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Genpact Cora: How the cloud, SaaS and Blockchain are transforming insurance operations

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Frank Neugebauer

VP, Digital CTO for Insurance

August 26, 2017 - Genpact Cora in insurance is taking off, and it’s fantastic to be a part of it! In this third installment of the Genpact Cora in insurance operations series, cloud / SaaS and blockchain are highlighted. Cloud / SaaS is a foundational, underlying part of the Genpact Cora platform, while blockchain (as it relates to insurance) is part of Genpact’s longer-term strategy. It may not be as intuitive as you think to put these aspects of Genpact Cora into the context of insurance – you’ll know what I mean shortly.

Cloud and SaaS:  The evolution of “applications anywhere”

While it’s partly true to say that the cloud / SaaS is “just somebody else’s computer,” that description is far from complete in the context of interconnected applications and services, which in turn are part of Software as a Service (Saas). Within the insurance application ecosystem, there are many systems involved including systems of record, third parties (e.g., CLUE, CCC, ISO), and insuretech capabilities and providers. How can they all be linked together to provide value to insurers, the insured, and intermediaries? The answer to that question is the cloud.
The “big deal” here is isn’t the technology as much as having virtually all the systems in the ecosystem in the cloud providing their software (or even hardware such as in car devices) as a service. This creates an interconnectedness that was only a pipe-dream  just a few years ago.
I’ve been around a while, and I’m not going to lie – at first, this all felt eerily familiar. Sort of circa 2005 with service-oriented architecture. The reality is, it is familiar, but it’s also vastly different.

So what’s different?

SOA was (at the time) primarily a vendor vision. While valuable, it was based more on vendor desire than insurance industry need (at the time, the need was not fully understood). While there are definitely lots of great web service and enterprise application integration solutions that came from it, the impetus wasn’t really there to go beyond web services. With the changing landscape of insurance risk, and the exponentially increasing capabilities of computers, there is a perfect blend of problem and solution.
Insurers now face business challenges never before seen – risk profiles are rapidly changing (e.g., drones, autonomous vehicles, increasingly unstable cat exposures), and they need to adapt far more quickly. This need to quickly adapt – above all else – is driving the need for systems to be equally adaptable, and that’s hard for insurance companies to do without help.

With cloud based Business Process Model and Notation (BPMN) based solutions, entire processes can be executed with connections to other cloud based SaaS solutions – e.g., analytics and AI solutions – in end-to-end models. It’s the realization of business process orchestration – beyond web services orchestration. Such “plug and play” interoperability allows systems to far more quickly match problems to solutions. Take claim fraud analytical solutions within the context of the entire claim process as an example. With complex claims systems of record, plugging in such capabilities is either not possible or based on some vendor’s roadmap – this simply won’t do for the pace of change insurers are seeing. With BPMN, the system of record becomes a player in the orchestra as does the analytics provider. The process becomes the over-arching controller, not the system of record.

From a Genpact Cora perspective, cloud / SaaS are realized through a combination of PNMSoft (cloud based BPMN), the RAGE Frameworks (AI ML), RPA, computer vision (being developed as part of our OnSource acquisition), and insurance analytics solutions (models). It’s the intersection of problem and solution orchestrated in the context of insurance processes. 

Genpact PNMSoft Dynamic Workflow

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Blockchain:  Revolutionary at best, useful for sure

Not to be forgotten in this post, blockchain is related to cloud / SaaS, with the important difference that it’s not somebody else’s computer, it’s everybody else’s computer collaborating in distributed, transparent ledgers (or databases if you prefer). Each transaction (and related data) is recorded and visible to every member of the chain, and subsequent transactions are added to the top of the chain, making every transaction (in order) visible to every member of the chains – there’s no single point or system of record and the entire history is always visible.

While the final direction for blockchain in insurance is very much in process, there are some useful things emerging that are compelling for insurance:

  • Finance and Accounting – while not exactly insurance, every insurer has F&A. The blockchain is ideally suited for distributed ledgers, allowing business partners to exchange financial information freely – and securely – in a transparent way
  • Reinsurance – a great pain in reinsurance is actually sort of an F&A function: the bordereaux (a.k.a. bordereau) reporting mechanism. Blockchains are being created to distribute these ledgers, just as you might a financial ledger
  •  Smart Contracts – on the potentially revolutionary / theoretical side of things (especially in non-standard and special lesser-regulated insurance types) the smart contract can exist outside of a person – imagine a car or home having a smart insurance contract associated with it in the same way an auto repair or home warranty is. That’s right, the context of the contract isn’t the insured; it’s the insured object. The data for those objects can also exist outside of any system – except as part of the distributed blockchain. That can really change things even if the barriers to adoption are significant (e.g., legacy systems, privacy laws, regulatory hurdles).

Blockchain is part of the Genpact Cora platform, realized through business partner relationships. It’ll be exciting to see how it plays out over the next 18 months. That was way more than just somebody else’s computer!


About Frank Neugebauer - VP, Digital CTO for Insurance

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