"Our focus is to be recognized as a 100%-digital insurer"

Monday, April 10, 2017

Tokio Marine wants to keep pace with the de-intermediation, or so-called Uberization, of insurance, and that's why it's going 100% digital.

BNamericas spoke about the insurer's IT investments and digital transformation with Adilson Lavrador, its executive director of operations, technology and claims.

BNamericas: Tokio Marine maintained the same IT and innovation capex in Brazil last year despite the economic crisis. Where did you invest?

Lavrador: Yes, but what happens is that there is a lot of investment diluted across the years, carry-over. Some projects are dropped, others are included. The 100mn-real (US$32mn) investment benchmark preserved from 2015 to 2016, in general, relates to opex and capex.  

At Tokio Marine, technology is internally-developed. We develop everything in-house. We only use certain outsourcing IT services for specifics processes.

For 2017, one of our major projects is our datacenter. In 2011, we did the "internalization" of our data, buying all the machines that were in charge of an outsourced company and putting it all it in here at Tokio Marine, maintaining a backup site. We also maintain collocation agreement with Embratel.

What happens is that it's been five years already, this equipment depreciated and we would have to do the maintenance. So we decided to renew the entire infrastructure in 2017, while at the same time tripling the processing and storage capacity. The hosted equipment at Embratel will also be replaced. We will renew the three sites.

BNamericas: Did you hold a tender, a RFP, for this renewal? Or are you keeping the same providers?

Lavrador: We've done an RFP but we're going to work with the same vendors, which are the default vendors for these technologies: Dell servers and EMC storage.

We're tripling our infra tech park with a smaller dollar investment compared to six years ago.

BNamericas: How big is your staff and what share of the group's total revenues goes to IT?

Lavrador: I have 152 professionals working with me: systems, infra, telecom, security and a group of outsourced for help desk, field service.

The USS100mn represent a ratio of 2.6% of the company's net premiums.

BNmericas: Can you explain this multi-calculus system implemented in 2016?

Lavrador: The broker has his own system. Instead of having to access Tokio Marine's system to input information and do a calculation, he does it through his own system, which then 'calls' Tokio Marine's.

We also invested a lot in solutions for the broker, so that its work can be done more efficiently.

Tokio Marine then sends the calculus back with the value of the insurance quote. This is all performed in an integrated manner.

BNamericas: You've mentioned the datacenter revamp and expansion as a key project. Any other projects for this year?

Lavrador: We want to be where our insurers and our brokers are. I don't want our agent referring to me through a single channel, which is a browser on the internet. Whether it's on Facebook, a browser, WhatsApp, I'm going to be there. We will invest in multi-channel solutions and accessibility.

We developed an intelligent chatbot, called Marina, which is already responsible for solving 43% of the customer service requests submitted via chat. It's not yet artificial intelligence, because Marina still needs to respond to more complex situations and understand context. But it will be. We are testing IBM's Watson, Einstein and related platforms.

We carry out an average of 45 different IT and tech projects a year. Last year, we implemented 320 new processes.

In IoT, we are studying using beacons [devices that transmit data and identification via Bluetooth wireless] for telemetry to monitor trucks, to know how that driver is performing. It's been in use by our parent in Japan already and we're currently examining its implementation here in Brazil.

Our main focus is to be recognized as a 100% digital insurance company, always going through the broker.