Just about everyone has learned more than they ever expected or wanted to about Teams, Zoom, Google Hangouts, Houseparty and the like. Our business carries on normally. Here's what happened in April at Sentro.
Has COVID-19 solved the advice problem?
Our friend Tony Vidler shared this great Financial Standard article on his LinkedIn feed.
The article makes the argument that the sudden and global move to remote videoconferencing has made the academic debate around 'robo-advice' somewhat moot. In practice, advisers and customers are suddenly using online collaboration tools to get business discussed and done. There is little doubt that this way of working will become an immediate customer service expectation, even after the pandemic has passed.
Making collaboration between insurer, broker, employer and employee easy and effective is central to our Sentro proposition. Group insurance and group benefits is a team sport. Online video collaboration and screen sharing is how this sport will be played. We're delighted about this new way of working, and we can enable your insurance business to offer it.
What we are working on
It has been an interesting month! Business activity has certainly slowed, as many businesses are in crisis management mode. However, we are seeing signs of a return to more normal business operations, albeit a new normal around the needs of altered ways of doing business. We are still talking to customers with active projects and active plans.
We have also had great discussions with potential partners. Our sense is there will be much more appetite for 'operations as a service' - but not the traditional TPA model where the customer gets locked in and loses control of the ability to innovate themselves. If you are interested in a model where someone else provides your group admin technology and runs your group operations, but with a path to you taking those functions back in-house when you want to, please contact us for a chat.
On the product side, we are working on our quotation functionality. As part of that, we are learning more and more about the powerful business process and workflow capabilities in the Microsoft Power Platform suite. Most notably, Power Automate (formerly Microsoft Flow) and Power Apps.
Says co-founder Hans Frauenlob "We know that every customer handles the approval process around quotation, bind and issue a little differently. So in Sentro we host the core group case information, and enable workflow tools like Power Automate to let our customers design process and approval flows that are specific to them. Combined with our rich API stack, this design approach also lets us integrate more easily with other software products that specialize in the quotation and enrollment phase of group business".
In April 2019, we launched Sentro. We felt that the insurance world was ready for a cloud-native, easy to configure and integrate group policy administration solution.
One year in, we are more convinced of that than ever. We've met prospective customers from around the world. We've formed partnerships. We've met investors. The message is clear . An industry that has talked about modernization for years, is now acting.
COVID-19 has only accelerated that change imperative. Insurers suddenly thrust into fully remote operations without modern technology suddenly lost contact with their selling partners and customers. If there was any doubt at all about a cloud-native platform being the right architecture for collaboration, COVID-19 has dealt with that doubt.
We wanted to throw a birthday party with a cake, and invite our Sentro friends and family. In lockdown, that isn't going to happen. So we're planning a little online party instead. Keep an eye on our LinkedIn page or our Twitter feed for details (and please give us a follow while you're there - thank you!)