Generali’s Digital Hub is pushing the boundaries of innovation

The Italian insurance giant was a winner once again at the Efma-Accenture Innovation in Insurance awards last month. We spoke with Michele Poretti, Group Head of Distribution Experience, to better understand how their innovation hub operates.  

Publish date: 30 July 2020
Author: Generali
Theme : Digital/Mobile channels

Creating a frictionless, easy-to-use customer experience is so important in our digital age. Can you describe some key elements of creating a new digital experience that is intuitive and works across the large geographical footprint of Generali?

At Group level, we have set ourselves the goal of positioning our agents as Lifetime partners to our customers. For this reason, several key elements have guided us to the creation of a new digital experience:
· Started by redesigning the distribution experience by listening to the needs of our customers
· Leveraged by a best in class user experience
· Designed experience through user testing, allowing us to receive real-time feedback to identify pain points and improve it even further
· Monitored effective indicators to measure customer satisfaction (e.g. NPS)
· Adopted a co-creation model, in which products and services are designed, developed, tested, and adapted in collaboration with BUs and customers in order to localize the typical aspects of different markets (such as legal, cultural differences, etc.)

Could you expand on the new agile methodologies that you used in order to develop these tools?

In deploying new agile methodologies, we have:
· Carried out co-design sprint sessions together with the agents and different local departments (Marketing, Data & Digital...) to define the strategic concept
· Delivered plug-and-play UI assets to speed up local IT development and enable local agile sprint

The continuous adoption of new agile methodologies allows us to:
· Increase team productivity and improve team interactions
· Prioritize activities and facilitate decision making
· Optimize features by making continuous improvements to tools with very short development cycles

How critical has this way of working been to the continuing success of your new digital experience across platforms?

The working model we adopted was fundamental to actively involve the BUs from the very beginning, and build a unique consistency of brand, experience, and service for internal and external users.

In addition, the infusion of new design and development methodologies in all geographies (Design thinking, Agile, etc.) allowed a reduction in time-to-market and local investments and the development of synergies across the Group.

Partnerships are so crucial to success in today's insurance market. How do you analyze and select partners?

In analyzing and selecting our partners we have relied on three key elements:
· In-depth knowledge of the context of Generali
· Global presence
· Experience on innovative projects of evolution of the digital experience of users

Do you have an example of a successful partnership you would like to highlight that has brought new added value to your customers?

During the course of the program, we actively involved our ecosystem (e.g. such as EuropAssistance or Generali Vitality). Moreover, we partnered with Accenture, which differentiated itself from other competitors due to:
· The long-lasting relationship in the digital space
· Its global footprint
· Both business and tech strategy skills that supported us in all phases of the program

Partnering with Accenture has enabled us to take a responsive, hybrid approach based on the best of breed open source frameworks and thus speed up delivery, reduce maintenance costs, and drive digital innovation within countries.

What is the next step for the Digital Hub?

Our future goals for the Digital Hub are:
· To complete the coverage of all the digital touchpoints (in particular for prospects and agents), also integrating new user needs related to remote interaction
· To extend the program to new BUs by adopting an industrialized approach that optimizes the Group's local involvement and leads to greater efficiency in terms of both local delivery costs and time-to-market