
Manisha Bhargava is Global Head of Sales, at Innoveo AG, which designs and develops insurance technology cloud software. It offers Innoveo Skye, a cloud-based technology suite which enables digitalization of insurance processes and accelerates insurance product launch cycles. Its product allows the sale of insurance products across multiple distribution channels, and the support for an omni-channel UX experience combined with business efficiency centralized in a front-end interoperable with the customers' existing IT landscape. The company also provides application configuration, customization, and training services.
Innoveo AG was formerly known as Innoveo Solutions AG. The company was founded in 2007 and is based in Zurich, Switzerland.
Please briefly describe your background and how you got involved with your current company.
An engineer by education, I was fascinated by technology and the impact it can have on the traditional business model. At that time, few women chose technology and business as their calling. In the last 25 years, I have been directly responsible for building and scaling technology businesses, as well as leading technology-driven transformations for financial services clients across Asia-Pacific, Middle East, Europe and the U.S.
When I was introduced to the opportunity of building Innoveo’s footprint globally, I found the platform exciting. Every organization aspires to simplify their technology architectures and reduce technical debt. And here was a platform that could do that, at a fraction of the time and cost in comparison to most options. Innoveo Skye, our “no-code” platform, was leveraged by Insurers globally to drive their digital transformation agenda and deliver acceleration to market, even before the trend of ‘no-code’ caught on. For me, it was the potential of the impact I could bring to the Insurance world, that made the decision simple, to lead this journey.
Your Skye product is a no-code platform that makes it easier for non-technical users to design apps. Please share some examples of how insurers are using it today.
Innoveo's no-code solution can address business challenges in a matter of days versus months, cost effectively and efficiently. Our platform also integrates seamlessly with existing technology and third-party solutions. Here are some specific examples of how Innoveo’s no code platform was deployed to address specific challenges:
- Business analysts work with our no-code platform to rapidly deploy multiple insurance products: onboarding of customers, quote and bind, policy administration and claims across external channels including B2B (direct), B2B broker/agent, affinities, partners, aggregators, and, B2B2C (Bancassurance and benefit platforms). These deployments incorporated multi-users, including sales agents, call center channels, internal operations, claim agents and underwriters for core P&C products in personal and commercial lines, surety bonds and SME, specialty line/marine engineering, and, across the full spectrum of life (term, short-term/long-term liability) and health products.
- The second business challenge we frequently address is facilitating digitization for insurers entrenched in legacy applications, monolithic architectures and/or disparate systems with different functionalities. The Innoveo Skye platform deploys as a rich front end to accelerate digitalization initiatives. This creates a rich digital wrapper with the necessary functionality to combine coverages and products, increase cross and up sell capabilities, and drive application rationalization and migration strategies.
- Finally, we have customers who are leveraging the open API architecture to launch new products including initiatives which are new digital offerings or gig economy products. The platform lends itself as a fantastic value proposition for prototyping new products and markets and exploring the build of complete ecosystems.
What we are seeing in today’s market, is that large insurers with newer technology platforms are still faced with multi-year transformation projects costing multi-million dollars. The technology is obsolete before they even begin. And, more importantly, customers are demanding digital capabilities – now. Insurers need to ramp up their digital transformation projects to be competitive and meet those customer demands. We find that we are a unique position at being able to break that barrier and ramp up these projects at far more compelling price points and accelerated time to market.
I understand you’re developing a COVID-19 app for insurers. Please provide details—describe how it will work and the benefit for insurers.
Yes, we have built the COVID-19 Crisis Response portal to help insurers facilitate timely responses to customers and improve customer communications. With the rapid shift to virtual operations, most companies were not prepared to manage their workforce and customers in a 100% virtual environment.
Insurers are being challenged on many fronts due to COVID-19. They are being inundated with calls from customers, they want to demonstrate empathy and concern for those customers, they want to be responsive. Innoveo’s Crisis Resource Portal gives insurers the ability to deliver critical resources to their customers, on demand; and be responsive to customer needs. The insurer’s customer will be able to directly access critical safety updates and COVID 19 information, request policy reviews, claims assistance and business continuity plan updates. We will able to build this portal within one week using our Skye platform. Insurers can request the COVID-19 portal through our website, innoveo.com. This is our way of helping insurers help their customers during this pandemic.
COVID-19 work-from-home orders have highlighted the importance of digital engagement. How would you advise businesses that have been slow to adopt newer technology to reach customers?
The rapid shift to remote work and the critical need to interact with customers 100% virtually has highlighted the importance of digital engagement. Digitization was already a focus of most insurers. However, it has now shifted from a “nice-to-have” to a necessity, which is going to rapidly accelerate digital transformation in the workplace. The digitization of the customer experience, processes and distribution channels, expediting claims processing and reducing bottlenecks, and automation of workflow processes are business areas that insurers will be looking to rapidly digitize in order to remain competitive. The value to the insurer is an increase in revenue and a reduction in cost. Previously, insurers may have held off on digitization due to their concern about legacy systems and long development times. What they may not realize is that solutions like Innoveo’s no code platform can digitize businesses processes in a matter of days vs. months, cost effectively and efficiently, without dismantling legacy systems.
How do you think the insurance workplace will look once the dust settles from COVID lockdown?
The COVID lockdown has caused dramatic shifts in the insurance workplace that will continue to impact the industry after the lockdown is lifted. Number one, it appears that we may be going back to work in waves, which will continue to drive the demand to support a remote workforce for the foreseeable future. In addition, I believe that on an ongoing basis, insurance companies will continue to operate with a larger remote workforce than pre-COVID19. Customers will continue to demand and expect to interact with their insurance company 24/7, how they want and when they want. Combined, this new reality will continue to accelerate each insurer’s digital transformation as they reconfigure their business to be competitive and stay relevant for their customer.
You’re in the process of developing an exclusive no-code platform for agents. Please share some details on when it will launch and how it will work.
Innoveo is launching our no-code, turnkey digital broker platform by the end of April 2020 for the small to medium broker market. Agencies will be able to be fully digitized in less than one week. Integrating comprehensive digital capabilities will result in countless benefits including an improved customer experience, increased productivity, lower costs, increased revenue growth and profitability – for the agency overall and per client. Agencies can expect to see EBITDA increase at least +2x with this implementation. This is a dynamic web-based platform that connects B2B/B2C customers with Broker and Insurer, enabling ready-quotes, coverage proposals, bind and buy processes, and ongoing customer service. With COVID19, agencies are facing the same demands as insurers and are having to accelerate digital transformation to better serve their customers in today’s environment.
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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.
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