Michael Jackowski

Meet Michael Jackowski

Michael Jackowski is the managing director for Accenture Software and Accenture Software for P&C insurance. He is responsible for the overall business results, strategy and execution of Accenture’s global property and casualty software business, including the recent acquisition of Duck Creek’s software offerings. Jackowski has 18 years of insurance industry experience, specializing in the use of technology to drive business value for P&C carriers. Prior to Accenture, he held several roles at Allstate Insurance Company, including senior vice president of agency technology, senior vice president of agency sales and vice president of claims technology. Prior to Allstate, Jackowski was a partner at Accenture, where he led the creation and ongoing innovation of Accenture’s pioneering software product, Claim Components.

Top priorities for claims investment

Last week, I shared three business imperatives driving insurers to retool their claims systems. In addition, I hope you’re tuning into Michael Costonis’s series highlighting the results of the Accenture Claims Investment survey.

Priority 1: Core replacement

While Accenture research found that core replacement is a top priority for insurers, many are held back by their IT departments. Core replacement doesn’t need to be an onerous, all-hands-on-deck task. Today’s options include software as a service (SaaS) that enable insurers to upgrade claims capabilities without suffering downtime or the headache of a giant IT project.

Priority 2: Developing analytics

While most insurers are aware of the advantages of harnessing advanced analytics, not all are equipped to do so. Common stumbling blocks include data management (from both structured and unstructured sources), data quality and rules configuration. With advanced analytics capabilities, insurers can make better decisions, and improve their fraud and subrogation activities.

Priority 3: Investing in the workforce

Top priorities for claims investment

View the PDF.

Accenture research reveals that many P&C insurers have trouble attracting and retaining good claims adjusters. I’ll leave the topic of talent management aside for now, focusing instead on how insurers can make it easier for claims professionals to work productively and efficiently. For example, having a claims system with an intuitive, easy-to-use user interface (UI) can go a long way, as can automating routine, manual processes.

These tools can also go a long way to helping junior adjusters focus on the key elements of investigation and settlement, rather than administrative tasks. Especially where younger adjusters are concerned, having state-of-the-art tools that are compatible with smartphones and tablets can also improve retention.

To learn more, download Choosing the Right Path to Improving Claims Systems (pdf; opens in a new window).

Three imperatives to improving claims systems

I hope you’ve been paying attention to my colleague Michael Costonis’s posts on the recent Accenture Claims Investment survey. It highlights some fascinating findings about the state of the US property and casualty (P&C) industry, notably how insurers are investing in claims.

With that in mind, I wanted to take a step back and ask the question: why improve your claims systems in the first place? Accenture believes that there are three main business imperatives driving insurers.

Imperative 1: Respond to changes in business process

In recent years, insurers have focused more closely on cultivating flexibility and agility in their business processes. That’s terrific—but of little use if the underlying systems can’t support those capabilities. Sophisticated insurers recognize that their claims systems need to be able to move rapidly in response to changes in the market and, as a consequence, changes to business processes.

Imperative 2: Integrate with other internal and external systems

Claims systems used to be an internal capability, but today, insurers must be able to tap into third-party service offerings. And even within the same company, insurers might want to link billing, sales and claims systems to see the bigger picture of a product or policyholder. Many of these connections are manually made by adjusters, but sophisticated insurers recognize that their claims systems should be able to do this automatically. Not only is it more efficient, but it frees adjusters to focus on value-added activities, rather than administrative tasks.

Imperative 3: Allow changes in system behavior and business processes without IT intervention

If insurers are to be adaptable and flexible, and plug claims into their other systems, then ideally they would be able to do this without IT intervention. Configurable, modular systems are best suited for this, and many can be easily customized without the need for an IT expert. This makes sense for both parties—so that the claims function can adapt as necessary, as quickly as necessary, and that IT can focus on driving value to the enterprise.

Next week, I’ll share the top priorities for claims investments, as noted by our claims investment survey.

To learn more, download Choosing the Right Path to Improving Claims Systems (pdf; opens in a new window).

Cloud computing for insurance: Next steps

Last week I wrote about trends in cloud computing that are changing the insurance game. What does this mean for insurers, and what can they do to prosper today—and achieve a competitive advantage in the future?

Five actions for insurance cloud computing

  • Redraw the line between core and non-core capabilities. What is your core business? Can the cloud help you better position—or reposition—those capabilities? For example, advanced analytics, combined with cloud computing, can create high value in identifying customers at risk of switching carriers or flagging potentially fraudulent claims.
  • Lock in a network of business partners. In re-evaluating your core business, you’ll likely discover that you don’t have all the capabilities you’d like. You may need to partner with companies you didn’t previously need.
  • Create a data supply chain. As the volume and number of sources of data continues to grow, insurers need processes to ensure that all business units can create, consume and share data with each other. Industrialization is important for minimizing duplication and driving efficiency.
  • Look beyond costs. While cloud computing is typically touted as a cost-reduction measure, it’s important to see beyond the cost savings. Cloud can enable you to simplify your core architecture and build business agility.
  • Build or acquire high-octane data security. With the opportunities in the cloud come new concerns. As cyber-attackers become more sophisticated, data security needs to be an agenda item for the C-suite.

To learn more, download A New Era in Insurance: Cloud Computing Changes the Game (pdf; opens in a new window).

How cloud computing is reshaping the insurance industry

Converging technology, in the form of cloud, mobility and advanced analytics, are changing the way that insurers interact with their customers. A recent Accenture report focuses on the first—how cloud computing will reshape the insurance industry.

Trend 1: Real-time data collection

A shift from static to real-time data collection might be a game-changer. Auto insurers can monitor driving behavior with telematics, or commercial P&C insurers can encourage customers to use temperature and humidity sensors. Real-time data can also be a source of valuable unstructured data—and together, if used strategically, can enable better risk management and unlock predictive analytics capabilities.

Trend 2: Levering the full cloud stack

Cloud computing is often cited as a cost reduction tactic for insurers. It transforms infrastructure, computing and storage from fixed to variable costs, and pay-per-use enables the agility and flexibility that insurers need. More important, by linking multiple layers of cloud computing together, insurers can tune their projects up or down—ultimately reducing risk and driving innovation.

Trend 3: Increased customer engagement

Customers typically see insurance as something they need, not something they want. It’s only recently that insurers have started to change this mindset by focusing on customer-centricity. Cloud computing can engage customers at key points—enabling them to send photographs and sketches from car accidents, or catalogue their possessions for a home insurance policy.

Next week, I’ll share five steps that insurers can take today to establish a competitive advantage in cloud computing for tomorrow.

To learn more, download A New Era in Insurance: Cloud Computing Changes the Game (pdf; opens in a new window).

Accenture Software in the news

It has been a good and busy year for Accenture Software for P&C Insurance. Before we close out the year, I wanted to share a few pieces of press that we’ve gotten.

Claims Beat

Bill Garvey hosts a series called Claims Beat with Insurance Journal TV. Over the past year, Claims Beat has run an interview series with property and casualty software vendors. I had the pleasure of sitting down the Bill to discuss Accenture Claim Components and how it relates to our broader P&C business.

To learn more, listen to the interview.

Finance on Windows

Finance on Windows is a quarterly publication highlighting Microsoft technology in banking, capital markets and insurance. The magazine’s editor, Rebecca Lambert, interviewed me about the Duck Creek acquisition and how things have played out since then.

If you get the print copy of the magazine, you’ll find it on page 50 of the Winter 2012 edition. Or, read the article online.

New release of Accenture Claim Components

I’m pleased to announce the new release of Accenture Claim Components, our insurance claims management software platform. The enhancements will help insurers process claims more quickly and efficiently, and help them improve the customer experience.

New features include:

  • A pre-configured reporting database that includes more than 150 key performance measures.
  • Extended subrogation functionality that can help insurers better identify, track and pursue subrogation opportunities.
  • Additional “codeless configuration” features that enable claims professionals to customize the application (without requiring any programming knowledge).

To learn more about Accenture Claim Components or read the press release at the Accenture Newsroom.

Four New Year’s Resolutions for Property & Casualty Insurers (Part 2 of 2)

As you recall, we’ve outlined four resolutions for P&C insurers. In my last post, I focused on the use of analytics to assist in decision-making, and staying business-driven. In this post, I’m going to focus on the last two resolutions: enhancing customer service with technology and—an oldie but a goodie—driving out costs and improving efficiencies.

Use technology to enhance customer-centric service and processes

P&C carriers are selling a product, but it is different from most in that it is not a tangible product, but a promise—and a relationship. Communication is the cornerstone of any strong relationship and the one that you have with an insured is no different. Customer expectations are increasing. The level—and speed—of communications that they expect from the companies that they do business with has a higher bar to reach than ever before.

Modern technology can enhance that relationship, enabling more responsive customer service—including self-service capabilities—while legacy systems can stymie that.

Spend smart

When it comes to the word legacy, insurance companies shouldn’t look only to their older systems, but also to their processes. Outdated business practices cost money. Spend smart and channel resources effectively—people, money and time—and leverage industry best practices that already exist. Assess what is working and what is not, and optimize what you know to do things better. In the end, spending smart is about knowing what is differentiating and what is not, then investing accordingly.

Knowledge is power, but that power is only worthwhile if you capitalize on it. To rise to the top, insurance carriers need to know more than their competitors and employ that knowledge effectively.

Four New Year’s Resolutions for Property & Casualty Insurers (Part 1 of 2)

Like the resolutions you make for your personal health and well being, making the right business resolutions is an important part of the continued growth and profitability of your company. We’ve outlined four resolutions for property & casualty insurers to keep in mind as they drive toward profitable premium growth. These are:

  • Configure new capabilities and products using a business-driven approach.
  • Employ “rapid analytics” to make more effective decisions.
  • Use technology to enhance customer-centric service and processes.
  • Spend smart. Drive out inefficiencies and costs wherever possible.
In this post, I’m going to focus on the first two: staying business driven and taking advantage of analytics to benefit decision making.Configure new capabilities and products using a business-driven approach
P&C carriers need to make choices that will enable growth, but they can’t make the right choices without right the tools and information.

The customer is at the center of what drives the business, whether it’s changing demands on the portfolio of products offered, or the services and capabilities needed to support them. Understanding the market trends and reacting to them quickly are essential to success. A legacy environment slows you when you need to be nimble. It slows your ability to determine what to change and then slows your ability to actually make the change.

Employ “rapid analytics” to make more effective decisions
With the needs of the market identified, you then need the right information so you can use it to effectively make decisions. And you need the right technology to enable you to implement changes that are the result of those decisions. Today’s analytics capabilities can give you an upper hand. That’s how you can stay ahead of your competitors. With smart choices, you can exploit your strengths—and their weaknesses. With little or no organic customer growth in the insurance industry, carriers need to focus on differentiating themselves in the marketplace in order to grow.

Tune in next Wednesday, when I’ll talk more about the remaining two resolutions for P&C insurers.

To learn more, download Four New Year’s Resolutions for Property & Casualty Insurers.