It was a harsh realisation that led me to start thinking about partnerships and relationships - this was the 24th year that I had been attending Insurance/IT conferences and just as I thought I’d seen everything, here I was at Insurtech Insights 2023!
It wasn’t so much the dry ice hanging in the air or the sweet, sweet smell of popcorn, but the way in which there was a palpable feeling of collaboration. Whilst this is nothing new per se, it’s the first time that I’ve been acutely aware of technology providers working together for the greater good.
There were stands that were being shared by tech partners, or where a portion of the stand was reserved for multiple partners allowing potential customers to understand the value of the whole ecosystem in one place. And, although I think that ecosystem is an overused term these days, it is absolutely the way in which the insurance industry is starting to look at technology. I heard it so simply described (by a partner) that they were the green Lego base (as a platform provider), and insurance businesses could build their model using whatever number and colour of bricks that they needed for their specific business case. Of course, it hasn’t always been like this, in fact, far from it.
It’s not that long ago that choosing a platform or PAS effectively ‘locked’ you in to using its great features and functions, but also tied you to its weaknesses. Providers were more than reluctant to talk to other tech businesses and in many cases made it difficult, if not impossible, to integrate a smarter or faster solution to a problem. Even if they were open to ‘sharing,’ you could often be delayed massively by waiting lists, release dates, availability of teams and, worst of all, there was a prohibitive cost to do this.
Fast forward to today, though, and this is starting to be outdated. Although APIs can be traced all the way back to 2000 when Salesforce released what many consider to be the first modern API, it wasn’t until late the same decade that APIs had become critical for building a connected world. Now they are a staple, and they bring with them huge possibilities for collaboration, particularly in our industry. We are now seeing businesses embracing the ‘ecosystem’ philosophy, taking advantage of APIs, and furnishing themselves with a tech stack that works for their specific business. When this happens, they can be truly agile and their ability to adapt to economic and regulatory changes is hugely improved. The problem is that this applies to only a few insurance businesses with many still wrestling with legacy architecture that hampers their creativity, slows them down and massively increases costs. But…there is light at the end of the tunnel with……partnerships.
Last year, Earnix and Guidewire proudly announced their partnership to provide a robust integration of mission-critical software solutions to insurers. This collaboration is designed to facilitate faster adoption of their shared offerings. By integrating the PolicyCenter and the Advanced Product Designer from Guidewire with Price-It from Earnix, we can massively increase speed to value by reducing implementation times and costs and accelerate the speed to market for new and updated products and rates. This is a splendid example of collaboration, whether using open platforms and APIs or strategic accelerators to ensure technology is an enabler and a force for good! We will see more of these collaborations in the future and hopefully it will encourage legacy users to re-assess the position they are in and realise that there really is a better way, which is actually quite easy to achieve.