Something exciting and new – AdvantageGo hosts an event on their new Ecosystem
Partners, clients, prospects joined AdvantageGo for a glamorous evening event in London to celebrate the AdvantageGo Ecosystem.
“Something exciting and something new” was how AdvantageGo’s Global Business Leader Ian Summers introduced a recent evening event held to promote AdvantageGo’s expanding Ecosystem.
It was an accurate description for something that is quite rare in the insurance technology market, bringing together service providers that might otherwise be regarded as competitors, instead collaborating as partners, building something bigger than the sum of its parts, to dramatically benefit their clients.
AdGo hosted its Ecosystem event at a rooftop penthouse at the iconic Four Seasons Hotel, former home of the Port of London Authority, Trinity Square, overlooking the Thames, the heart of the City of London, and its competitive landscape of London market insurance companies.
The evening event included keynote presentations, a panel discussion between several alliance leaders, and interactive demonstrations to experience multiple applications, integrations and data of the AdvantageGo Ecosystem in action.
Summers’ welcome was followed by a presentation screening and words from Bob Riddler, AdvantageGo Account Director, responsible for managing partnerships and alliances. Market complexity has driven companies to search out specialisations, Riddler emphasised.
“You end up with lots of specialisations across the industry, and it’s particularly true in the technology area,” he said. “What that means is that you end up with individual solutions; they’re all very good at what they do; but none of which are particularly good at talking to each other or how they pass data between each other.”
This situation leaves insurance companies responsible for potentially thorny issues of integration between myriad systems, an unacceptable situation for service providers to place their client in, Riddler emphasised, not least because it leads to old-fashioned “build or buy” debates within insurance companies.
“It’s necessary for us to find a way to address the complexity, to address the fragmented landscape, and to be able to go to clients and say: ‘Don’t worry, we have your back, and this is the integrated solution,’” he added.
Summers was joined on a market panel by Greg Gaydos, Senior Business Development Executive, Zywave; Simon Whittle, Senior Vice President, Global Product Development, ACORD Solutions Group; Neil Williams, Business Architecture and Analysis Team Lead, MS Amlin; and Mark Geoghegan, host of the Voice of Insurance podcast, asking the questions.
Williams at MS Amlin underlined market-wide progress in recent years, including collaboration between Lloyd’s and ACORD on standards, and the London Market Group’s Data Council and its Process, Roles and Responsibilities (PRR) market consultation.
“Now is the time for solution integrators to come to the table, and try to pull together best of breed vendors,” Williams said, noting that many of the specialist vendors are small firms.
“If the ecosystem can be an incubator for niche players, we can look at pulling together ‘best of breed’ across the whole value chain,” said Williams. “We’ve found that going from analogue to digital, to hybrid, and back to digital, doesn’t work as a customer journey – you need to go digital, through and through. So, pulling all of those APIs together is a very compelling proposition, compared to what we’ve got at the moment.”
Gaydos drew a neat analogy with consumers hiring contractors for home improvement, and expecting them to work together rather than tread on each other’s toes.
He said: “If you hire contractors to fix your kitchen, you don’t want the plumber fighting with the electrician, right? We collaborate really well together, and ultimately, all you care about is having a kitchen where the dishwasher is where it should be, and your fridge fits in the hole that the contractor made. It doesn’t always work that way, but that’s the goal.”
The ecosystem will drive greater consumer choice, with the client the ultimate decider of which applications to choose, he underlined.
“Part of the thought process is to give the end user the choice to go with me or with someone else. At that point, it becomes a choice and not a competition. There could be conversations about ‘why us versus why someone else?’, but it’s ultimately the choice of the buyer, if they have a preference,” Gaydos added.
Whittle noted the market’s progress, suggesting electronic placement will be a major step forward, aided by common standards and systems that can talk to each other.
“What we’re trying to do is digitise document-centric processes and manual processes with structured workflows and structured data,” he said. “The standards have been around for some time, with adoption in certain parts of the industry, certainly in post-bind, accounting and claims. Placing has always been hard, because getting the data up front has always been difficult.”
After the speakers, the demos, there were cocktails, and barbeque food to round off the night. Attendees came away with new insights into how vendors can collaborate and, through the ecosystem, how clients can achieve a whole new level of service from their providers.
“Thank you for a fantastic evening,” said David McKenzie, Independent Consultant, Lloyds Insurance Market, UK. “I thoroughly enjoyed it. I found it really insightful to see a whole new way that independent software vendors can work together.”
Want to learn more? Explore the AdvantageGo Ecosystem and discover why it really is something exciting and something new.