eBaoTech and Alibaba Cloud Launch Insurance Cloud Platform
July 27, 2015
At the risk of sounding like either a broken record or an “I told you so”, it is getting to a stage where it has become almost mandatory in any insurance technology article to point out that industry analysts, financial analysts and even C-levels within all of the insurance industry’s lines of business have all said the same thing. This common refrain is either a call to action or a warning. However, no matter the perspective it says to traditional insurers that they must automate, and change their business processes and the way they engage customers by leveraging technology or perish.
In fact, there is almost universal consensus among industry observers that the time frame for current major insurers to change is very short. Disruptors have the tools and opportunity to significantly damage and erode both market share and profitability.
In many markets disruptors are already making their presence known. Plus, the tools for enabling them are coming to market quickly. A good example of the latter is the announcement that eBaoTech, the leading global software provider for the life and property and casualty insurance industries has partnered with Alibaba Cloud, the online Chinese behemoth Alibaba Group's cloud computing subsidiary, to launch eBaoCloud.
This is being billed as the world's first Internet insurance cloud platform. The new platform is being pitched as enabling insurers to "check in" like at a hotel and enjoy suites of standardized Internet insurance capabilities without the need to self-build or deploy their own systems. It was noted in the announcement that several insurance companies in China have signed up to launch insurance products on various relevant websites and apps based on eBaoCloud.
This includes Zhong An Insurance which is the first to have its IT systems built on the platform. Zhong An has set its core systems running on Alibaba Cloud. Of note, and representative of the vast potential for the Chinese insurance market, is that on November 11, 2014, during the 11.11 Shopping Festival, Zhong An underwrote over 150 million policies, more than the overall number of other insurance companies in China.
"eBaoCloud is a combination of Internet and insurance. It enables insurance companies to take on the challenges of the Internet age, shorten the process of product launch, manage hundreds of millions of orders every day, and support big data analytics", said Weiliang Le, CTO and general manager, Internet Insurance division, eBaoTech.
Rapid product deployment means very low cost of experimentation and market testing. Facing fast emerging market demands, insurance companies can introduce new products quickly and make strategic adjustments based on market response. This new way of fast iteration enables insurers to respond to market demand with new products the way the Internet companies do.
With a cloud approach, insurance companies can do business in a more flexible and efficient manner. "In the past, it took three to six months for insurance companies to launch new products. After deploying the cloud platform, insurers can shorten the launch cycle to one to two weeks," said Min Xu, general manager, Alibaba Cloud. "The development and deployment costs will be reduced from hundreds of thousands to tens of thousands."
Whether an established insurer or a possible disruptor realities are that the cloud, particularly platforms as a service (PaaS) as with so many other vertical markets is proving an efficient and effective way to increase operational efficiency and be fast to market and fast in the market.
Edited by Dominick Sorrentino