Philip Smith, Product Marketing Manager for Duck Creek Technologies, shines the spotlight on why flexibility was a key driver behind Duck Creek Policy winning an XCelent Technology Award for 2021 Policy Administration Systems for the EMEA Property Casualty sector from independent industry analyst firm Celent.
Why do customers want flexibility in policy solutions?
Like any market, the insurance sector is constantly changing and evolving. However, swifter modernisation and more enhanced user experiences in other industries such as banking are driving the need – and indeed expectation – for change within insurance.
Modern insureds expect personalised experiences and insurance products that match their lifestyles and business needs; the days of one-size-fits-all are long gone. As a result, insurers need modern core solutions that enable them to build market-relevant products quickly, with less time taken up with ongoing maintenance and more time devoted to agile product development.
Insurers also need platforms that have open ecosystems, allowing them to build out complete market solutions and plug in to the most relevant options out there. In practical terms, this flexibility demand is met through the configurable, API-based core solutions offered in a SaaS delivery model.
Essentially, the inherent flexibility of SaaS architecture enables insurers to focus on building the right products, delivered in through the channels most preferred by their customers, with the ecosystem partners that enable them to make the right pricing and underwriting decisions.
How does the core flexibility of the Duck Creek platform benefit Policy customers and enable this?
Configurability is key to flexibility, it’s that simple. Duck Creek’s configuration tools allow insurers to quickly build the products the market wants, and empower more users to develop and maintain products, allowing for continuous product improvement.
With low-code configuration tools, product development and maintenance can be completed in a matter of days or weeks, compared to the timescales of months and years that we see with customisation platforms.
Flexible, configurable solutions also promote test-and-learn mentalities, giving insurers the ability to try multiple combinations of products and coverages to find the right fit for the market, and adjust quickly as the market changes.
In addition to configuring product definitions, flexibility is also needed when designing user experiences both internally and externally. For instance, having a solution that enables a product developer to drag and drop fields on natively responsive screens for different user types drives that personal experience for the end user. Also, having flexibility in workflows to promote straight-through processing improves overall operational efficiency and consistency with customers.
Can you give some examples of the flexibility of Duck Creek’s Policy system?
Duck Creek’s data model is extremely flexible, which gives insurers the ability to create standard and unique product combinations to offer to their customers, whereas some other applications have fixed data structures that pigeonhole insurers into the data model the vendor’s solution offers. In practical terms, this means insurers can develop various combinations of coverages across lines of business to create tailored products for their target markets.
In addition, Duck Creek’s inheritance model is a key feature of Duck Creek’s architecture in that it allows insurers to define an item once and use the same item across multiple products, resulting in a single point of change. Inheritance drives down implementation and maintenance time and cost by supporting a single point of change – and this is critical to getting insurers up and running as soon as possible.
What did the XCelent Technology award praise in terms of the flexibility of Duck Creek Policy?
In Celent’s report, Duck Creek was praised for its continued investment in usability and the enhancement of the Page Builder tool for user experience design; a key part of the flexibility of the platform.
Celent also praised Duck Creek’s inheritance capabilities and configuration tools, which are key to driving speed to market and reducing overall product maintenance costs, in addition to the continued expanded use of key features with Microsoft’s Azure platform, taking advantage of cloud hosting.
Additionally, Celent highlighted the expansion of our solution partner ecosystem, giving insurers more options for developing and maintaining their overall product offerings.
What do you think is next in terms of developing Duck Creek Policy?
For Duck Creek Policy, we will continue to expand our configuration tools, enhancing the overall configuration experience for our global customers – it really is an exciting time.
We will also continue to add partners to our solution partner ecosystem, providing integration kits insurers can incorporate in their go-to-market solutions, and we will continue to leverage more cloud services available via Microsoft Azure.
So there’s lots to be getting on with, but we’re really proud to have won the XCelent Technology Award for 2021 Policy Administration Systems and look forward to further enhancing and developing Duck Creek Policy in the future. Watch this space!