In February, Unum inked a new policy admin and billing agreement with Majesco, expanding the software provider’s suite for L&A from its UK to U.S. operations. Unum’s businesses serve 178,000 companies and 25 million people across those regions.
While the two are still in the implementation phase, Unum believes Majesco caters best to its niche as a group benefits provider, shown by its commitment to the company since 2014. Unum CIO Kate Miller discusses the expansion of the insurer’s services with Majesco, other projects Unum is spearheading and the landscape of insurance technology today.
INN: What are Unum’s long-term goals in its new deal with Majesco?
Kate Miller: Like many insurers, we have many legacy systems that are not ideally suited for the business and market needs of today. In order to better cater to our customers, we aim to utilize technology in ways similar to how client’s experience and use technology in other parts of their lives. For us, ease of doing business centers around interaction.
INN: What other major technology projects are in the works?
KM: We are increasingly expanding our tech capabilities, recently deploying two cloud-based systems in Salesforce and Workday. Salesforce is used primarily as a way to track and manage customers from opportunities to implementation, while Workday is an HR procurement platform. The company is also focused on connecting with industry tech partners, carriers and ACORD to establish standards in exchanging information, making it easier for customers to send information back-and-forth to all players. These standards are not published yet, but we are working. The key is to keep track of all external trends not just those in the insurance industry.
INN: What emerging technology trends have you noticed in the industry?
KM: A big one is movement to cloud-based platforms that offer all industries, not just insurance, immediate benefits with ease of upgrades. We see cloud-based solutions becoming a mainstay. Increased emphasis on data protection and security is another trend. Attacks over the past 12 to 18 months have certainly been on the rise. They have been targeted and somewhat successful.
INN: What security practices does Unum have in place?
KM: We try to stay very connected to cybersecurity forums and adhere to best practices in terms of industry sectors. It allows us to stay on top of what the landscape is and assess ourselves against standards that are becoming better established.
INN: Where does Unum stand right now in its use of big data?
KM: Some data areas are strong while others are emerging. Our data efforts are focused on understanding customers and interacting with them. We are investing more now than we have in the past. Financial and risk management practices are very mature in data use while customer service is not in as mature in terms of leveraging data we gather.
INN: What do you envision technology practices being like at insurance companies five years from now?
KM: My hope would be that just as in other industries where paper has gone the way of the dinosaur, insurance follows that route. The mortgage sector took a long time, but that industry has made great strides and is doing everything online. Similarly, I think some areas in insurance are well on their way. But other areas like group benefits insurance have a ways a to go.
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