Liz Marshall is Director of Product Marketing for the Insurance vertical at Vlocity. Prior to Vlocity she worked in various marketing roles for several large financial services and insurance companies, including MetLife, Prudential Financial, and American Express.
How Vlocity and Salesforce Can Help Insurance Carriers with Innovation and Digital Transformation
The insurtech disruption taking place in the industry is causing large insurance carriers to develop entire teams focused on digital transformation and innovation.
New business models, products, technology, and ways to engage customers across the lifecycle are being evaluated as insurtech startups are offering insurance-on-demand and delivering virtual agents and mobile experiences to appeal to millennials and other digitally savvy consumers. Artificial Intelligence and the Internet of Things continue to show up as areas where insurers are focusing the most. An Accenture Insurtech study found that analytics, AI, and IoT are three elements the industry views as critical in delivering increased levels of personalization and better real-world outcomes for customers.
Innovation Stumbling Blocks
Many carriers struggle, however, with how to actually implement new ideas and bring innovation to market. Jeff To from Salesforce describes the common “POC Hell” that carriers fall into, where “rogue innovation” proliferates without widespread support, concepts have no real business value other than to leverage new buzzwords, or ideas go only so far as to become part of a growing list compiled from insurtech conferences. Concepts also fizzle when it becomes clear that launching them on existing technology platforms is too difficult or may create a sub-optimal user experience.
According to Accenture, 86% of insurers believe their organization must innovate at an increasingly rapid pace just to keep a competitive edge.
From what I have seen in the industry, innovation has taken place incrementally. One line of business or channel may launch a new mobile app or enable an online transaction which will slowly pave the way in other areas of the organization. But developing a new agile culture and technology platform across the enterprise is becoming imperative to be able to “test and fail fast” in the digital world, and the journey ahead only accelerates. According to Accenture, 86% of insurers believe their organization must innovate at an increasingly rapid pace just to keep a competitive edge.
An Agile Technology Platform
Vlocity and Salesforce are working closely to provide an agile cloud platform and the tools for carriers to launch new products and capabilities that can integrate with legacy systems. Vlocity’s digital quoting and rating solution, for example, gives carriers a way to bring new products to market quickly, with easy product modeling capabilities, rating algorithms, and reflexive applications along with the ability to connect with Big Data sources. Drag & drop configuration allows for implementation without the long timelines and high costs of custom development.
One of Vlocity’s newest products, Vella, was developed to demonstrate how some of the most popular insurtech concepts -- usage-based and on-demand insurance, AI, and IoT -- can be implemented on the Salesforce platform. Vella is a consumer mobile app that allows a policyholder to handle insurance transactions with a carrier on their phone. It leverages the Salesforce IoT Cloud to offer home-based sensors and risk alerts for home insurance, vehicle telematics for usage-based auto insurance, and a virtual agent chatbot to help with everything from filing a claim to paying a bill to buying instant coverage for a new pet or iPhone. Any of Vella’s components can be used by a carrier to meet their specific requirements or innovation pursuits.
As the list of insurtech concepts grows, incumbent carriers will determine where there is the most business value for them within the market they are seeking to serve. The good news is the platform to support launching these ideas is available.