Desjardins General Insurance Group taps EIS and Microsoft to Deliver Cloud-Native Digital Transformation and Business Value

In one of the largest cloud deployments of insurance core systems, DGIG is transforming personal lines products and enhancing the customer and agent experiences

Like it or not, the business environment is continuously changing. So it’s no longer sufficient for insurers to simply meet their current challenges. For industry leaders, getting ahead and staying ahead of the competition, and customer expectations, is a must.

To accomplish all that, insurers increasingly are relying on the same cloud technologies as Netflix and Amazon to satisfy customers’ ever-evolving expectations, operate efficiently, quickly launch new products, and meet regulatory requirements. And, because cloud-native technologies enable them to scale up or down quickly, they can lead to resource optimization and cost-savings benefits as well.

Here’s a great case-in-point. An EIS customer, Desjardins General Insurance Group, which prides itself on its customer-centric approach, launched a major digital transformation in part to ensure that it stays at the top of its game in the Canadian market. Desjardins chose the EIS Suite — for policy administration, billing, and customer management — to provide the core technology foundation for its commercial and personal lines business across multiple provinces.

The advantages of cloud-native technologies for insurance

Desjardins wanted to increase automation, boost flexibility and improve process consistency to support agents and customers and drive efficiencies. The insurer began its modernization program to help it meet future market demands, not just deal with current challenges. The commercial lines rollout is complete and running on Microsoft Azure. You can watch a recording of this discussion below.

DGIG took a cloud-native approach to its personal lines initiative. The objective is to leverage the full power of the cloud to provide speed and agility and to manage the massive load of data and transactions within Canada’s second-largest personal lines insurer.

Desjardins deployed EIS’ fully cloud-native CustomerCore module in Azure. It serves as the system of record for personal lines’ customer information and is the endpoint for data from multiple policy, billing, and claims systems. It supports Desjardin’s mobile app and portals to give agents and customers up-to-date views of their insurance portfolios. The project is among the largest cloud-native insurance core systems currently deployed in the market. In time, EIS’ cloud-native policy and billing solutions also will be deployed. The program helps Desjardins stay flexible, speed products to market, and adapt to new ways of working.

“It’s important for us to have technologies that support agility, are flexible, and enable us to go to market quickly,” explains David Gagné, vice president of property and casualty insurance systems modernization and transformation at Desjardins.

“EIS had a more advanced vision on where it wanted to go from a cloud-native perspective, leveraging tools and third-party software,” Gagné adds. “We didn’t want to use the cloud platform as an extension of our server room. Leveraging services and platforms as much as possible is really the key.”

DGIG Partners with Microsoft and EIS

Choosing the right partners was a no-brainer. Desjardins was already using Microsoft Azure for its office suite and services and knew integration would be easy. “We consider both EIS and Microsoft as our partners, not just providers, and that changes the mindset of the way we work together,” Gagné says. “We share information with them. It’s very important that they know exactly what we’re doing, why we’re doing it, and in what order we’re going to do it so they can support us, anticipate our upcoming needs and help us be more proactive, which is very different in a partnership than with a typical client-provider relationship.”

Trust and cooperation are two essential components of any business relationship. But these components are absolutely critical when it involves an insurer-technology vendor relationship where the carrier needs to know its data and systems are safe in the provider’s environment.  Jonathan Silverman, director at Microsoft’s US financial services industry group, stresses that the Desjardins, Microsoft, and EIS partnership is strategic and cooperative, not merely tactical.

“As our partner, EIS has access to partner resources that help from a technology perspective and enable the solution. David has an account team at Desjardins that works with him regularly and can help him understand our roadmap so it then becomes possible to develop a plan to take advantage of these enabling technologies for a longer period of time of up to 10 years,” Silverman points out.

The pandemic changed the game

COVID-19 changed the digital game for insurance organizations, which suddenly needed to operate remotely. Carriers that couldn’t quickly pivot to a new model were caught unprepared.

Cloud-native platforms have the functional and collaborative capabilities that allow carriers to operate seamlessly on a large-scale project, even remotely.

According to McKinsey, in the wake of COVID-19, leaders must now accelerate their journey to the cloud to digitize quickly and effectively. “Cloud platforms can help deploy new digital customer experiences in days rather than months and can support analytics that would be uneconomical or simply impossible with traditional technology platforms,” McKinsey points out. McKinsey advises CEOs, CIOs and CTOs to coordinate and unite around the business-driven value cloud can bring to their organization. Otherwise, they risk disruption from more nimble competitors.

Cloud-native technologies provide game-changing business value to insurers. Moving core systems to the cloud with EIS helps insurers innovate and operate like a tech company: fast, simple, agile. EIS can help carriers improve the claims and underwriting processes, boost fraud detection and take advantage of cloud speed and scale, and resources. And EIS can also help carriers optimize and differentiate the customer experience and improve call center operations through better insights.

Moving core systems to the cloud can help insurers stay ahead of the game. And isn’t that what we all need to do?

For more on this topic, watch How the Technology Behind Netflix is Driving Success for Insurers.

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