The Silicon Review
“Our vision is to help insurance businesses thrive in the digital world”: Susan He
Digital firms leverage technologies such as mobile, social and cloud to make better decisions, automate processes, deepen their connection with customers, employees and intermediaries, and pursue profitable innovation, all at a rapid development pace. Furthermore, the most successful digital firms across all industries are distinguished by the degree to which digital is integrated at all levels and functions of the enterprise. Digital informs everything from strategy and organizational structure to day-to-day operations and workplace culture.
Today, insurance customers and clients’ expectations have been shaped by their digital experiences with sophisticated companies in other sectors. The digital bar for insurers is high and rising. Those companies that can meet this challenge will build greater customer loyalty, cut costs and improve profitability.
Aligned Business is a fast growing software vendor that specializes in providing sales automation solutions for insurers and insurance intermediaries via product configuration on eCommerce platforms.
Addressing the insurance industry’s eCommerce hurdles, Aligned has developed Origami™, an industry’s leading online product configuration platform for instant policy sales and lifecycle management. Its primary functionalities are designed to maximise insurance product distribution opportunities and reduce business and operating costs. Via Origami’s unique product library and product assembling capabilities, unique product offerings for specific customer segments can be effortlessly manufactured and launched to any distribution channels, direct or via intermediaries, for full lifecycle transaction automations as well as full channel and product sales performance management capabilities.
Aligned was incorporated in 2012 and is headquartered.
Interview Excerpt: Susan He & Kevin Jin, Co-founders
Why was the company set up? And how did you expand your company and its offerings over the years, Ms He?
The company was established to solve insurance businesses’ online sales and servicing challenges that have been plaguing the industries around the world. The world where digital trend is intensifying yet insurance companies’ legacy systems are pulling the legs for insurers to effectively transit to digital insurance operations.
In our view, a technology enabler does not just mean it gives customers or users in general a tool to get services easily or deliver services seamlessly. But it also needs to fulfil the insurers’ business strategic goals as well as to create major cost savings – in order to see that the solutions we offer are a holistic business enablers for them – to not only win more customers, save service costs. But also ultimately change their traditional operation models via strategic technology enablers; for example, change the roles of business units not just reducing the mundane work resources.
By offering them smart technological solutions, we ourselves are also smarter – our technology is so scalable and flexible – the resources that require us to service our clients do not need to grow in same proportion as other IT companies who run much more resource hungry business operations than us.
About adaptability, how do you stay relevant to the consumer interests and needs in this high volatile market, Mr Jin?
We are servicing customers (insurers) who are running extremely complex business. There are simple vast amount of expertise areas that we cannot possibly master and ensure we know them all, yet it is crucial to have them considered in our solutions in order to power their digital operations successfully. For these, we always keep an open mind about what is new, what has not been considered and what we can do more to enlarge our learning and build big enough universe for true digital insurance operations.
Is your company a leader or a follower? Do you formulate your own core values, Ms He?
We think we are not the first in terms of offering insurance configuration solutions, but certainly we believe no one has the designs that are as flexible and as agile and global scalable as what we have built.
Our core values which we believe are tied in with solutions we offer to our clients – that will not only power their technological advances but will change their traditional business operational model measured by expense ratios and resources requirements from a-z of the operational angles. The efficiencies and cost savings enabled via our solutions also translate to efficiencies and cost savings to our own operations. So this formulates our core values – we enable the insurance industry thrive in the digital world.
What are the factors that make your brand one of the smartest and why, Mr Jin?
Agility and flexibility are the critical deliverables for supporting profitable insurance operations. Many in the market have not truly been able to achieve that to the degree that we have. Smart technology, in our view, is beyond providing technology as a gadget to the insurer and/or to their end customers. But providing technology that not only attracts users of different roles but fulfilling a tangible and sustainable purpose that is in line with overall organizational goals.
Do you have any new products ready to be launched, Ms He?
Yes, we rolled out Origami 2.0 which is enabling digitization for all insurance product sales and processes. The 2.0 release will enable invididualised / personalized insurance product sales utilizing big data and analytic tools as well as enable seamless connect with IoT plus Blockchain to truly play the holistic digital enablers for digital insurance operations beyond traditional risk underwriting automations.
As a question on sustainability, where do you see your company a couple of years from now, Mr Jin?
I see being the major driving force in digital insurance community where its services are affordable for all insurance businesses that are able to power connected digital insurance operations globally.
Susan He & Kevin Jin: The Dynamic Duo
Susan He: Susan He has over 18 years of experience working for global insurers including AIG and QBE in several regional markets including Australia, Asia and Europe managing personal insurance business including Accident & Health, car & home as well as SME commercial insurance.
Ms He is a subject matter expert in insurance product underwriting, sales automations, and digital insurance transformation initiatives: product coverage and terms / underwriting / pricing digital structural designs for flexible product digital configurations for new policy sales and lifecycle servicing processes as well as data management requirements.
Susan He earned a Masters degree in Business Administration from Australian Graduate School of Management.
Kevin Jin: Kevin Jin is a business and technology visionary with executive and hands-on experience gained from start-up, software vendor, corporate enterprise, and strategy consultancy. He has a strong track record of success in building innovative strategy, architecture, and solution.
Mr Jin earned Masters in IT Management from University of New South Wales, Australia.