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Genpact Cora – Mobile and ambient computing revolutionizing insurance operations

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Frank Neugebauer

VP, Digital CTO for Insurance

November 10, 2017 - After a break to write about other topics, I’m back to the subject of Genpact Cora in insurance operations. Next up is something very exciting for the insurance sector – mobile and ambient computing (especially the latter). Together, these aspects of Genpact Cora can mean the difference between extending or eradicating monolithic applications.

Mobility – It’s not just an app, it’s efficiency!

Mobility is nothing new and Genpact Cora is not redefining the term; we use it the same way everyone else does. It’s a technology that enables computing from anywhere. In insurance operations, there are many mobile apps including:

  • Reporting claims, along with pictures – users include the insured, adjusters, and third- party intermediaries
  • Approval apps – such as underwriting approval (these tend to be simplified versions)
  • Quoting for simple lines, such as renters
  • Marketing apps that bring product information to the field for producers

Mobile apps in insurance are often restricted by the underlying platforms they are connected to, which require significant data entry. Nonetheless, the insurance workforce and their insureds are seeing benefit from mobile, especially on the claims side of the house. 

There are mobile capabilities within Endeavor Software and OnSource, both recently acquired by Genpact. Endeavor has a history of mobile development (dating back to Palm OS), and OnSource has a mobile application platform for onsite claims reporting. The latter is insurer-branded and is an efficient way to bring greater insight into  first notice of loss (FNOL).

Ambient computing – The emergence of microservices

In 1995 I learned Java (when the JDK fit on a single 3.5” floppy). At the time everyone created the basic “how to” applet with Duke. Duke did all kinds of useless things, like wave and do cartwheels, but it also ushered in a different way of thinking about web pages beyond animated GIFs. Just as Duke changed the way people thought about web pages, Ambient computing is changing the way people think about insurance applications.

Also as part of Genpact’s Endeavor acquisition, we got talent and tools around ambient computing. But what is ambient computing? It sounds so ethereal. Ambient computing in theory is computing that responds to people – such as Google’s Alexa or wearables. It’s just there. In insurance operations, you can’t “wear” claims or underwriting, but think “apps without user interfaces.” To make this more real, consider the following use cases:

  • Using text messaging to get a certificate of insurance
  • Asking Alexa to add insurance for your new boat
  • Using WhatsApp to notify your insurer of a loss
  • In-auto devices that track speed and distance

Each of these examples shares something in common; the underlying services are small (even if some of the data is significant). Unlike monolithic apps, which embed very long running processes within screen after screen of data entry, many ambient examples use microservices. These services chunk up the historical app into what I think of as vignettes. Each one is small and self-contained. Put them all together in a specific order, you end up with a “system.” Ambient is ushering in this microservice world quickly, which will mark a significant change in systems as we know them. 


About Frank Neugebauer - VP, Digital CTO for Insurance

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