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Calling time on the time-honoured tendering process

For many years insurance businesses have adhered to a fairly fixed formula in trying to ensure they make the right choice when selecting software partners. However, the tendering process, which involves drawing up shortlists, with review and then further review (often following months spent defining the problem), may be tried and tested, but it is disruptive, costly and has become over-engineered.

It is also time consuming, and in an era where insurance businesses need to implement change quickly, the six-to-nine-months that the tendering process typically takes is less than ideal. The rapid advance of technological innovation in recent years has in turn prompted far more efficient means of partnering with software providers. These methods are enabling insurance organisations to have implemented the desired software while those using traditional methods are still trying to decide which provider to use.

Familiarity with the tendering process is partly why it continues to be the market norm, but it is ill equipped to deliver change with the speed now required given the many pressing imperatives to modernise. Tendering also prevails simply because there has also been little alternative, until recently. What Ecliptic has proven is that delivering significant change can be achieved without the need for a top-four consulting firm, a major technology company or an army of business analysts, developers and project managers.

Avoid lengthy processes

Replacing the tendering process with the following steps can dramatically cut the time typically taken to find the ideal software partner:

  • Consider providers that ideally have deep industry experience and are recommended and approved by the market. Such companies are, in effect, pre-vetted having gone through many strenuous tests, as part of a thorough examination process necessary to gain accreditation.

  • Ensure any potential software providers take a collaborative, solution-driven approach and aren’t just essentially offering to shoehorn an existing generic technology to fit a specific insurance businesses requirement.

  • Decent providers will welcome challenge as an opportunity to prove themselves, which is something that also ought to be made the most of.

  • Challenge potential partners to demonstrate their capability by quickly building a working demonstration of the end solution, as mutually agreed and defined following collaborative problem-solving discussions.

The fact that tendering processes have become so over-engineered is probably also reflective of the insurance market’s chequered history in adopting technology, with many protracted and costly projects over the years that failed to deliver. Yet, forward-thinking businesses recognise that the rate of technological progress and innovation in recent years means it is now entirely possible for significant change to be achieved quickly, cost effectively and robustly. Not only that, but the speed with which ideal partners can be sourced and engaged is also now considerably faster and more efficient.

Those businesses ready to embrace modernisation would be well advised to present their problems to market-accredited software providers. Challenge them to quickly deliver a working demonstration of the solution required to resolve the issues hampering the realisation of strategic ambitions. This will swiftly separate those that are lacking from those able to inspire the confidence required to move forward with modernisation, and gain the desired benefits far faster than has previously been possible.


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