On Wednesday 5 February SSP held its ‘Not Another Digital Transformation’ event, in central London. Stephen Lathrope, SSP’s Chief Executive Officer, introduced the event by saying: “SSP is just as guilty of over-using the word ‘digital’ as anyone else in the industry, but this event’s aim is to move beyond use of the digital terminology to focus on what really matters – how modern technology can be put to use to help insurers drive innovation in their businesses, and in doing so provide better products and services to their customers and partners.”
The afternoon opened with Penny Searles, CEO from SmartDriverClub, sharing some of the highlights of her rich career history in the insurance and wider financial services industry. Penny focused on the importance of the team she has around her and the partnerships she makes, which have been equally important on her road to success.
“I wouldn’t be here without all of the relationships I’ve built. You fall a long way if no-one is there to pick you up.” Penny described today’s changing landscape in areas such as personal motor insurance, with electric cars, teenagers today showing little interest in learning how to drive and less in actually owning a vehicle – preferring to borrow vehicles when and if they need them. She said: “Our motor insurance models are going to change and we need to be ready, and I expect SSP to help us get ready”.
Penny closed her presentation by talking about the technology available to insurers and how they need to harness it and use it to their advantage. That led on nicely to the introduction of Greg Share, Enterprise Solutions Architect from Amazon Web Services (AWS). SSP chose AWS as its cloud partner in 2018 and Greg is part of the extended SSP cloud platform team. During his presentation Greg dispelled some common cloud myths and shared his view of the truths that have been reflected in the work done to design and build the cloud architecture that underpins SSP’s product strategy.
Greg also discussed the importance of that scale and security supported by the cloud, saying “we can now store huge volumes of historical data and combined then with current operational in real time to support game-changing analytics, predictions and processes. The volume and combination of data enables better analytics, machine learning, and enables insurers to put insight to use with their customers.”
SSP’s Chief Technology Officer, Kevin Gaut continued the innovation and data theme, showcasing how insurers can now derive powerful insight from quote data. He showed a demonstration of SSP’s new data lake solution, called SSP Intuition, showing quote information amalgamated and presented via a bespoke dashboard, allowing for direct interrogation and analysis. He explained how SSP is: “enhancing its solutions to make the data available for use in decision making at the front line of the insurance industry. SSP’s role is to unlock that data, store it securely in AWS, and process it to enable insurers to derive their own insight. Your insights will be unique to you. If you can provide a more accurate winning quote, then you’ll win the business and protect your own financial performance”.
Kevin then introduced Mark McDonald who provided another perspective on the importance and potential of data. Mark is a Senior Consultant from Altus Consulting with more than 10 years’ experience in Financial Services. His presentation covered examples from leading insurers, including a number of SSP customers, demonstrating how they have used new technology and data to enhance the experience they provide to their customers, and to drive profitability and growth.
Mark described some interesting examples of innovation: “LV integrated smart speaker technology with their policy systems, enabling customers to use Alexa and Google home. When you log into your Aviva account they show a range of upsell targeted marketing, driven by insight into customer product holding and likely needs”.
Adrian Brown, SSP’s Non-Executive Director wrapped up the event with: “The challenge for leaders and people in this room are that the excuses are no longer there for the industry. Reflecting on Penny’s presentation, the interesting thing for me is innovators and entrepreneurs have never had it so good, in terms of the capabilities and data they can access and the things that they can do cheaply and quickly. I think that is a real challenge to insurers and brokers – as you can innovate so quickly now.”
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