My previous blog focused on how our recently-launched dedicated technology business Ecliptic came into being, and why, despite the insurance landscape already being littered with tech providers, we believe there is not only room, but a need for another.
For too long, insurance’s relationship with technology has been problematic. Many have not forgotten the numerous attempts to implement big-bang solutions that fizzled into expensive failures. It is also still a commonly held view that achieving change through technology means ceding control to an opaque and unfamiliar process, which can fast become a drain on time and resources.
Yet gaining technological benefits need not be complex, time consuming or expensive. Ecliptic is determined to prove that and reverse negative perceptions, through an established and highly collaborative approach that delivers quickly. All of our solutions, from the Advantage platform, to DA Portal (now LIBRA) and GEMINI, started with informal meetings often over a coffee with potential clients. Early discussions carefully considered the problem and both sides pitched in ideas about how a given issue could be resolved. We then built a ‘slice’ i.e. a prototype portion and working demonstration of the end product. Even GEMINI, which became a solution for the entire Lloyd’s market, was conceived and developed in this way.
Building a working prototype with the core desired features following collaborative discussion is a proven model, and foundational to Ecliptic’s ‘coffee and a slice’ approach. This is not a quick fix, but a means of quickly demonstrating what’s possible with a working model of what the end solution could look like. This method allows clients to obtain a robust solution much sooner, mainly due to the speed we are able to build it and because this bypasses potentially lengthy tendering processes.
A more recent example of this approach involves two managing agents struggling with delegated authority-related issues. One needed assistance with the relationship management aspect, the other with audit, so we built both into the same environment. Other capabilities were also incorporated to enable them to register partner companies, onboard them, authorise instructions, approve their billing and produce performance reports. Having spent time with the client to gain a detailed understanding of the issues, this allowed us to put together the initial build, which proved the concept.
It’s fair to say, the time this took was a surprise to the managing agents as it was completed in under three weeks. It is also fair to say they were extremely pleased, with both agreeing it was exactly what they needed and wanted to know how quickly we could finish it.
Every experience like this further dispels the myth that technological change is inherently complex, intrusive, time-consuming and expensive. It’s not; the main barrier to achieving change is the lingering perception that it is. Ecliptic is challenging those perceptions and will build solutions quickly, cost-effectively and robustly, to pass the highest market security standards and also integrate with legacy systems if required.
By return we would invite market practitioners to bring their issues and challenge Ecliptic to build a solution and avoid getting bogged down in wondering where to start. Challenge Ecliptic, put the pressure on us and, with no obligation to commit to buying the end product, we will part build a solution to prove it will work in practice. Our previous solutions – LIBRA, GEMINI and Advantage – were all built quickly and robustly, and they all continue to evolve and develop. GEMINI now even has its own dedicated user groups (Carrier and Expert) so there will be a permanent pipeline of changes and improvements.
Like its solutions, Ecliptic will continue to evolve. Soon we will be announcing partnerships with leading universities and the launch of the Innovation Lab, a drop-in, collaborative space staffed by Ecliptic experts plus PHD and MBA graduates. This will further enhance Ecliptic’s ability to enable business managers to make changes, which may have previously been elusive, a reality for their organisations