Podcast 39. Insurtech as a Service (Part Two). Google Cloud, Genasys, Xtract and Hitachi


These highlights from the second half of our 8th July event address the question "what is Insurtech as a service?".  Matthew talks to Stewart Reeder of Hitachi (13:45) and three more of their partners, Damion Thompson Insurance Lead at Google Cloud,  Michael Flanagan, CEO and founder of Xtract (17:15), Craig Olivier, VP of tech stuff at Genasys (22.10). The discussion from podcast 38 continues about how Hitachi identify which companies to work with and how they assess them as fit for purpose to ensure ease of integration and value add for their Insurtech partners.

Google sees a lot of data. The Google Cloud team don’t have access to that data, but they do see trends. 15% of the search terms each year are entirely new, and customers are becoming more and more inquisitive and impatient. Damion talks about Google Cloud’s start up programme and other ways of getting involved with them. More information can be found here or contact Damion directly via Linkedin.

Xtract is radically improving the FNOL (First Notification of Loss) process. Focusing in on quick reporting and rigorous assessment of the loss, using telematics to enable the claims handler to get notified of a loss within 5 seconds of it happening. Michael and Stewart reveal how the two companies met and how they are working together.

Craig Olivier talks about what Genasys has done to be successful whilst operating in the competitive space of policy admin systems. Also, the benefit of having a REST API to enable full integration with Insurtech across the value chain and the work they are doing with Hitachi.  And how exactly did they set up a third party claim solution in two days?

Thanks to Hitachi for sponsoring the evening. The first half of the event with more of Hitachi’s partners, as well as Munich Re and Kasko can be heard on episode 38.

Listen here to podcast 39. It is also available on iTunes, Spotify and Podbean.


Transcript for this podcast

00:00 Stewart Reeder: Insurance companies had said to us, "We love what insurtechs are doing, but can we trust such an important part of our business to five people in a garage in Hoxton?" And we wanted to come along and solve that. You know, Hitachi is all about innovation.

00:19 Matthew Grant: Hello, this is Matthew Grant, one of the partners at InsTech London. And in this episode, we are bringing to you the second half from our event, Insurtech as a Service, that we held at The Steel Yard on the 8th of July. This is a fascinating discussion. We're looking at how companies are creating more efficiencies, are making it easier for insurance companies to work with some of the emerging technology companies thanks to Hitachi and their Insurtech as a Service solution. In this episode, I am talking to Stewart Reeder from Hitachi, Craig Oliver from Genesys, and Michael Flanagan from Xtract about their work they've been doing together. And separately, I also chat to Damion Thompson, the Insurance Lead from Google Cloud about some of the really interesting things they've been doing with their partners in insurance and some of the plans they've got for the future.

01:17 MG: So Damion, I've been working in insurance for about 30 years and my wife looked at the agenda tonight and she went, "Wow, you've got Google coming." So suddenly, either, she's figured out what I'm doing or she thinks I'm a bit cooler, but if nothing else thank you very much for being here. So you are the Insurance Lead for Google Cloud and we all use Google a lot, so we don't have to get you to explain what you do. But presumably, you have lots of data and lots of search information from all of us. Are you willing to reveal what you're doing with that in the insurance world?

01:52 Damion Thompson: Yeah. So clearly, Google sees an awful lot of data. Clearly, we do not have access to that data as a customer-facing team, so all of your search data is safe and private. What we are able to see is trends, and what we see is 15% of the search terms we see each year, which is growing exponentially, have never been searched before. Customers are becoming far more curious, far more impatient, and far more demanding, that's of Google, that's of what they're trying to ask us for help with. And the more we add voice, so the Google Assistant, the more inquisitive they're becoming. And from a Google Cloud perspective, where I sit, what we're trying to help customers with is, "How can we help our enterprise customers? How can we help our startup customers and everyone in between take advantage of our technology to stay ahead of where their customers are going to?" And that's super exciting.

02:49 MG: So for all the insurance companies that are wanting to work with you and understanding that you don't provide access to the data, but what's a typical engagement model that you have with the insurance companies?

03:02 DT: Yeah, so there's probably four areas. So the first would be, they're trying to solve for a specific problem. So it'll be something that they think technology can have an answer for and that starts within Google Cloud. So the customers will say, "We're trying to put in an AI machine learning model for underwriting or we think if we build a great solution out of a voice, we could automate part of the claims processing." So they're super important to us. We see those increasingly coming in from customers directly and from great partners like Hitachi. The leading set of customers are ones who are trying to build capability. So those who are trying to build development capability, agile product capability, they're trying to build data science capability, they wanna build new security capabilities or they wanna transform their legacy and free up a huge amount of cost from their legacy to fund both transformation and innovation, so they're the kind of buckets we see.

03:58 DT: In terms of how we think about in Google Cloud, how do I think about my business with hundreds of services and hundreds of partners and an ecosystem around it, as well as the breadth of Google and the breadth of Alphabet behind me. It's really about how are customers modernizing their infrastructure, modernizing their processes, and like I say, freeing up both funding and headcount to focus on transformation and innovation. How are they looking to develop new product? We help customers think about delivering great customer experiences, of course, within Google we've got well over a billion users everyday actively using our products, most of them not paying for it. For example, in Maps, we do 25 million updates a day to the mapping service just to deliver an even better customer experience and hopefully continue our loyal customer base using it and new customers loving it.

04:52 DT: We then look at data analytics, and for this audience that's super important, the amount of customers we see saying, "We really wanna build a data science capability." And one of our express intentions is to be able to attract Googlers who are, maybe bored with some of the things we've got them working on and working on some of the great datasets you guys have got. And increasingly, as customers get to know us better, particularly in the commercial space and in the large enterprise space, they're asking us, "How can we change our culture? How can we bring a culture of innovation? How do we collaborate better, both internally and externally?" So those are some of the ways we think about helping customers.

05:33 MG: Wow. Now, I feel I've just heard the first two hours of your presentation in one go, so I wanna come back to a couple of those. So you mentioned there, voice. When we were talking before, you said that voice is one area that there's going to be a big development for you. So, I guess there's a bit of an arm's race, is there, to be able to shout to your Alexa and say, "Alexa, buy insurance," and the insurer then kind of works with you to get the rights to do that is going to be the winner for voice. Is that kind of how it works?

06:01 DT: So, really interesting, you're talking about my former employer. So I've got Alexa and the Assistant at home. What we're really seeing, particularly with Assistant is asking more and more complicated questions, so more and more demanding questions. So the question, "Am I insured?" To Google Assistant get asked a hell of a lot more than maybe motor insurers would care to admit. Some of the ways that we really see insurers innovating is thinking about their existing supply chain and thinking about where voice is used in a pretty unintelligent way to make bookings, to handle claims processing, to handle onboarding of new customers, is, "How can you automate the outbound as well as some of the inbound?" And we're working on some really exciting first projects in that area with insurers.

06:55 MG: Okay, so a quick straw poll of the audience just to make sure you're awake again. Hands up if you've got Google Assist. Okay, so you've got about 15% of the room. So if people go back home tonight and... What should they ask Google Assist about insurance to get a...

07:12 MG: That wasn't in the prepared questions, so you can feel free to pass.

07:17 DT: I'm trying to think of some of the cool questions my seven-year-old son asks Google Assistant, they're probably not for this audience.

07:22 MG: Well, that's good enough, just channel your inner seven-year-old. Okay, fantastic. So the other thing you mentioned in there was commercial lines and we're always very interested in this location, what is happening outside of personal lines where we see a lot going on for consumer engagement but can you talk a little bit about what you're seeing on the commercial space or the SME space with your insurance clients?

07:45 DT: Yeah, yeah. So it's really exciting. So again, from a Google perspective, clearly the relationship is largely with BTC players, and it's very, very, very mature. From a Google Cloud perspective we've been investing heavily on feet on the street so we're starting to build the relationships, explain the story, help people understand that we're not ever going to be competing in any of the spaces you occupy. My sole focus is enterprise and global players and we've got multiple teams across four tiers. Down from start ups, through the SME Channel, into corporates, and then into the enterprise and global players. In terms of what we're seeing out there, we really are seeing people understand that data is going to be the most important thing about the transformation.

08:33 DT: It's going to be the most important enabler, whether you're getting insights about your customers that enable new products or also looking at new distribution methods and new distribution channels where again we can draw on the strength of our colleague in Google Ads to help people understand how they can exploit that or looking at the Alphabet group of companies and thinking about a future in 10 years time when those companies are really disrupting things like transport, things like health, city planning, when the internet is ubiquitous across the entire planet. So what we're seeing is the leading commercial insurers and some of the disruptors and start ups really leaning heavily into Google and becoming more demanding of us and wanting to exploit the whole breadth of the portfolio.

09:21 MG: Great, that's a good transition into the work you're doing with Hitachi, so perhaps you could tell us a bit about what you're up to together.

09:27 DT: Yeah, so Hitachi... Shameless pluggers that are in the room, they really are an ideal partner for us. So when I sit there looking at my businesses I've got about 1,000 different partners to work with, so there's an awful lot of passengers. Whenever we get anything in from Hitachi, and this is talking to my cell phone insurance, my peers across any other sector, it's always business relevant, it's always real. They always bring an innovation edge, they always bring an ecosystem of other partners to play and they're able to execute. And most importantly, for us in the cloud space, they've got the heft and the financial strength of such a huge brand as Hitachi behind them. And that's leading us to bring some real innovation in terms of being able to transform the legacy cost space while delivering innovation, so Hitachi are absolutely fantastic.

10:20 MG: Great. Well thank you for saying that, as they are sponsoring us tonight.

10:22 DT: Was that on script?

10:23 MG: Yeah. Hitachi are fantastic.


10:25 MG: Good, so one final question for you Damion and then we're going to maybe just a quick time for a couple questions from the audience. So if somebody out there has got a new great insurance idea and they want to talk to Google about it what's... It's a big organization, what's the best way to talk to you?

10:41 DT: Yeah, so I've just turned on the location thing on LinkedIn so you can get me straight away. So...

10:46 MG: There you go.

10:47 DT: Ping me on LinkedIn, go to our start ups or sales page. We've ramped up significantly the coverage both in the UK and internationally, but all free for you to grab me afterwards.

10:58 MG: And you do realise we podcast this so you're talking to a global audience Damion. So yeah, thank you very much for that offer, I'm sure it will be much appreciated. Good, now so we do have time. Is there any time for some questions for Damion?

11:10 S?: Damion, what scares you about what you're seeing in terms of trends and the future?

11:16 DT: I don't think anything scares me. The thing I stress in the customer base is everyone worries about talent acquisition and very few focus on talent development and training. And what I encourage people to do is to really think about how you're going to train and repurpose the workforce and get them more data literate and data savvy and tech savvy, and that's certainly something we can help with, we've got a number of partners who help in that space. So my biggest impediment to growth is having humans trained and able to take full advantage of the tech.

11:53 S?: Can you tell us anything about the Waze partnership with Alliance and how that's being executed or have you any insight on that you can offer?

12:01 DT: I can't give anything specific on that. What I would say is one of the really cool things we're doing with insurers is looking at how could we augment the products that are really already available within Google Maps with some of the other data that's available within Google services, and Waze is an obvious one, and you can kinda jump to the conclusions there. But if you got specific examples, use cases or needs, come and talk to me, talk to the Hitachi guys.

12:29 Audience question: Just a quick question in regards to partnering with Google. Do you mainly look at companies or start ups who come through introduction with enterprises like Hitachi or do you have any specific segments you look at starts ups to fill that R&D gap?

12:44 DT: Yep, brilliant question. So there's a dedicated site for start ups, again, ping me I can point you straight at it. We've got a large ISV and start ups team, big funding programs dedicated to those. One of the most important things I do in my businesses is work with start ups in the insurance space and the end customer on, "Right, how does this form a cohesive whole?" And the question obviously is, "What's your ecosystem with starts ups? How can we exploit our data with those start ups and how are we going to make it easy to take data that's already in Google Cloud and work with those start ups?"

13:19 MG: Fantastic. Damion, thank you very much.

13:21 DT: Thank you.


13:27 MG: Okay. We're now into the final session, which is a panel discussion. And we have Stewart Reeder from Hitachi, Craig Oliver from Genasys and Michael Flanagan from Xtract. Well, Stewart, we've all been hearing about Hitachi all night and now you can tell us what is Insurtech as a Service.

13:50 SR: Insurtech as a Service is, I suppose, an à la carte menu of insurtechs such as Xtract and Genasys and other partners within the ecosystem with enterprise services like those provided by Google as Damion just mentioned. And we industrialized them, we pre-integrate them, we test them at scale, and then we provide them to insurance to reduce the risk that we've heard about here tonight.

14:19 MG: So I think what Hitachi is doing is pretty incredible actually, because one of the challenges we're seeing in this area is how difficult it is for early stage companies to get into the insurance companies. Essentially, what you're doing is you're doing... You're basically, A, you're kind of vetting the companies and then you're, B, you're providing a means they can get out or get into those insurance organizations.

14:41 SR: Yeah, so there's a few things. The birth of this service within Hitachi, insurance companies had said to us, "We love what insurtechs are doing. Fantastic. They solve a problem. We see the value chain disaggregating, but can we trust such an important part of our business to five people in a garage in Hoxton?" And we wanted to come along and solve that. Hitachi is all about innovation. And we said, "Let's evaluate these companies, let's see what problems they're solving, combine them with Hitachi's vast catalog of intellectual property in insurtech, and combine it with enterprise services, such as Google, and bring them together and underwrite them for the insurance industry."

15:22 MG: And as we heard earlier, we believe there are thousands of companies out there in the UK alone, we're tracking over 500. Are you going after all, within reason, the companies out there? How do you go out there and figure out which ones you want to work with?

15:37 SR: Yeah, super question. I'll be honest, that's another piece of feedback we got from the insurance companies. There's a huge amount of things coming through, not just here in the UK. We work with companies in Japan, Israel, the rest of Europe, and obviously, with our innovation hub in Santa Clara. So we evaluate all of these companies globally. We separate the wheat from the chaff, so to speak, and we have a very serious due diligence, onboarding process where we do architectural reviews, security reviews. The most important thing is integration reviews and ease of integration into our ecosystem so that we can provide these easily to our customers as a service.

16:17 MG: Fantastic. And how transparent are you to others about how that works? Is that your secret sauce or are you fairly open about what you're doing?

16:25 SR: Well, obviously to our customers, we're incredibly transparent. We share our architectural diagrams, etcetera. Obviously, we're not reinventing the wheel here. Customers can do this themselves, but having Hitachi do it for them reduces risk and increasing velocity to transform their businesses.

16:42 MG: Fantastic. And in terms of your clients, your clients ultimately are the insurance companies, they're the ones that are paying your bills.

16:48 SR: Yeah, so insurance companies are our customers. Interestingly, I suppose one of the value adds that we didn't consider when we started on this initiative is the additional value adds we could provide to the insurtechs. So Hitachi has a huge enterprise fleet management solution. Xtract, for example, we can leverage that, integrate it with our enterprise fleet management solution, and it changes that market as well, so it's a value add that we can provide to the insurtech.

17:16 MG: Great. Well, let's pick up, Michael, what Xtract's up to. So, thanks Stewart. We'll come back to you before we wrap up. That was very helpful. So Michael, Xtract, you started the company a couple of years ago. It'd be helpful just to get a little bit of an overview to what you do. And then I'm kinda intrigued about how you and Stewart... Where did you meet each other?

17:36 Michael Flanagan: Sure. So Xtract is digitizing the claims process. So motor claims is kind of... It's been an area that hasn't been innovated on for a very long time, and it's still a lot of legacy processes so we set out to digitize this in three ways. The first is through a manual process where a claims handler can take the traditional first notice of loss phone call, and they visually rebuild the crash themselves on the Xtract portal to kind of better understand what happens, and to do things like understand if the vehicle's repairable or a total loss, what's the liability decision, and kinda make decisions as quickly in the process as possible. The second way is to send a link directly to the policy holder, so there's no even need for a phone call. And the policy holder can actually rebuild the crash from their smartphone themselves, and it takes about 60 seconds. And all the same insights are populated for the claims handler.

18:24 MF: The third piece, and kind of the piece that we set out from day one to do, was to be able to aggregate data from the connected car. And that means that when a crash happens and your vehicle has a telematics device, we can automate that entire process to the point where a claims handler, within five seconds after the crash occurring, knows where the crash happened, knows if you're injured, knows if the car is repairable, and knows all the information around the incident without even having to speak to the client. And kind of that's where the industry is going. That's kind of what we kind of wanted to set out to do from day one.

18:52 MG: And your background was in telematics before you set up Xtract. Is that right?

18:56 MF: Yeah. That's right. So, I founded a telematics company in Ireland five years ago and it was kind of from within this that I saw what the opportunity was.

19:03 MG: So just to be clear. So the third one of those which is, I think, where you see the industry going and I'm sure partly as a result of what you're doing. If one of my family is driving and has a crash and they've got a telematics device, then that straight away goes off to the claims handler, and that claims process is kicked off pretty much straight away based on the performance of that telematics device. Is that right?

19:25 MF: Yeah, absolutely. Obviously, the customers opt in for this process. So, for example, if you're a young driver today, you're already allowing your insurer to get access to that data. It's usually being used for pricing, but we're focusing purely on the claim. So when that incident happens, as I said, it automatically generates the first notice of loss, and provides the handler with all the insights they need to do to call emergency services, to make sure the right repair vehicle is brought out to the scene and kinda manage that process as early as possible.

19:51 MG: Fantastic. And can you talk about the companies you're working with already?

19:56 MF: So we're working with one of the largest UK insurers, and there's going to be a press release very, very soon on who that is, but I can't say yet or they'll kill me. And then we're working with one the largest third-party administrators as well. Two of them, actually.

20:08 MG: Right. Well, maybe one day you can come back and bring 'em on stage up here. And then how did the two of you meet? What was the start of this happy relationship?

20:15 MF: So we actually met at a DIA in Amsterdam last year, and Stewart was telling me what his idea was around InsurTech as a service and he was looking for something specific in the claim space, and it just evolved over time until it was ready to go to market, and we have just... We have been working on it for a while.

20:31 SR: Just on that, in the selection criteria for our services, we really do put a lot of time and attention into comparing what's in the InsurTech space, what's in the enterprise services space, and evaluating them against each other. And Xtract was absolutely the leader in its field and the same with Genasys.

20:49 MG: Right, so it was... We're you sort of good cop, bad cop. They kind of tore you apart and you made it through the selection process in the boot camp and here you are.

20:57 MF: Well, when you go for a large insurance company, this was like a walk in the park, so it was no problem.

21:03 MG: So on that one, so great, you've got a partnership with Hitachi, how does that impact what you're doing with other insurance organizations, is this an exclusive deal, or can you still work with other companies?

21:14 MF: No, yeah, so we still sell direct, that's still what we do. We still have a lot of direct relationships, but obviously, we found that when you're selling direct, it's a much slower process, like what Stewart touched on, the risk for a big carrier to work with a tiny start-up is huge. They're so risk-averse, it's in their DNA, so when a company, run off, we don't work, we don't fight people by the way, but we have a small team and by partnering with somebody like Hitachi, they underwrite all the risk. So now you're going in on the back of a big brand, the sales process it completely changes and you're meeting the right people, at the right level, and much, much quicker.

21:46 MG: Fantastic. Craig, you are the other fantastic company. Stewart had the choice of all of these people he's talked to and he's brought the two of you up on stage here and not only that, you've, well we've actually had Genasys up on stage, but we had Andre talking, so and now it's to Robin, so you and I have got to encourage people to listen to the next podcast of Genasys. So tell me a bit about what you do first of all and then let's talk a bit about the Hitachi piece.

22:12 Craig Oliver: Alright, yeah, so I'm Craig, I represent Genasys, and I think our journey started meeting Stewart and I think they were really looking to provide InsurTech as a service and having the ability to have various different puzzle pieces to tick a lot of the boxes in what an insurance company/MGA or broker requires. So from a Genasys perspective, we provide an end-to-end insurance administration platform, so that's all the way from policy admin, through the quote and buying journey, servicing, renewals, and then very similar on the claim side and one of our more recent interactions, I think as part of those puzzle pieces, was to do an integration with Xtract and I think we were quite proud to do that in two days.

23:00 CO: I think showcasing the API capability on both of the platforms. So, yeah, from a policy admin, claims admin, billing, document management workflow, so pretty much full end-to-end, but I think the key for us is it's all supported by a fully raised API, which allows us as a core policy admin platform to be able to integrate with the various different InsurTechs, in the various different parts in the value chain. I think what we found in the past is there's some great disruption around product, as well as tech, but often very difficult to integrate into potential legacy platforms, and I think that's where we see a bit of a differentiator is to provide this card-based solution that's supported by the API.

23:46 MG: So I just want to come back to that two days, so is...

23:49 CO: Woo-hoo.

23:58 MG: But just talk me through that, what was the start, what do you define as the starting point for two days, did you like... Did you met each other and you put a spec out there, or was it like literally, you first met each other and that was it?

24:10 CO: I think what ended up happening was we defined a use case and I think from two-fold, either somebody being able to rather manually or visually show what happened from a claims perspective and hitting our API to actually create that event. The other was to inject a telematics incident into the platform, which then triggers various different SIs and workflows in order to... For the claims team then to actually know about an event and really at the end of the day to try and simplify basically to be able to pay a claim in a much lesser time, manage forward, etcetera.

24:45 MG: Well done. Now, you are... What's the right way to put this? You are one of the oldest, most youthful InsurTechs we put out. You've been going for 20 years.

24:54 CO: Yeah, we're all... We're really retro.

24:56 MG: You've got... [laughter] Was that... That's the original, 1980s one, isn't it?

25:00 CO: Yeah, I've got version one.

25:03 MG: So presumably, well I know, you've been successful over that period of time. So why did you decide now was the time to do some work with Hitachi?

25:13 CO: Yeah, so look, I think again it's about building ecosystems. If you're just one thing to the industry, I think the more you can build together, the better. And I think our engagement with Hitachi was about being able to provide this puzzle piece in the middle of the ecosystem. And I think also to what Mark mentioned is the Hitachi underwriting almost of the platform, so I think it's the brand behind it, it's the due diligence that goes with it and it does open a lot of doors. And I think part of our relationship is also an SI capability, so by leveraging a lot of the other services that Hitachi provide.

25:55 MG: So that's a systems integration capability that Hitachi will provide you?

26:00 CO: That's correct, yeah.

26:00 MG: So Stewart, do you just wanna say a few words about what attracted you to Genasys when you came across them?

26:06 SR: It's really simple. We have to have a policy administration system, for most lines of insurance. And I had a history in that area. It's been a real bug-bear of mine for ages. I think I've been here and I've been quite outspoken about companies like Sapiens and Guidewire.

26:25 SR: They're holding back companies from digitally transforming at the moment. And insurance companies, as we've heard tonight, have to accelerate their process. And these new generation, if I can call Genasys, it is a new technology stack, we did a huge due-diligence process, we looked at actually building our own policy administration system and see if it was something that we should offer, but as we went through the process, we created a short list of companies globally, because Genasys was South African, right? And they scored incredibly high on our list of criteria. We went through the due-diligence process and we haven't looked back since.

27:04 MG: And presumably, just per your earlier point, this is for a specific client who was looking for a solution?

27:09 SR: No, it was for the ecosystem. So we have a mission to accelerate, as I say, the digital transformation process within insurance companies. Policy administration is a huge blocking point to that at the moment and it was core to us for going to market with this solution.

27:27 MG: Oh interesting. So you're sort of... You've got a combination of tools on the shelf, so when somebody wants it you can pull it down, but you'll also do some bespoke work.

27:34 SR: Yeah.

27:34 MG: And, can you talk about any companies you're working with, just now? In the...

27:39 SR: Yeah, we can't mention their names, but we're working with a number of insurance, within the actual ecosystem itself, we're in double digits on various different services. We're working together, us three together in various parts of the motor insurance value chain in particular. And it's going really, really well. Our methodology is, "We'll prove it to you. We'll open up a Sandbox to you in the cloud, you can leverage these services, try them out, set up your products, and we'll help you modernize your business."

28:14 MG: Great, and you're based in South Africa, but you've also now opened up an office over in the UK.

28:18 SR: Yeah, so we've had an office now for just over 12 months, got five local guys. But I think one of the benefits we have is a lot of heavy lifting still happens on a lower cost base in South Africa, but all the client-facing team are here in the UK.

28:35 MG: Good, I was just hearing those trains going over Stewart, I was just wondering if those are Hitachi trains with sensors on them.

28:40 SR: It's not, ours are not noisy.


28:45 MG: A silent train. Fantastic, well, just one final question on the business model then, so how does it work? Presumably Craig before you didn't have a third party you were working with, you're working directly with the client, does that mean now you could accept a little bit of reduction in revenue because you're working through Hitachi and potentially cannibalize some of your business?

29:06 CO: No, I think we see it as increasing. For us it's about finding like-minded partners that we can work with and provide an offering. So I think some customers would be direct, but I think even if a customer came to us and we felt the benefit of introducing Hitachi, absolutely, that's part of the partnership and I think vice versa.

29:30 MG: Fantastic. Well, Stewart, thank you for both sponsoring the event and joining us on stage, we've enjoyed having you in the audience and enjoyed your questions from the floor. It's great to have you up here. So finally, so anybody out there who wants to become part of the Hitachi ecosystem, how do they introduce themselves to you?

29:50 SR: So, connect to me on LinkedIn. One thing, well go to InsurTechasaservice.com, and you'll find my contact details.

29:58 MG: Tremendous. Okay, we do have some time for some questions, so anybody got questions for Stewart or the others?

30:04 Audience question: Hi, I have got two questions, if I may. First of all, Stewart, so when you're vetting these InsurTech companies, what criteria are you looking for? What are the most important points? And one question please, for Craig, which is, how have Hitachi helped you guys beyond accelerating this sort of directory?

30:35 SR: So, in terms of the vetting process, it's probably better actually if Craig or Michael talk to you through it, it's very extensive. We have a 39 page document, we are a large company, and we do have a certain level of bureaucracy if we're going to be underwriting solutions to such important customers. It's pretty extensive, there's an architectural review, we bring you in demos, we'll do a code review and a security review including application assessment as well as pen testing, etcetera. And ultimately, if it cuts the mustard, we look to onboard you.

31:15 CO: Alright, so I think to answer the second question, I think it's... I guess, a pedigree type thing. So it's really, I think about leveraging the brand and being able to have gone through that process with Hitachi. Obviously Hitachi has a lot of existing clients and relationships within some of the larger customers, and those intros and I guess with the relationships that we have as part of the partnership, that's where we've seen the benefit.

31:45 Audience question: I'm quite interested in the customer relationship side, and I'm wondering, is there anything fundamental you've learned from working with your customers that's made you think differently about your business model? So what are they teaching you, if anything?

32:03 SR: I suppose there's a perception outside of insurance, that insurance companies don't want to change, don't want to modernize. That hasn't been my experience. I find that most insurance companies that I deal with are desperate for change actually, they want to create new financial products. And unfortunately the systems and processes within their organizations are inhibiting them from doing that sort of thing. So for me, that's probably the thing that's not surprising, but it's frustrating actually, because that shouldn't be how it is. And insurance is incredibly important.

32:47 SR: We all need it, as Shelly mentioned earlier on, all of our businesses need it and we would like insurance companies to actually give us a better deal as a customer, right? And personally as well, like motor insurance, home insurance, and things like that. A usage-based insurance, individualized insurance and companies want to be able to offer these things, but they're inhibited, because of some of the technical debt that they have at the moment.

33:13 MG: Okay, well, Stewart, Michael, Craig, thank you very much, I'm sure we'll be having you back on stage in the not too distant future with some more of your partners. Thank you.

33:24 CO: Thank you.