A full-service insurance platform, fresh out of the box
For this interview, we sat down with Sameer Datye, responsible for Insurance and Wealth Solutions at Tietoevry and Jesper Strömqvist, CEO of Swedish innovation company LFant, to discuss industry trends and challenges, digitalization and transformation, ecosystem partnerships, Tietoevry’s insurance-in-a-box and new insurance brand Sejfa.
Sameer, from your perspective, what is the most important industry trend going on right now?
Sameer: “There is this massive elephant in the room and it has been there for a long time related to transformation: ‘How can incumbents possibly transform their industry and what are the options available to do this?’ At Tietoevry, we try and help our customers like LFant figure out what this transformation needs to be, and how we can use technology to enhance processes and help people to achieve that transformation.”
Jesper, what challenges have you been facing at LFant, and why bring in Tietoevry to enable change?
Jesper: “Big insurance companies have a lot of great strengths and advantages. But when something works today, it does not necessarily mean that it works tomorrow. Then there’s the challenge of big legacy systems. To move forward, you need the right partnership and enablers. Tietoevry is making transformation possible with Insurance-in-a-Box.”
Sameer, please explain what is Insurance-in-a-Box?
Sameer: “Insurance-in-a-Box is a full-insurance platform, which is 100% flexible and can cater to all business needs. First of all, financially, the platform can be pay-as-you-use, but it can also be written off as a one-time investment. Secondly, insurers can pick and choose exactly what they want to utilize, be it on the claim side or the policy building side and so on. The platform also supports white labelling, insurers can either use their own UX layers, they can enable their channel partners to do it or have it completely grey-labelled so that anybody in their ecosystem can leverage it. We started with Insurance-in-a-Box on the PNC side, and then moved on to Life and Pension – and now we cater across the whole range of insurance and wealth management. The platform can use our private cloud, but it can be on any cloud: nobody gets held hostage. Finally, compliance is in place. We make sure that the local rules and regulations, be it in Europe, Asia or Latin America, are supported. Currently, the platform is being used both by companies like LFant, but also by startups who are not necessarily part of an incumbent, but who want to try and explore the market on their own.”
What is your take on transformation in the insurance industry?
Sameer: “Transformation is technology on one side, but also involves societal events. There is a lot of pressure on incumbent insurers to figure out a way to address these changing societal needs and digitalization is a way to address those needs. At Tietoevry, we create the enablers and the technology solutions that will help make this transformation happen. There are many ways to run a transformation process. What we have found is that these massive multi-million euro transformation projects are a thing of the past, as they often do not work.
At Tietoevry, we have a focus on helping our customers go through the transformation process with small and easy steps, which allows easy innovation and helps accelerate the process. But at the same time, if things are failing, we can the approach, and the business logic if needed, so that we can de-risk the transformation process.”
Jesper, what would you say are the main steps to transform your company?
Jesper: “It takes work to make it work. Let’s give you an example. Sejfa is a new insurance brand backed by selected Länsförsäkringar insurance companies, powered by Tietoevry’s Insurance-in-a-Box. So a lot of competent insurance and tech people are working on it. It’s a fully digital home insurance, very focused on creating a magical user experience, especially for young adults. It is developed together with the users to optimise offers, create trust, be relevant to the users’ needs and ultimately create the best user experience possible.
I believe that transformation is all about the mindset – and changing the mindset is simple. It’s about making people understand that transformation is possible and that it will take a very big effort, but at the end of the day, it also means that we are not sitting around watching someone else doing it. We are doing it ourselves. Secondly, compliance is important. Compliance is not the most fun thing to work with, but it is very important to follow the rules, but also try out new stuff.”
Sameer, how did you apply ecosystem thinking at Tietoevry?
Sameer: “Our goal is to satisfy the needs of our customers. We want to make sure that our platform, a platform, which is powered by several different companies, not just Tietoevry, can cater to all different kinds of business needs. We want to build an open ecosystem, leveraging the power of partnerships. This way, insurers can pick and choose exactly what they want when it comes to their transformation. By integrating all these brilliant minds and solutions from all kinds of different companies, into one platform, we can enable our customers to kick start their transformation journey and make it successful.”
What will the next 5-10 years look like for Sejfa? And what is your biggest tip for partnering with an enabler?
Jesper: “It is important for LFant and Länsförsäkringar to take responsibility for building the future of insurance. Ten years from now, I want Sefja to be a big part of the development of the new field of insurance. That also means finding the right partners, like the great team of Insurance-in-a-Box and Tietoevry, but also other enablers of course.
My biggest tip is to understand each other and put time and effort into the process. Do as much as possible as a joint venture, because people need to feel that they’re doing this together. Everyone needs to understand the bigger goal.”
Same question for you Sameer, what are your top tips for partnering with an insurance carrier?
Sameer: “I think when we talk about partnership, it’s all about brutal honesty. Of course, the technology must make sense, and integration and contracts need to be in place. But, if we are not able to have a human dialogue and if our value systems are not the same, it probably is not a partnership that is going to work, especially when we have an open ecosystem. Human connection is probably the most important thing, because if technology is broken, we can always fix it. But if a human relationship is broken, it becomes almost impossible to proceed. So taking a partnership-based approach is crucial to be successful.”