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A joint venture between Ventiv Technology and Zurich is transforming the administration of multinational insurance programs. With application programming interface technology, Ventiv and Zurich can now connect global corporations’ risk management systems with Zurich’s international program management platform.
Application programming interface is hardly a recent technology. In the worlds of personal-lines insurance and financial services, API has long provided real-time data exchange between disparate systems at different organizations. For commercial-lines insurers, however, API hasn’t really caught on— until now. Thanks to a three-party initiative, Zurich is now connected directly with one of its largest and oldest customers, Nestlé, through Nestlé’s instance of the Ventiv risk management information system.
We believe API is the future for our large multinational companies and we want to make sure we continue to deliver and enhance this capability.
HELENE WESTERLIND, ZURICH’S GLOBAL HEAD OF INTERNATIONAL PROGRAMS
The API project was prompted by feedback from Nestlé, who sought a solution to data being collected and collated manually across many systems and geographies. The previous system was inefficient and opened the door to errors and individual interpretations. Moreover, the old system precluded Nestlé from getting a current, crystal-clear risk picture.
The idea of deploying API connectivity arose from workshops that Nestlé and Zurich held with a focus on lean process and digitization. The project to improve efficiency and ensure data consistency was born.
The three organizations set out to achieve three key objectives, which have been successfully attained. In brief, the objectives achieved are:
By sharing standard data models, there is now consistency in the information shared. Only clean data is now received, which provides Nestlé with confidence that data is automatically reconciled across the Ventiv IRM and Zurich platforms without manual intervention or the risk of human error.
The API retrieves data and ensures that information is shared between both parties. Crucially, the API solution removes any manual work in producing reports. It eliminates repetitive manual processes and extensive re-keying of data from data-processing and risk-engineering functions.
The API solution ensures that consistent, real-time data is now shared between Ventiv IRM and Zurich platforms. By having immediate access to claims, policy and risk-engineering data, Nestlé is now in greater control and in a stronger position to make decisions quickly.
With a clear understanding of the challenges Nestlé faced, the three organizations collaborated closely to develop an API solution to integrate Zurich’s international platforms with Nestlé’s instance of Ventiv IRM (formerly RiskConsole Advance).
The resulting API that connects Zurich platforms to Ventiv IRM enables real-time sharing of data such as invoices, policies, claims data, risk engineering information and more. The technology allows information to be exchanged faster than ever. The API solution puts critical data in front of users faster; eliminates re-keying errors; and accelerates the customer’s insurance management and loss-prevention processes.
This project was a first for Ventiv, Zurich, and Nestlé. It’s still a rarity in that it links a major insurer with a multinational commercial client through a RMIS. In the past, cost and complexity have been barriers to entry for APIs for commercial clients; this solution, however, is efficient and delivers a justifiable return on investment.
Nestlé implemented the API following a pilot program. According to Andrew Bradley, Head of Group Risk Services at Nestlé, the company has seen increases in efficiency, “Both in our markets and countries as well as at the head office. We felt that if we could get data directly from the insurer into our system, this was going to be a huge plus. One of the basics is getting the basics correct—the premium flows, premium tracking, claims and policy administration. For me, API meets those needs.”
Based on the success of the Nestlé/Zurich project, Ventiv is making API-based solutions available to a wider audience of Ventiv clients who will also be able to benefit. The technology is well-suited for multinationals that have international programs with a broad geographic reach and a number of lines of business with a single insurer. In a few years’ time, API could well be the normal way companies work with their insurers.
After a successful first implementation, Zurich is fully on board. “We believe API is the future for our large multinational companies,” says Helene Westerlind, Zurich’s Global Head of International Programs, “and we want to make sure we continue to deliver and enhance this capability.”
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