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How Guidewire is changing its approach to the market


September 10, 2018   by Greg Meckbach


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Guidewire Software Inc. is “not interested” in building a services organization and is touting its new analytics and data services group to insurance buyers.

The new analytics and data services group – formed after the acquisition in 2017 of modelling provider Cyence Inc. – could potentially offer new products that do not necessarily require customers to run Guidewire Insurance Suite, CEO Marcus Ryu said during a recent conference call.

Guidewire makes the policy administration software that many Canadian P&C carriers are moving to in order to update their computer systems. Insurance Suite can be customized to suit what a customer wants and is made primarily from Guidewire’s core products that handle claims, underwriting and billing software.

“There is a constituency of executives in the [property and casualty insurance] industry that doesn’t think about [information technology] a lot,” Ryu said Sept. 5 during a conference call discussing Guidewire’s financial results for the year ending July 31.

The insurance technology buyer “that we’ve become very well known to and very practiced to talking to … is very IT-focused,” Ryu said. “There are certainly business principles that are important in the claims operation or the underwriting operation, but it has a heavy IT element.”

But in the P&C industry, executives have more of an actuarial or risk modelling background, Ryu suggested. Guidewire will tend to approach non-technical buyers with a “data and market first kind of message as opposed to a systems and applications kind,” Ryu said.

Insurance companies are in “various stages of replacing their legacy systems,” Scott Heaman, president of Kitchener, Ont. brokerage Advocate Insurance, told Canadian Underwriter earlier. At the time, most insurers with whom Advocate placed policies were upgrading to Guidewire, though some are using Duck Creek products instead, Heaman said at the time.

Economical Insurance is one Guidewire user. In 2017, Guidewire announced it sold PolicyCenter and BillingCenter to Economical Insurance, with Deloitte doing the systems integration.

Ryu suggested this past Wednesday that Guidewire will rely even more on systems integrators (SIs) in the future because it offers insurers the option to buy software using the “cloud computing” model, meaning the software is installed on someone else’s computer.

“The cloud does not make [software implementation] magically simpler,” Ryu said. “There is a ton of work involved every time” a customer implements a Guidewire product in the cloud, Ryu added during the call in response to a question from an investment analyst.

Guidewire SI partners include Capgemini, PwC and Deloitte.

“One of the things we are doing literally this week is education outreach to all our core [systems integrator] partners to make sure there is clarity on how essential they are to the journey we are on,” Ryu said. “We don’t have the services organization nor are we interested in building the services organization it would take to meet the demand” for the integration work needed to implement insurance software in the cloud.

“We will rely even more heavily on our SI partners going forward to make that happen,” Ryu said.


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4 Comments » for How Guidewire is changing its approach to the market
  1. John J says:

    The arms-length SI approach is one of the very large reasons that Guidewire implementations are failing. Dealing with hourly “partners” with no skin in the game leads to never ending implementations. Subpar system implementations are clouding the Guidewire product. The issues we are dealing with trying to use Eco’s Vyne are like none we saw with the self made product Intact brought to market. Or anything else in the past decade. Total amateur problems with massive broker impact. Let’s not forget that Intact did claims centre than called it a day with Guidewire. Aviva did their RSA business than also shelved it. As a broker I’m hoping that CO’s start considering building it themselves like Intact. These Guidewireg implementations highlight the major issues with the base product. In the US it was only implemented in direct channels. Insurance here is much more complex!!! This impacts brokers in a major way. Spend your dollars more wisely.

  2. PBK says:

    Companies need to focus on connectivity instead wholesale policy system replacements. It is money better spent. The same goes for portals. Putting in a Guidewire or Duck Creek gets you net “0” for connectivity despite the mega $$$$ you invest. Companies need to think smarter on this. Unless your policy system accounting is not workable start building out your integrations and work with what you’ve got. Hire in insurance connectivity expertise to help you get there. Save money and actually deliver value.

  3. Ahmed S says:

    As a parallel imagine that a car manufacturer said that they were going to not actually service the cars they built. Fantastic gig for the manufacturer. They have no issues to deal with. They are insulated in their tower far away. Anyone signing up for this must be nuts.

  4. James K says:

    Vyne comes to mind right away when you read this. A terrible implementation. Basic stuff just not working & the integrators saying it’s to much money to fix. Say what? Brokers are directly impacted. I think this is the first real attempt by someone to get Guidewire to work for brokers. I guess someone over at Eco has a sense of humour. I’d got an e-mail this morning offering me a chace @ a $100 gift card if I’d do their survey on “How social’s your business” They sent that in the middle of this hole they are in with brokers as a result of the poor work done by Guidewires SI’s. Focus Eco Focus. I can and will put business with others if you can’t get yourself together. It’s not worth this pain. And nobody wants to use your’re broker portal!

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