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The Relevance of Automation in Insurance

Written by Roger Peverelli and Reggy de Feniks - Founders The DIA Community on Oct 20, 2022

UiPath has been supporting hundreds of insurers through their digital transformation. Their view is that the future of insurance is all about AI and intelligent automation. We sat down with John Kelleher, VP Strategic Engagement at UiPath to talk about the relevance of automation in insurance.

John, what is your connection with intelligent automation?

John: I spent 11 years in front-office transformation at Salesforce and after that, I moved into automation for two reasons. The first one is being just so inspired by the level of technology innovation that’s happening around AI, robotic process automation, human emulation and the convergence across those things. Secondly, it’s the speed at which the business case for automation can be realized. You don’t have to go through multi-year complex change programs, rip and replace technology to make that business case a reality because automation sits in and around your existing infrastructure, your existing application.

Why is automation so relevant to insurance?

John: Insurance is one of five very strategic focus industries for us. At UiPath, we firmly believe the future of work is being profoundly affected, because of those technology innovations that I mentioned. Moreover, we truly believe that intelligent automation, plus incredible talent, plus a structured automation/digital strategy, are the ingredients for a successful future. McKinsey tells us that by 2030, 40% of all of our processes in insurance will be automated. An example of automation in insurance is by one of our customers, Zurich. They’ve rolled out an automation strategy to automate those mundane, repeatable and boring tasks so their workforce can focus on more innovative, exciting, and inspiring activities.

How does UiPath tap into this?

John: If you know UiPath, you probably know us for our Robotic Process Automation (RPA). That’s our very proud heritage. But we’ve built out this end-to-end platform from Discover, through Build, Manage, Run, Engage and Deliver. In Discover, we can capture all those amazing automation ideas that your workforce comes up with. You can score, analyze and prioritize them, as well as perform process mining. We can identify those processes that should be automated and those that should not. During the build, we can either create these really complex automation to support for example your end-to-end back-end processes or through citizen development, simpler automation, but with incredible potential to scale across your entire workforce. As you scale your automation strategies, you’ll want to orchestrate, manage and govern that estate, and the UiPath platform supports closed-loop governance to track the value realization in production compared to predicted and underpins Automation COE best practice. And finally, of course: Human In the Loop. Whereby your automation platform provides digital assistant support for a myriad of business processes and tasks.

What are the main challenges in adopting these technologies? How does UiPath help?

John: As our customers start to adopt these technologies, they deliver data-driven insight through the end-to-end digital orchestration of their processes and improved collaboration across the complete value chain from your customer to your insurer and reinsurer. And that’s really difficult to do today because of the complexity of your existing environment. So, think about your application landscape and data sources. On average, we hear customers have 175+ enterprise applications. Those end-to-end processes require the integration and the need to manage data, workflow and tasks across those applications and data sources; and can result in what we term a linkage burden. Whilst today, of course, API technology plays a part in trying to solve that linkage burden it continues to rely significantly on human intervention, to load data, consume data, progress workflow, etc. And that human intervention creates a real drag effect, a drag on speed, a drag on effectiveness, a drag on the quality of the work being done, and a drag on innovation.

So at UiPath, we’ve been innovating for the last 15 years at the bleeding edge of technology around human emulation. We’ve got over 90 patents and we’re very proud of that, particularly when we think about artificial intelligence. Building AI into computer vision, building AI into document understanding. Our technology is getting to the point now where it’s progressively cognitive in the way it behaves. The bots can see and understand the user interface, make decisions based on the business logic we’ve built into the automation and based on machine learning. Because it’s machine learning, the more the automation run, the faster they get, the more accurate they get and the more data and insight you can derive from that automation. The Bots can see, understand and act, which creates huge ‘ways of working’ innovation potential and eliminate the need for humans as part of the workflow. We’re creating this intelligent automation layer that overcomes a lot of those challenges we talked about with this linkage burden. It can be faster, and more accurate. We can drive more innovation. Really important, and almost a byproduct, is that you’re taking that knowledge from your workers’ heads and you’re building it into these automation so that tacit knowledge becomes institutional knowledge.

Do you have a use case to prove your success?

John: We’re very proud to talk about our customer Generali. They’ve taken the leading path on their automation strategy and delivered €80 million euros of savings on the back of automation. Generali has 7000 employees trained in citizen development. They’ve got over a thousand processes automated today, and they’re doubling down even further. So, for them, automation forms part of their overall digital strategy. A strategy that aims to deliver world-class experiences for their customers, for their partners, and for their employees. When you look into their automation strategy, they’ve got four key focus areas: The first is about staying ahead of technology and innovation. The second is about having C-suite governance. So it’s driven C-suite down with clear and measurable KPIs. The third area is around convergence: convergence of capability enables the execution of automation at scale, but with control and with orchestration and convergence of technology on to platforms like UiPath for their end-to-end business automation platform. And the final component, which is the one I love, they’re building automation into the culture of their workforce with the goal of going from 80 million to 125 million in savings in the next two years.

For those who want to learn more about this use case, visit here!

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