Ruxandra Angelescu, Asirom: “If Not for the Technology, the Business Might Have Been Shut Down Because of the Lockdown”

Hyper-personalised technology is key in the years to come. Ruxandra Angelescu, Head of Asirom’s IT Department, explains why.

Asirom, a leading insurer which is part of Vienna Insurance Group, integrated FintechOS technology within its core system and call centre application in less than two months. Ruxandra Angelescu, Head of Asirom’s IT Department, explains in an interview for FintechOS’ blog what were the insurer’s challenges and needs in this digitisation process, and why a hyper-personalised technology is key in the years to come.

 

“We are always trying to innovate and find better ways of generating client satisfaction”

 

The last months have been trying for many industries. What were the biggest challenges for the insurance business?

It’s obvious – this period showed that technology is one of the most important building blocks of the world’s economy. If we didn’t have the technology, all business might have been shut down until now because of lockdown. To us, the biggest challenge has been to find the technology that meets several main requirements:

  • low implementation time for new functionalities,
  • little or no downtime,
  • low implementation costs generated by using abstract layers that allow the development of high-quality software with little or no coding,
  • user empowerment based on easy to use and friendly software interfaces.

 

Ruxandra Angelescu, Head of IT Department, Asirom, part of Vienna Insurance Group

Who or what is driving the adoption of technology in insurance?

I believe that customers and business partners, too. We are always trying to innovate and find better ways of generating client satisfaction. During this process, we are also collaborating with third parties that are pushing our boundaries in terms of technology. So, adopting new and cutting-edge technologies comes naturally.

 

What is a customer expecting from Asirom (and Insurance industry) in terms of technology?

It depends. I believe we have two types of customers. In the former category, we would include those clients who constantly entrust us to take care of their potential problems, even since the 1990s. These clients are used to interact with an insurance agent and enjoy this type of human interaction. What they mainly expect is to have somebody to talk to when they are in trouble, or to contact a salesperson when they want a new policy. This is where our call centre and other traditional communication channel come into the spotlight – all of them are empowered by various applications and technology stacks.

In the latter category, we would include the new clients who are always on the move and that enjoy on-line purchasing, as well as direct payments made to insurance companies (via cards or online payments). Also, they want to notify the claim on the internet and usually don’t want to be bothered by insurance agents or claim handlers. And here is where the modern technologies are being used, such as AI, OCR, Chatbots, online/mobile payments, risk inspections made over the internet using dedicated applications, telemetric applications, and so on.

“When we first started looking into new technology, we needed to implement quickly some call centre functionalities.”

 

What technical challenges have Asirom faced lately, and how did you look to address them with the help of FintechOS technology?

When we first started looking into new technology, we needed a platform in which to quickly implement some call centre functionalities – so vital these days.

Our plan was to do that without employing specialised programmers, so difficult to find. Basically, we were looking for a “no-code” platform where we could define the business flows we need within a very restrictive timeline.

I am happy to say that we succeeded. Our first set of functionalities went live after only 1.5 months of work.

 

How many products did Asirom launch using FintechOS technology?

So far, we have implemented two types of applications within the platform – one for Health Insurance Call Center and Claims Management and one for business flow modelling.

 

What benefits does FintechOS technology bring to Asirom?

It’s a technology that is easy to use. Functionalities can be implemented quickly, without the need of using lots and lots of coding hours.

Also, from the costs’ perspective, it allowed us to achieve business goals with the fraction of the cost of traditional development.

50.000 medical schedules and more than 150.000 phone calls were registered within the call centre application

 

What kind of KPIs do you use to measure the improvement?

More than 30 call centre operators are using the system every day. Also, 50.000 medical schedules and more than 150.000 phone calls were registered within the call centre application.

 

Did Asirom see a cost reduction related to using FintechOS solution?

There is cost reduction, indeed but I prefer not to mention an exact number. What I can tell for sure is that it helped us attract new customers via our internal call centre dedicated to Health Insurance.

 

How do you think customer expectations will develop in the next 1-2 years regarding technology?

Customers worldwide will want to receive better services, and they will want to be able to access the benefits of the policy remotely. We have already begun to feel the urge for these changes. This is why we already provide solutions in this respect. Of course, we will continue this process in the years to come.

 

How does tech enablement look like in the near future?

I believe that a lot will change in the insurance industry in the next 1-2 years, and in Asirom as well. We will probably notice more evolved systems that can make decisions based on artificial intelligence, and which our clients will be able to access seamlessly over the internet.

Automation is another enablement that will appear more and more in the insurance business. Because everybody wants to be more productive, and we are all trying to focus on the important tasks, leaving the routine tasks to robots or other forms of automation.

***

This interview is part of a series of FintechOS articles on the insurance industry. For more findings on insurance, ➡️download our whitepaper: https://bit.ly/34slCM9.

***

On the same topic:

”No Legacy Issues to Deal With”

Claims Management – How to Do It Right

Insurance: The Scale of the Crisis

The Greatest Challenge Facing Insurance

What’s in store for insurance – three take-aways