Nominations for the Sixth Annual Celent Model Insurer Asia Awards (2016 Awards) are now Open!

Every year, Celent recognizes the effective use of technology in the Asia Pacific region through its Model Insurer Asia Awards program. The nomination period for 2015 has already open. If you know of an insurance company which exhibits best practices in the use of technology, please click here and complete the nomination form. Submissions are being accepted until 30 October 2015. Through our Model Insurer Asia Awards Program, Celent recognizes the year’s top technology initiatives. Past winners include Max Bupa Health Insurance, Ageas Insurance Company (Asia), AXA Asia, Birla Sun Life Insurance, Tokio Marine & Nichido Fire Insurance, Yingda Taihe Property Insurance, Cathay Century Insurance, and Ping An Direct to name a few. Celent’s Model Insurer research is designed to try to answer an apparently simple question: “What would it look like for an insurer to do everything right with today’s technology?” Obviously, the question is not nearly as simple as it appears. The terms “everything” and “right” will mean very different things to different insurance companies depending on their size, the complexity of their operations and product sets, and their technological starting points. The approach that Celent has taken therefore is to offer, at a high level, some key best practices in the use of technology across the product and policyholder life cycle and in IT infrastructure and management that a “model insurer” would use. On the back of the global Model Insurer research by our colleagues in North America and Europe, we at Celent Asia are conducting an Asia Pacific specific program to identify the potentially unique “Model Insurer” solutions that have recently been deployed in our region. Of course, there is no such thing as a “Model Insurer Asia” — every insurer does some things well, and others not as well when it comes to technology. Therefore, Celent is gathering leading real world examples of the effective use of technology in the Asia Pacific region. These case studies are presented annually at Celent’s annual Model Insurer Asia Event. The cases represent key themes that Celent sees in the insurance industry today:
  • Legacy and Eco-system Transformation: Legacy technology can hinder innovation, since insurers must typically offer backward compatibility. Insurers must not only modernize, but transform, their internal systems and the ways in which they interact with a vast web of customers, counterparties and regulators. This theme recognizes projects related to core system replacement or transformation including policy administration, billing, claims, and rating/underwriting.
  • Digital and Omni-channel Technologies: Digital transformation is moving from the physical to the virtual world, from person-to-person interaction toward person-to-machine or machine-to-machine. Integrating and coordinating among disparate and silo-ed delivery channels will be critical to satisfying ever-increasing customer expectations. Using the definition that digital automates formerly complex tasks allowing them to be mastered, then reproduced and distributed at no cost, this theme recognizes projects such as online customer portals; industrialization of processes, engaging user interfaces, online sales with STP, integration with business partners, leveraging social networks, and the use of mobile technology.
  • Innovation and Emerging Technologies: Celent defines innovation as fundamental changes to products, services, or business models that break existing tradeoffs and provide value to the customer. New hardware, software, and network technologies feed insurance innovation. This theme recognizes projects such as the expansion into to previously untapped markets due to technology, the use of technologies not previously used in the insurance industry, or the development of an innovation culture within an IT organization.
  • Data Mastery and Analytics: Ever since technology began to be used beyond pure accounting in the industry, data has become a key source of competitive advantage for identifying profitable niches, managing risk and improving service. New external data sources, data derived from devices, and new techniques for interpreting data are pushing the competitive boundaries for insurers at an accelerated rate. This theme recognizes projects such as predictive analytics (claims fraud, underwriting, pricing, climate analysis), prescriptive analytics (triage, sales automation, ‘next best action’), and virtualization (dashboards and heat maps, catastrophe management, network analysis, geo-political risk analysis).
  • Non-core Implementation Best Practices: Once an insurer has designed its strategy and roadmap for its enterprise architecture, the next challenge is how to navigate a successful path through implementation and how to protect the investment in new systems it has selected. What does it take to safe-guard new investments in technology and answer the inevitable question “What’s next?” This theme recognizes projects such as the successful reuse of technology for new initiatives, successful implementation of a non-core system such as illustrations, document automation, electronic applications, or agency management systems, or finding successes in new methods and processes for distribution and sales.
  • IT Management Best Practices: IT Management is the discipline whereby all of the information technology resources of a firm are managed in accordance with its needs and priorities. While there are technology systems that are helpful in this area, the most critical elements to success are best practices, organizational structures, and corporate culture. IT and business alignment requires a solid and lasting foundation for IT management across all of the projects. Building a predictable and reliable IT management organization is the final challenge. This award recognizes IT departments for building a better organization and showing the success with the new methods or processes.
An important note is that a Model Insurer Asia Award is recognition of an insurer’s effective use of technology in a certain area or theme, not necessarily a statement that the insurer is absolutely best in class (although some may be). Model Insurer success highlights the insurer’s ability to improve performance and meet market demands when tackling issues that face all insurers today. To nominate an initiative at your company as a Model Insurer Asia, please use the following brief form below. Please note that vendors are welcome to assist their client insurers with their nominations, however vendors/suppliers are not qualified to receive an award. All nominations MUST include insurer contact information, and all follow-up will be done primarily with the insurer, not the vendor. Guidelines for Celent Model Insurer Asia Award Submissions This information will assist you in completing a nomination form for a Celent Model Insurer Asia Award.  Below are generalized criteria that are considered by Celent when evaluating submissions. For further details, you can also download the attached complimentary report: Becoming a Celent Model Insurer: A Guide to Celent’s Annual Award Program. General submission and award criteria:
  • The initiative has been implemented in the Asia Pacific region at an insurance company (a company that takes on risks under the policies it sells in return for the payment of premiums). MGA, TPAs or self-insured companies are not eligible for nomination. The nominated initiative is LIVE and functioning at the insurance company. Pilot programs are not considered live and in production.
  • The nominated insurer has been involved in the submission and is willing to be actively involved in the post submission evaluation process which includes follow up emails and interviews, and possible inclusion in the Celent Model Insurer Report.
  • Quantitative success metrics are measured and provided. Nominations without quantitative success metrics will not be accepted.
  • Quantifiable results from a pilot program are acceptable however it must be noted that the results are from a pilot. Full production results are preferred.
  • The initiative has not been submitted for another Celent 2016 Award, e.g., Model Insurer.
Quality of Nominations The importance of the quality of the nomination itself, and of the supporting information, cannot be overemphasized. The nomination should be as specific, accurate, and complete as possible. It is imperative that the true merits of the initiative be conveyed through this information. Keep in mind that in most cases those involved in the selection process will have no personal knowledge of the nominated initiative and will lean heavily on the information provided below for the information they need to make reasonable judgments. In some cases, Celent will check publicly available information to augment or substantiate the information provided. The deadline for nominations is Friday, 30 October 2015. Once submitted, all communication will occur between Celent and the insurer, however Celent will acknowledge the receipt of the submission with both the insurer and, if applicable, the vendor partner.

Innovation and Legacy Modernization in Japan

As a regional unit, Celent Asia covers all of the industries under Celent’s purview: Banking, Insurance, and Securities & Investments. So it can be a bit of a challenge when we put on a Celent conference in Asia to find topics that resonate across all these verticals. Our recent (and sold out) Insight and Innovation Day in Tokyo hit the target by examining two interrelated themes of vital import to many financial firms today: strategies for innovation, and legacy renewal to support these strategies. The event was anchored by not one but two surveys Celent carried out this spring in Japan. A survey of 1,000+ Japanese consumers initiated by Celent’s CEO Craig Weber suggested that highly digital consumers are the best targets for innovative financial services. The challenge, as this survey revealed (and contrary to popular belief outside Japan), is that digitally savvy consumers are still just a tiny minority in Japan. This implies that financial institutions in Japan must not only innovate, but also educate and lead their customers into the digital financial future. The second survey, organized by Celent Senior Analyst Eiichiro Yanagawa, looked at legacy modernization trends at more than 60 banks, insurers and investment firms in Japan. Core system replacement is in full swing, with a majority of firms either planning or in the midst of their legacy transformation initiatives. Significantly, survey respondents indicated that the primary driver for replacing the core is to improve customer service and satisfaction. Which increasingly will require digital support for the customer experience. In a word, innovation. These surveys were modeled on the Celent reports Targeting Innovation: How Your Customers Might Respond and Tracking the Progress in Core Systems Replacement (Global Life and Global P&C editions). We’ll be publishing our analyses of the Japan surveys shortly. This is what our team does best and, I believe, uniquely: apply our global experience to the markets here in Asia to help firms deliver value.

On the cusp: regional integration in Asia

It’s 2015, the mid-point of the decade and a good time to start looking at major trends in Asian financial services over the next five to ten years. One of the major themes will be regional integration, which is another way of saying the development of cross-border markets. There are at least two important threads here: the ongoing internationalization of China’s currency, and the development of the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) in Southeast Asia. RMB internalization is really about the loosening of China’s capital controls and its full-fledged integration into the world economy. And everyone seems to want a piece of this action, including near neighbors such as Singapore who are vying with Hong Kong to be the world’s financial gateway to China. The AEC is well on its way to becoming a reality in 2015, with far-reaching trade agreements designed to facilitate cross-border expansion of dozens of services industries, including financial sectors. While AEC is not grabbing global headlines the way China does, we see increasing interest in Southeast Asia among our FSI and technology vendor clients. From Celent’s point of view, both trends will open significant opportunities across financial services. In banking, common payments platforms and cross-border clearing. In capital markets, cross-border trading platforms for listed and even OTC products. In insurance, the continued development of regional markets. Financial institutions will be challenged to create new business models and technology strategies to extract the opportunities offered by regional integration. It’s the mid-point of the decade, and the beginning of something very big.

6.11.2014 Celent Webinar: How to Better Leverage Celent

Celent CEO, Craig Weber This event is free to attend and we expect you to walk away with a better view as to how you can get more from working with us. For more information, please contact Anna Griem at +1 603 582 6137 or Please click here for more information.

5.21.2014 Celent Webinar: Payment Systems Trends in Japan (English Language)

Senior Asian Financial Services Analyst, Eiichiro Yanagawa This event is free to attend for Celent clients, flex-plan clients, and the media. For more information, please contact Yuya Fukumori at +81 3-3500-3038 or . Please click here for more information.

5.21.2014 Celent Webinar: Payment Systems Trends in Japan (Japanese Language)

Senior Asian Financial Services Analyst, Eiichiro Yanagawa This event is free to attend for Celent clients, flex-plan clients, and the media. For more information, please contact Yuya Fukumori at +81 3-3500-3038 or . Please click here for more information.

5.15.2014 Celent Webinar: The Evolution of Insurance Aggregators in Japan

KyongSun Kong, Asian Financial Services Analyst This event is free to attend for Celent clients, flex-plan clients, and the media. For more information, please contact Yuya Fukumori at +81 3 3500 3038 or . Please click here for more information.

4.8.2014: Celent Webinar: Card Systems in Asia: Market Trends and Software Providers

Celent Analysts KyongSun Kong and Hua Zhang This event is free to attend. Please contact Marie Aquino at, +65 9168 3998 with any questions. Please click here for more information.

2.18.2014: Celent Asia Webinar: Trends in China’s Wealth Management Industry

Celent Analyst Hua Zhang This event is free to attend. Please contact Marie Aquino at, +65 9168 3998 with any questions. Please click here for more information.

1.29.2014: Celent Asia Webinar: Cloud Computing Strategies and Trends in the Chinese Banking Industry

Celent Analyst Hua Zhang This event is free to attend. Please contact Marie Aquino at, +65 9168 3998 with any questions. Please click here for more information.