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Enabling “The Easy” Button for Insurance

Nearly a year ago, I wrote a blog titled, “Mayday for Insurance and Financial Services,” where I detailed how next-generation customer experience capabilities, such as virtual interactions between business experts and customers, are transforming business processes – such as the “Mayday” button technology offered on Amazon’s Kindle Fire HDX. The purpose of that blog was to explain virtual interaction capabilities and discuss how they are likely to become integrated into the insurance industry in the near future. So what’s changed? Well, I’ve gone from blogging about the changes to come, to speaking at insurance industry conferences about how virtual transactions are now transforming how the industry does business and how Cisco is helping fuel these virtual interactions.

I attended the Property Insurance Report National Conference, and had many great discussions. The focus of the conference was on ways the property insurance world is changing, through consideration of new ideas and the utilization of new tools being built. It’s widely considered that with the arrival of better information and tools, the most sophisticated insurers will be able to separate themselves from those who don’t take these changes as seriously or employ them as skillfully. Features such as online video sales and support are working in the real world for other industries, so how they can be applied to insurance?

At the conference, I gave a keynote presentation titled, “Omni-Channel for Insurance – Virtual Enhanced Distribution & Service Channels”. The presentation specifically focused on how virtual interactions are transforming the insurance industry and improving customer experiences.

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Omnichannel Insurance Makes its Debut at PegaWorld

We recently attended PegaWorld in National Harbor, Maryland, on June 8-10. The conference focused on how businesses today must adapt to technological innovation and utilize new solutions that deliver business agility and empower organizations so they can rapidly close execution gaps and seize new opportunities. Pega’s investment in a customer-centric strategy enables digital transformation, which is essential for an Omnichannel execution strategy that demands a new approach to software.

Pega 7 is a best in class Business Rules Engine (BRE) platform led by Chess Master and Founder Alan Trefler. These new BRE capabilities  enables Omni-Channel UX™, Next-Best-Action and Business Process Fulfillment, empower financial services firms to transform the way they engage with their customers, simplify their operations and adapt to market changes. Read More »

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Tech Innovation Emerges within Carriers’ Legacy Environments

Solution architectures are typically derived from open-ended questions designed to discover customer needs. However, Cisco approaches customers with insights-based assertions that rest on the belief that true innovation emerges from disruptive ideas that make customers aware of unknown needs.

According to Gartner’s report “Agenda Overview for P&C and Life insurance 2014,” three concerns for change stand out for insurance companies – profitability and business growth, cost savings, and customer centricity. The study further indicates insurance executives struggle to maintain legacy products while simultaneously addressing concerns and uncertainties of innovation. Read More »

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What the Internet of Everything Means for Insurance

©Michael Tompert  2012 / from The Human Face of Big Data

©Michael Tompert 2012 / from The Human Face of Big Data

Moving to one-to-one relationships: It’s incredible to think about the impact and influence. Cisco predicts $14.4 trillion of value will be “at stake” over the next decade, driven by “connecting the unconnected” through the Internet of Everything (IoE). IoE triggers a 19 trillion dollar global opportunity based upon the growth statistics of more than a 7.2 billion population, with an average of 3.47 devices per person, yielding more than 25 billion IP connected devices all by 2015, growing to 50 billion by 2020. TED Talks keynote speaker, Rick Smolan, author of The Human Face of Big Data, comments, “It’s like the earth is growing a nervous system.”

How does this impact the insurance industry? On a one-to-one level, customer’s cars, houses and human anatomy (e.g. Fit Bit) can all be connected; providing critical information about risk and rewards in real-time. In the distribution channels, it can change the way carriers, agents and brokers conduct business, both virtually and face to face. Read More »

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Mayday for Insurance and Financial Services

According to Wikipedia, “mayday” is an emergency procedure word used internationally as a distress signal in voice procedure radio communications. It derives from the French expression “venez m’aider“, meaning “come to help me.” Most recently, the term has been used to describe a special feature Amazon now offers Kindle Fire HDX users when they need virtual support on their device. The user can simply touch the button on the Kindle screen and a contact center representative appears on the screen, where the customer can see, hear and talk with the Amazon customer service rep. It delivers personal help on-demand and in real-time.

Both uses of the word “mayday” described above apply to insurance and other financial services. It is indeed a “come to help me” signal that should be alerting insurance and financial services providers that the next-generation of customer experience capabilities is now here. We have seen the adoption pattern before—financial services customers now expect financial services firms to deliver similar services that they have access to through other industries.

The wait is over. In fact, retail banks are now rolling out similar “mayday” functionality to their customers through similar solutions that are driven by Cisco technology. As is the case with many technology trends, the “what could be” capabilities of the future are much closer than many realize. Consumers using virtual capabilities like FaceTime for social interaction are becoming much more likely to expect and use similar capabilities to interact with companies they do business with. Many workers today are also using virtual interaction to connect with colleagues to conduct business and perform their job functions. The fact is–virtual interaction has become much more common in our daily lives. Read More »

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