Francis Ngari, Head of Digital at Resolution Insurance, discusses current technology trends within insurance and the company’s digital transformation...
Francis Ngari, Business Information Technology graduate from Strathmore University (Kenya), has been the Head of Digital at Resolution Insurance since August 2018. Prior to joining the company in 2010, Ngari worked at James Finlays and Swift Global.
Ngari describes Resolution Insurance as a young, ambitious and determined company that is striving to be the provider of choice for insurance solutions in Kenya. With 18 years under its belt, Ngari notes that “to date, Resolution Insurance - based on turnover - ranks seventh among the 37 general insurance companies in Kenya’s insurance landscape, sitting proudly among the top 15 that have more than 25 years additional experience.”
Over the years, Ngari has seen Resolution Insurance evolve from an independent medical insurance provider, operating under Resolution Health, into a registered insurance company operating under Resolution Insurance Limited. “Becoming a one stop shop for all our customers’ general insurance needs, covering personal accident, group life, group personal accident, work insurance benefits, motor insurance, home insurance and engineering insurance,” he says.
Current trends within the industry
“Over the last two, there are certain words that never fail to get mentioned when it comes to industry trends - artificial intelligence (AI), business intelligence and machine learning” comments Ngari. Within the insurance industry, Ngari sees multiple trends being driven by technology. Including: business intelligence to harness the power of data to make predictions; integrated systems to drive efficiency when it comes to data entry and information gathering, organisation partnerships; and robotic process automation (RPA) to reduce the need for people to conduct mundane tasks as well as driving towards paperless operations.
In addition to these trends, Ngari has also seen the growth of self-service via portals and chatbots, especially among millennials.
“As a company we are looking to benefit from increased efficiency, a low error rate, increased innovation and talent, attracting new markets and becoming an employer and provider of choice” - Francis Ngari, Head of Digital, Resolution Insurance
Ngari takes pride in the company’s push to be a technologically aware brand. “My first role as Head of Digital was to draft the digital strategy, in addition to forming a digital implementation roadmap that spans from 2018 to 2023,” he explains. Resolution Insurance’s strategy is comprised of four key objectives: leverage business intelligence to drive product development and innovation; simplify and automate manual processes; run a paperless digital organisation; and ensure self-service for stakeholders. Ngari sees Resolution Insurance reaping multiple benefits from its six year strategy: “as a company we are looking to benefit from increased efficiency, a low error rate, increased innovation and talent, attracting new markets and becoming an employer and insurance provider of choice.”
To achieve its strategy, Resolution Insurance is harnessing innovative technology in a number of ways. “We are big on RPA and Big Data at Resolution Insurance, we have already completed proof of concepts to verify our hypotheses in these areas,” says Ngari. Currently, Resolution Insurance is in the process of developing the use of chatbots. “With this implementation our customers can receive quotes and pay as well as check their due premiums,” comments Ngari. Within its chatbot strategy, Ngari highlights the importance of implementing solutions that comply with Insurance Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) 17. These solutions will ensure that its chatbots are collecting premiums in full within a 30 day period in addition to implementing cash and carry. While Resolution Insurance is currently utilising Big Data for RPA and self-service solutions, by the first quarter of 2020 the company aims to provide the ability to load claims and purchase a policy online through its self-service platform and chatbots.
Other implementations Resolution Insurance has made over the years include its Enterprise Architecture, aligning its business requirements and IT requirements to accelerate and grow the business. “Our architecture consists of four layers: stakeholders; engagement channels (including chatbots, SMS and emails); CRMs for external stakeholders as well as our financial ERP for business systems; and the cross platform layer consisting of our data warehouse and business intelligence,” notes Ngari. When developing its architecture, Ngari highlights how KPMG has been instrumental in conducting quality analysis for its core insurance systems. “In 2010 and 2016 KPMG consulted for Resolution Insurance to define our Enterprise Architecture,” he says. “To ensure its implementations and integrations within its architecture are seamless, KPMG has also helped to develop an implementation roadmap that is a fundamental feature of our company.”
The impact of digital transformation on the company's workforce
When it comes to the impact digital transformation has on its workforce, Ngari highlights areas of the company currently seeing benefits, including its business development team and customers services team. “Once we started using Salesforce’s CRM system as a single source of information for analysis, the business team can now provide better service advice to our customers, as well as being able to better manage their leads and quantify their results,” he says.
With Resolution Insurance’s increase in self-service solutions, the customer service team are also seeing benefits, particularly “a reduction in call volume, with more people only calling when their query can not be resolved by a chatbot,” enthuses Ngari. “In addition, the team is becoming more efficient when it comes to finding information about a customer via one platform as opposed to two or three.”
Keeping ahead of data security during its digital transformation
“When it comes to our digital transformation journey, one of the biggest threats is data security. In order to protect ourselves against this threat, we have started conducting vulnerability assessments, penetration testing and audits prior to as well as after a project is live,” says Ngari, adding that the company has also implemented common technologies that most companies will have for data security. “We've got top-notch firewalls, double-factor authentication, we are getting customers to also give us their consent, even before logging into our platform as well as getting customers to agree to our terms and conditions, which are compliant with the data protection law that was passed in October 2019 in Kenya.”
The future of Resolution Insurance
Looking to the future, the company is constantly surveying the market each month to gain insights from its customers to ensure it remains ahead in a fast-paced environment. In addition, it is utilising data and social media analytics to provide further insight into customer preferences, customer behaviours and new product innovations.
Beyond 2020, the company is looking to harness Big Data and venture further into machine learning and AI for predictive analytics, “we are currently using elements of machine learning and AI for our robotics proof of concepts which we will be implementing in house in 2020,” comments Ngari. Other innovations Resolution Insurance is currently working on to implement in the future include: becoming available 24/7 to its customers through omnichannel capabilities, providing end-to-end customer fulfilment and delivery, improving its self service platforms, automating underwriting setups and developing a digital laboratory for research and development.