Offering Experiences: The Emerging Basis of Competition

Can you imagine running into Steve Job’s office at Apple and exclaiming: “Steve, I just realized that the new basis of competition is being able to provide world-class experiences for our customers !” Either he would laugh you out of his office or call Apple’s security to throw you out of the company. Steve Jobs already knows that offering experiences is the way for companies to achieve stronger competitive differentiation and larger market share.

Apple, of course, is not the only company that has been pursuing this strategy. In our world of insurance, USAA, Progressive and Chubb are three insurance companies that immediately come to mind as companies providing a world-class experience for their clients.

But what about your insurance company? Of if you are a producer, what about the insurance agency or broker you work for? Does your firm provide a world-class experience? Is it planning to offer a world-class experience? (By the way, it is your customers, producers and other stakeholders who would be the ones deciding if your company offers a world-class experience.)

Let’s assume that either your company wants to offer a stronger experience or offer an experience in the first place. (Yes, every firm offers experiences. It is just that most of the stakeholder interactions are labored, awkward or otherwise painful.) What technology firm might you consider contacting that would enable your insurance company or agency / broker to offer experiences for your policyholders, prospects and others?

edgeIPK.

Who is edgeIPK? My question exactly. On Wednesday, January 27, 2010 Wendy Corman, the newly appointed president of the U.S. division of edgeIPK and her colleagues were gracious enough to brief me about edgeIPK and show me a demo. The purpose of this post is to get across the highlights of that briefing.

Please note that I am not saying you should rush out and purchase edgeIPK’s products. But given that three of their insurance customers are Allianz, Zurich and Willis, you might want to consider reaching out to edge for a conversation, a demo and potentially creating a pilot for one of your lines of business. I’ll leave it to you to decide if you want to go their web site, find the contact information and call them.

So, what does edgeIPK offer? Edge enables insurance companies the ability to wrap and extend their functionality simultaneously to multiple delivery channels in multiple formats. That means, your insurance company can provide the same look-and-feel to producers, policyholders, prospects or others regardless of the nature and form of the interaction.

Say what? Edge enables insurer or broker functionality to be delivered in a consistent look-and-feel to the web, to mobile devices, and to laptop computers. A critically important point is that edge is ‘target platform agnostic’ so it doesn’t matter if the insurance company or broker is reaching out to people who use IE, Firefox, Safari, or other browsers. Nor does it matter what version of those browsers the target audience is using because edge (supposedly according to Wendy during the briefing) keeps up with all the browser versions and ensures the content can be correctly rendered for the target audience.

Edge capabilities can be used by marketing, distribution and call center staff in the home office as well as field office, agency or broker staff. Edge realizes insurers conduct business on a global stage and so supports multiple languages and multiple currencies. As they told me during the briefing, edge can easily handle our UK cousins use of ‘u’ everywhere as well as our US spelling. Edge supports Spanish, Chinese (Mandarin, I believe) and many other languages.

Edge uses their open presentation platform to quickly configure screens for the home office or field office user or agent or broker. Edge can configure composite screens from different applications which is particularly useful for home office call center representatives or agency support staff.

Edge focuses solely on the presentation of the information required by the insurance company or agency for their target markets. It is part of their skill set to keep up with the growing number of widgets and widget libraries. Occasionally edge will even create their own widgets for their customers when necessary. Edge also deals with security and performance to ensure that the insurance company’s target audience – regardless of end-device or browser – experiences approximately the same level of performance.

Yes, edge is new to the United States. They are in the process of building both sales and services teams here in the U.S. But based on my thirty-plus years in the insurance industry, I believe they are worth a look. Edge gets it: with the evolution of the web, the growing number of devices that clients and field personnel use, and the absolute mandate for insurance companies (and agencies and brokers) to provide a consistent look-and-feel for their policyholders, prospects and other stakeholders, edge provides the software to make that all happen.

Insurers do not have to replace their legacy systems or purchase new core administrative systems. Edge wraps around all of those systems and enables insurers to bring their ever-increasing number of Moments of Truth to the level of a world-class experience.

I’ll be checking back with edge and their insurance customers periodically to see  how edgeIPK is doing in the insurance space.  But to repeat, based on what I saw and heard (and given that Zurich, Allianz and Willis are world-class organizations themselves), I suggest you call edge and see what they can do for your company.

The Seamless Society

Perspective is a funny thing…. it totally depends on your life’s experiences (or lack of experiences for that matter).

For the youth of today, their world is one of instant communications and information – in all forms – on demand whenever they want it and regardless of where they are at the time.  These so-called ‘digital natives’ are totally immersed in an ever-growing ocean of data flows connecting them to their friends and happenings. They take it as “just-so” that smart-phones, touch-screens and ever-more functional devices will be readily available and easy-to-use. And they don’t seem to have as much concern as should about what kinds of information they share with friends – whether actual friends or online friends living anywhere around the world.

For those of us who have to learn how to use all of these new appliances and deal with the information flows gushing over us (we are the so-called ‘digital immigrants’), our experiences are sometimes better described as chores to be done even though the end result can make our business and social lives easier. We wonder just how good we can be with those infernally-small keyboards on the smart-phones.

But regardless of our status of digital native or digital immigrant  in this evolving technological stream, boundaries are blurring. Boundaries – between people, between companies, between events happening and our awareness of them – are rapidly disappearing.

Our society is becoming seamless.

This condition of seamlessness has several implications for the companies providing us products and services. If these firms do not perceive the world around them is becoming seamless they will not be prepared to conduct business in this transformed marketplace and will lose customers. In short, companies still operating as if this was a Lego-block world will become fodder for the history books.

Some of the key implications are:

  • Customers – already a rascally demanding bunch – will expect increasingly faster service. “What, you don’t know who I am? I’ve been to several of your stores and have made quite a few purchases. I really don’t care the purchases were from different stores or from different departments…”
  • Real-time or low to no latency for the tech bunch reading this post) will become critically more important. Companies who say they are all about responsiveness better not have their customers on-hold for minutes at a time while they are waiting for a human to talk with about their problems or to answer their questions. Companies burnishing that ever-ready FAQs will need really good (really, really good) search capabilities so customers don’t have to take very long to find the answers that actually, well …., answer their questions.
  • Companies will need to use all of those (or selected) smart-phone applications to reach and serve their customers. You will need “an app for that.” Customers will come to expect your company can be located and soon to be alerted to sales of what they care about to possibly purchase.
  • Company’s supply chains must become seamless if the firm wants to have any hope of strengthening their market share.

Bringing this home to my little pond – the insurance industry – means that insurance companies will need to:

  • Speed up their use of industry standards for all of their lines of business (hello, ACORD !!) and technology standards to drive data interoperability
  • Finally treat their producers as equal partners throughout the distribution value chains (yes, that means you need to eliminate all paper between your agencies / brokers and the field staff and home office departments)
  • Ensure all field personnel regardless of function (e.g. claims  adjusters, agents / brokers, field staff, salvage and subrogation staff, ….) have the devices they need to capture all the field information electronically.
  • Ensure the core administration systems (e.g. underwriting; policy administration; billing, claims) actually share all the requisite data flows to keep the business operating, support policyholder and producer service, and ensure auditability and transparency for all of those regulators (and reinsurance companies assuming your firm’s risks). These core administration systems are the guts of an insurance company’s supply chains.
  • Ensure data are securely locked down regardless of where they are stored (and yes, that means start now to experiment with cloud computing)
  • Continually pull together every bit of data related to policyholders to create an up-to-date profile of the customer including the products the policyholder owns, the selling and servicing agents, and each call or contact from (or to) the policyholder and the nature (and resolution, if applicable) for tha contact. Basically bring “Moments of Truth” into the Web 2.0 world.
  • Do the same as above for every agent or broker, including all of the original on-boarding information, licensing / training / certification data (for every insurance coverage the producer sells for your firm), compensation data, and data about the producer’s policyholders.

What do you think? What are some other ways insurers should prepare to compete in a seamless society?

Industry Technology Analyst Firm: Jazz Band or Symphony Orchestra?

Would you compare an industry technology analyst firm to a symphony orchestra or jazz band?

Let’s focus this a bit more: you have been asked to join an industry (pick the vertical domain of your choice) technology analyst firm. Would you expect this analyst firm to generate IP (intellectual capital) and be more successful competing if it resembled a symphony orchestra or a jazz band?

Both have talented musicians; both have a leader of some flavor; both mandate that the musicians constantly practice to maintain their skills. Musicians of either entity must be respected as experts with their instruments. Switching to the analyst world, the onus is on both the analysts and the analyst firm to ensure that the analysts recieve the training they need or attend relevant conferences to maintain and build their level of expertise.

Both types of musical entities follow a musical score although in different ways. Symphony musicians have the score in front of them and a conductor they follow for guidance of pace and intensity. Jazz musicians rarely, if ever, have a musical score in front of them. They all “know” the music and are guided lightly by a leader who directs the  individual members as to the order of their solos, duets or other combinations within the larger group.

Similarly to the symphony orchestra, jazz musicians select the songs they will be playing for their audience during their rehearsals.  And in the analyst world, analysts know the key themes or issues they will be generating their IP about before their fiscal year begins. 

Two areas where jazz musicians differ from their symphonic counterparts are freedom to experiment and having the ability to blend their sounds together in unanticipated ways in real-time. Jazz musicians are expected to experiment with variations around themes they express with their instruments. They are also expected to blend their sounds together in real-time and usually (in what seems to be to the audience) unexpected ways with other members of the ensemble. (Yes, there are musicians who play their own cadenzas as soloists with symphony orchestras but I would submit they do not have anywhere near the degree of freedom jazz musicians do.)

Another area where jazz musicians differ from their symphonic counterparts is that jazz musicians, sensing their audience, can and do take liberties with new selections not identified during their rehearsals. They can do this because they have a broad library of music and musical explorations in their knowledge set and, as importantly, they know how to blend their sounds together to get the best outcome possible for their audience.

Similarly, analysts must be able to generate IP about new events or issues that have either reached the radar screen of their clients or that are soon-to-emerge on their client’s radar screens. And they must be able to do this even if these issues were not identified for their formal research agenda. Of course, they do have to let the ‘leader’ know so that person can potentially identify other IP streams that might help the new content or that could be helped by the new content.

Because of the differences mentioned above, an analyst firm is more like – or should be more like – a jazz band. Whether I worked for an analyst firm or was a client of an analyst firm, I would want them to be able to experiement around key themes, to blend their skills together and to find new issues that would be impacting me that I didn’t have time to discover myself.

Analysts, like jazz musicians, need an environment that supports their ability to experiment with different perspectives of existing concepts; motivates them to blend their IP or analytic skills together, and permits them to explore new concepts all  in a way that produces a very rich, pleasing, and quite possibly, unanticipated outcome for their clients.

Swing, baby, swing!!

Influencers

Who or what has influenced you as your career has progressed through the years? There have been times that people around me have said something or I have read the work of authors that have impacted me and have stayed with me through the years. These influencers provided me different or new perspectives to consider how I view society, the insurance industry or both.

Who has influenced you?

For me, some of the people that have had a persistent impact on me include:

  1. Marshall McLuhan – much more than being a repository of wonderful sound-bites, he was a visionary who understood and clearly articulated the impact of media (e.g. technology) on society
  2. Alan Kay – particularly his idea that technology is something that wasn’t around when you were  born. Similar to one of Marshall McLuhan’s sound bites that “he didn’t know who discovered water, but it wasn’t a fish.”
  3. Ted Levitt – Marketing Myopia but more…. I liked his idea that corporations had only two major processes: getting and keeping customers. Every business process you can thing of is a subset of one of those two or a subset of the combination of the two
  4. Lewis Carroll – both “Through the Looking Glass” and “Alice in Wonderland” should be required reading in any business school program
  5. Joe Pine – his concepts around Dynamic Stability are worth a re-read
  6. Clayton Christensen – The  “rock-and-hard-place” dynamic continues
  7. Geoffrey Moore – so will crossing the chasm ever get easier or quicker? 
  8. Nassim Nicholas Taleb – we must develop the ability to be able to respond to Black Swans even if we can not readily identify them beforehand

The fun part, of course, is applying the concepts of these people to my efforts as an insurance industry analyst (and before that, as a management consultant).

No industry, insurance or other, is an island onto itself. I have firmly believed that learning what people in other disciplines discuss and believe, can add value to my own ideas and insights.

Who has influenced you? How have you applied their insights to your own work?

Published in: on January 12, 2010 at 8:28 am  Leave a Comment  
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Building a Social Media Analyst

A magic wand has been placed in your hands. With it, you can build what you think of as a good social media analyst.

What are the major areas of knowledge you would gather together to construct a social media analyst you would look to for research, analysis and advice?

A recent Digital Tonto post  (about their recommended 2009 reading list) got me thinking about this. I agree with some of their ideas (particularly social media analysts needing to know about network theory, including power laws) on this and have added some others. I’d suggest a good social media analyst should have knowledge about:

1. Networks and network theory
2. Power laws (and the long tail)
3. Anthropology (particularly applied to communication and collaboration within digital communities)
4. Marketing and advertising within digital communities
5. Commerce initiatives within digital communities, including the acceptance (or rejection) of the hard sell within digital communities
6. Insight about the evolving web – or at least, which new capabilities (e.g. semantic technologies, augmented reality) will emerge in the next 2 – 5 years.
7. ?

And aside from reading a lot of Marshall McLuhan (that should go without saying), what would you add to this mix of domains a good social media analyst should have? Why?

Vestiges

Over the 2009 Holiday Season we have the time to spend more time at home. Being together, listening to music and catching up on some of our reading.

One morning I glanced up from my reading and noticed a wall plug in our family room. It was not a power socket but rather a telephone dial-up connection.

When we built our home 23 years ago we wanted to make sure we could take our computers into the family room (or bedroom, kitchen or dining room) and connect our computer to the Internet. Through dial-up….

Those telephone dial-up wall plugs are vestiges of an earlier time to connect to the Internet.

Now our home also has Ethernet connections to the Internet and wireless Internet connections. My wife and I much prefer the Ethernet connection although it is another vestige of an earlier time. Broadband wireless is so obviously ‘now.’

One vestige of the past I’m happy to be rid of is my external 80 GB external storage unit. Now I use MozyHome and I set it up to back up my 14 GB three times daily.

Cords or cables between my laptop and printer are other vestiges I have happily put in the past. Thanks to wireless, I can use my printer without being tethered.

We have other vestiges ‘in the making’ of the past in our home. One of those vestiges is our collection if books. Most, if not all of them, could just as easily (but not financially) be replaced on an e-reader.

Our laptop computers might also be considered vestiges of a bygone time. For me, my iPhone is a critically important platform of functionality. But I won’t use the iPhone for everything. I still appreciate the form-factor of a laptop.

What vestiges of the past do you still own or continue to use in your home?

What vestiges of the past does your company still use that you would you be happy to see gone? (Hint: the legacy systems insurers use are obvious examples!)

Published in: on January 2, 2010 at 8:32 am  Leave a Comment  
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O Christmas Cards, O Christmas Cards

I realized this morning that Christmas cards were the analogue version of Twitter or maybe Facebook.

Think about it: if you send a Christmas card to someone, they send you a card (and sometimes that very long and boring letter recapping their year). If you stop sending that person a Christmas card, they take you off of their list of people to send cards.

Christmas cards = analogue version of social media.

We can go back further in time to find a similar trend: it only took the telegraph one year to replace the Pony Express.

Of course we are only now weaning ourselves from Gutenberg’s invention in 1450. But there is hope, always hope, that we can move from the printed page to the digital ether before another 500+ years elapse.

What examples of movement from analogue to digital should we expect in the next 3 – 5 years?

Published in: on December 24, 2009 at 8:59 am  Leave a Comment  
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Redefining Customer Experience

Do you enjoy bringing your car in for service? I never cared one way or another. Last week bringing my car in for an oil service turned out to be a truly wonderful experience.

Full disclosure: I always bring my car back to the dealership I bought the car from. I usually lease my car so I figure the car is really their property. And because it is a BMW, I only want BMW technicians working on it. But now that I (really) own the car, I still only want BMW technicians handling it.

To digress just a bit – but, not really, because this discussion is all about providing a ‘wow’ customer experience – do you remember a book Joe Pine co-authored back in 1999 with James Gilmore titled “The Experience Economy?” The full title was “The Experience Economy: Work is Theatre & Every Business a Stage.”  It was Harvard Business School Press and the ISBN number was 0-87584-819-2. The Amazon.com link is here.

The main argument of the two authors is that “recognizing experiences as a distinct economic offering provides the key to future economic growth.” They also note that “mass customization automatically turns goods and services into experiences.” And yes, Joe Pine wrote a book in 1993 about mass customization titled “Mass Customization: The New Frontier in Business Competition” also published by Harvard Business School Press. That Amazon.com link is here.

So, why did I get excited about having a straight-forward oil service done?

I purchased my BMW from Foreign Motors West (FMW)  in Natick, Massachusetts about 4 years ago. Recently, FMW was purchased by Herb Chambers. Mr. Chambers owns some 46 dealerships selling a vast array of automobiles and other vehicles. I had been wondering how the FMW service (which was always excellent) would be changed because of the new ownership.

Here is the process: I drove to BMW of Sudbury (Massachusetts) and waited in front of a large door (I was quite early …. always am… drive my wife crazy). The service door opened and I drove into a large area. There was a “greeter” in front of me motioning for me to pull forward. After stopping at the spot she designated, she took me directly to my customer service representative (CSR). I handed my BMW key to my CSR who then entered the key into a reader (FMW also had this same capability) to capture current mileage, other readings pertinent to my BMW (what service was noted as needed by the on-board computer), and the specifics about me (work and home phone numbers).

I was directed to the waiting area inside the dealership. The waiting area was quite large and separated into distinct areas: a coffee bar with high-top tables in the coffee area, a semi-circular area with comfortable chairs facing a fireplace, and a business area with eight individual work areas. One of the business center work areas had a computer connected to the Internet. The entire dealership provides free wireless for their customers.

While the technicians took care of my oil service (and flushed and changed the brake fluid), I had two cappuccinos and a hot chocolate (made, I’m very happy to say with milk instead of water). The person making the morning drinks told me they even had little marshmallows for anyone who wanted them in their hot chocolate.

I had an opportunity to meet a very pleasant customer at the coffee bar and talked to him while I was waiting. (It turned out he was an independent insurance adjuster. What are the odds?)

But the piece de resistance for me was when I had to use the restroom. When I entered the restroom I heard CNN. OK, we have stayed at hotels that had television speakers in the bathroom. But no, that is not what I heard… not exactly. At eye-level at each of the urinals was a 7-inch television screen showing the CNN broadcast.

Now c’mon….. turning the waiting service area into an airline club area is, for me, a stroke of genius. My waiting time went quickly even though I had brought reading material for the 2010 State of the Insurance Industry Report I’m working on to publish to this web site late January 2010. The surroundings were extremely nice and very comfortable.

The CSR walked over to me to let me know my car was ready – and washed, of course – and took me over to it. Naturally it was inside just in case of bad weather. I got in, she raised the door in front of me, and I drove home anxiously waiting for my next service appointment.

What is your insurance company, agency or technology firm doing that provides such a great customer experience?

Published in: on December 21, 2009 at 9:26 am  Comments (2)  
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NYL Is Improving Agent Use of Social Media

New York Life’s tag line is “The Company You keep.” New York Life (NYL) recognizes that the “company you keep” has to be involved with social media because that is where a growing number of their clients and prospects inhabit. In particular, NYL continues to build momentum and experience applying social media to strengthen their interactions and relationships with their agents and policyholders. Most recently, NYL has invested their time and resources with two social media initiatives supporting their agents: one involves using a technology start-up company and the second involves LinkedIn.

NYL is working on a Proof-of-Concept with a technology start-up company to ensure that their agents remain compliant regardless of which social media sites they use. This start-up technology company accomplishes this by getting in the middle between NYL’s agents’ dialogue and social media sites the agents want to post information. With the solution from this start-up, NYL agents can use Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, LinkedIn and other social media sites.

Is this “Big Brother” in action? NO! The life insurance industry is a heavily regulated industry by the States the insurance company does business in and by various Federal Government agencies (such as SEC or FINRA, formerly NASD). The insurance industry also must comply with industry regulations as well.

Using the solution from the start-up company, NYL is ensuring that their agents can participate in the conversations of the digital marketplace whenever they want and remain compliant to the plethora of never-ending regulations. One other benefit of NYL’s application of this solution was the immediate realization that the Compliance Department had to be brought into the (use of social media) fold from the beginning – just as it should be.

NYL’s second initiative is with LinkedIn. Working with Sales & Distribution management, NYL created a template for their recruiting managers and agents who either are using or want to use LinkedIn. The templates provide NYL agents with a way to go beyond the obvious uses of LinkedIn and get much more out of LinkedIn’s functionality. With these templates, NYL has crafted a set of Best Practices that the company and its agents can improve going forward in time. NYL is driven to facilitate the agent’s ability to put themselves forward into the marketplace in a way they can best explain their personal value proposition to their policyholders and prospects.

Also regarding LinkedIn, NYL is participating in LinkedIn’s Beta Company Profile program. NYL has added several customized features, including video to the standard algorithmically-produced page, to provide a much more robust and richer media experience for their prospective agents and employees, and of course, existing policyholders. In particular, NYL has created a customized view for prospective agent recruiting of the insurance company for anyone whose LinkedIn profile indicates having a sales background or interest in sales.  Eventually NYL wants to feature as many as 72 different sales recruiters over the course of a year.

I was told at the end of our discussion that NYL realizes their agents – social networkers by nature – are using social media. The company wants to direct those activities in a manner that benefits their agents, policyholders, prospects and regulators. They feel (correctly) that the best way to do that is to adhere to the guiding philosophy “let the community live!” But, and here are important lessons for other insurance companies, monitor the community, pay attention to the community, and most importantly, learn from the community to sharpen the company’s strategies and tactics to best meet the expectations of all of the company’s stakeholders.

What is your insurance company doing? How is it applying social media to enable its agents or brokers? What social media software (whether Socialware or others) is your company looking to best engage in the dialogue within the social mediasphere?

Naughty or Nice

Iggy ran into Santa’s office and was almost out of breath when he got there and sat next to Robby. Robby, of course, had arrived on time and he and Santa were enjoying a warm cup of hot chocolate – with those little peppermint marshmallows – and munching on some just-out-of-the-oven sugar cookies he loved so much.

Santa merrily chuckled when he saw Iggy plop down and waved off his tardiness.

“Don’t worry about it. Here, have a cup of cocoa and some cookies. Let’s get to it. You two know I need your help deciding who has been naughty or nice in the insurance industry space.”

“What do you recommend? I had asked you, Robby, to think more about the insurance industry and you, Iggy, to think about the technology companies supporting insurers.”

Santa reached for another delectable sugar cookie covered with the many-colored sugar sprinkles. “Tell me who should get what so we can finish our N & N list.”

Robby said he did have some thoughts:

  • Let’s give the life and annuity insurers a large dose of hope for 2010. They are going to be regulated up one way and down the next in 2010. Plus the retirement crisis hasn’t really pushed sales as high up as it should have. probably due to the recession.
  • For property and casualty insurers, predictive analytics and other modeling capabilities would be nice stocking-stuffers; plus a large dollop of reality of the necessity of federal regulation. The marketplace has moved well into a national – and really international – framework.
  • For state insurance regulators we need both lumps of coal for those who think insurers exist primarily as whipping posts so they can remain in office – and lumps of sugar for those regulators who understand without reasonable capacity as defined by actuarial standards, insurers won’t be able to do business in their states in the first place

Santa put down his hot chocolate. “Anything else we need to put on the list for insurance industry players?”

Robby said there was one last item and it was a big one: “we need to leave a large saw for all insurers so they can clear a wide path in their companies to apply enterprise risk management practices and systems.”

“That’s a good one,” Santa guffawed. “And Iggy, what should go on the list for technology firms supporting the insurance industry?” Santa asked as he got up from his desk and poured More hot chocolate for Robby, Iggy and himself.  

“To begin with,” Iggy said “I want to give technology companies a large tub of white-out or white tape.” “Why,” Santa asked. “Because everytime a really new concept comes along, too many technology firms just relabel what they were already selling and say they are now offering the new concept.”

“I also want to give some of the outsourcing companies sets of small scissors to help them cut out all of those CMM levels and professional designations from their business cards.”

“Isn’t industry training important? Isn’t capability modeling important?, ” Santa asked.

“Of course it is but we know from talking to insurance professionals they really care about their outsourcers having actual, demonstrable insurance industry experience and referenceable clients whose company names carry some weight.”

“That can’t be all, ” Santa exclaimed, blowing the excess heat from his cup of chocolate and putting more of those tiny marshmallows in at the same time.

“Nope, there’s more,” Iggy said and rattled off:

  • For technology firms new to the insurance industry, I’d put HBR Case Studies in their stockings. These companies have to come up with sharp and unstandable value propositions and ways to truly differentiate themselves from the existing technology players.
  • For technology firms who are in a specific niche – say billing or even predictive analytics – we should give them a financial planning manual to they can prepare themselves to be acquired … or maybe directions to the nearest white knights.
  • For technology firms who are creating products or services based on new technologies (say, semantic technologies), I want to give them a 48-month annual calendar because selling something new to the insurance industry is going to take a very, very loooooong time.

And that’s it, Santa. Iggy reached for two more of those sugar cookies.

What would you add to either Robby’s list for insurers or Iggy’s list for technology firms to help Santa decide what to pack in his bag in 10 days?

Published in: on December 15, 2009 at 7:34 am  Comments (2)  
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