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EPISODE 9 Low-Code No-Code Platforms – A Silver Bullet in InsurTech

April 08, 2021 | 26 min 19 sec

Podcast Host – Madhura Gaikwad, Synerzip

Podcast Guest – Vinayak Joglekar, CTO at Synerzip Prime Group | Gary Kay, COO at Synerzip Prime Group

Brief Summary

Low-code solutions provide user-friendly interfaces that automate tasks, modernize outdated applications and integrated systems. They are, therefore, an effective solution for insurance companies to keep up with the pace of change in digital technologies.

In this episode, Vinayak Joglekar, CTO at Synerzip Prime Group, talks to Gary Kay, COO at Synerzip Prime Group. Gary is a seasoned professional with vast experience in the insurance domain.

Key takeaways from the episode:

  • Advantages of leveraging low-code platforms
  • 3 simple use cases for low-code no-code solutions in InsurTech


Madhura Gaikwad: (00:07)
Hello, and welcome to Zip Radio podcast, powered by Synerzip I’m your host Madhura. And in today’s episode, we are going to talk about low code, no code technologies in the insurance industry. I’m joined today by our regular guest Vinayak Joglekar, who is the CEO at the Synerzip Prime Group. Joining us along with Vinayak, is Gary Kay, who is CEO at Synerzip Prime Group. Gary brings a vast experience of working in the Insurtech industry. And today he will shed some light on the advantages, use cases and applications of low code, no code    technologies in the insurance domain. So welcome board Gary, and Vinayak. And thank you for joining us today.

Vinayak Joglekar: (00:48)
Thank you, Madhura. Thanks.

Gary Kay: (00:50)
Thank you.

Vinayak Joglekar: (00:52)
Hey Gary. Welcome. And I have a lot of questions and before we go down deep into the low code, no code area. I just want to understand that, you know, when you talk about inure take, somehow, I had the impression that we were only restricting ourselves to health insurance, you know, basically the provider prayer, and that’s the big one, but then I suppose there is broader definition of InsurTech that you have in mind. So, can you just draw an outline for the benefit of the audience to understand what we mean by InsurTech?

Gary Kay: (01:33)
Sure, sure. I’d welcome that again. Thank you very much Vinayak I for having me, if you look at the insurance marketplace, it’s a very broad and very diverse space. And typically, we look at it in three to four primary categories. First, as you mentioned, health payers. So, these are large health insurers. They could be association based, they could be governmental based, but they are focused on kind of supporting the health-related needs and claims for direct members and groups. The second are large life insurers and life insurance today includes a wide variety of different products from, you know, to difficult, you know, term, whole life, but also some very highly specialized unique offerings. From there you move on to specialty insurance and this is a, um, well, it seems like a small category. It’s very large, covers everything from title insurance to director and operators, insurance, et cetera. And then the last category would be property and casualty most are familiar with home insurance or homeowners’ insurance or titled insurance or automobile insurance.

Vinayak Joglekar: (02:50)
Right? Yeah. So that, that’s a good summary, not talking about the topic, that we have. So, the low code, no code technology that we are so familiar with, which means in my understanding, there’s someone, who’s an expert in a particular domain who has a good subject matter expertise, but he may not be a programmer and such a person wants to use this subject matter expertise to build a solution quickly without having to depend on a developer. Then he would be able to use this local or code approach to quickly put together a solution that works and he can actually deliver something that is off value to the end custom. So that is my very high level, 10,000 feet understanding of this low code, no code. Now in this, first of all, does this impact, now you talked about all these areas. Is there one area that is impacted more or is a better candidate for low code, no code at, as compared to some other areas like for example, life insurance, as compared to health insurance as compared to maybe property insurance. So, is there any specific area that is likely to benefit more from this?

Gary Kay: (04:13)
Yeah, I’d like to answer, speak to one of the points that you mentioned earlier than I can, then I’ll come to your question. First, low code has huge promise for the insurance industry with its domain experts so, those that are most familiar with their business can be significantly involved in active contributors to articulating needs requirements, prioritizing their requirements and even contributing to kind of building out a solution, but there’s still high value in, involving those from a systems development perspective, those that have familiarity with development methodologies and process, that will help to ensure a system that functions correctly at conclusion, and in terms of opportunities and fits within the industries. we have found basically really little to no limits for low code in serving the wide brand of, or range of industry three segments that I mentioned earlier.

Gary Kay: (05:23)
Typically, most organizations begin with a, a smaller, use case to kind of in essence, build expertise and familiarity with the, the low code platform and then from their branch out. A good example of that might be an insurance company that might have multiple legacy administrative systems that they have taken on over the course of years through acquisitions. Each of these admin systems reflect policy rules that are often difficult to migrate to a new system. So, they, the in essence need to exist in the existing, admin system. But that admin system may not have kept pace with business needs. And so, with low code technology use case might be to use the low platform, aggregate data from multiple legacy administrative systems, bring value very quickly to a customer service function, for example, while growing experience within the it and business area.

Vinayak Joglekar: (06:32)
So I have two questions coming to my mind. The first one is that you said, Gary, that you still require some inputs from a development team. It’s not just purely the subject matter expert. Now, if my, plain understanding at the layman level was that low code, no code basically means that you don’t need developers because they’re so hard and so expensive. So now if we are still going to be dependent on developers, then what’s the difference is a question that, I have. And after that, the second question is that you’re talking about integrating variety of administrative platforms and, you know, this sounds more like, uh, lifting and heavy lifting heavy, data work as compared to my understanding was that low code, no code would be something more to do with nice looking forms and, you know, things like dashboards that you can quickly put together, but there seems to be much deeper, heavy lifting of integration of different platforms also in, so am I going off there so first, let me have, let me the first question again, you know, why low code, I mean, if you still need developers?

Gary Kay: (07:49)
Sure. So low code, low code is typically can be defined as a platform rich in and functionality that with through configuration can be used to rapidly create enterprise level applications, right? And different low code vendors offer different levels of, functionality and capability. But those that we are most, experienced with are rich in significant functionality. So, everything from the ability to create user interfaces, to automate workflows, to automate more complex case centric, case management-oriented processes, the introduction of business rules, integration in many different forms to many different systems often through, built in integration objects or connectors, including artificial intelligence. So low code offers the opportunity to build a wide variety of different application types, everything from enterprise class, to, to the, basically the proof of concept, uh, example that I shared earlier, which was to basically aggregate data from multiple systems to address a customer service need, for example, they benefit from an IT, some type of it influence in that IT has significant experience with methodology and process, right? And so, you know, everything from understanding and reflecting or, or describing those business requirements in a product backlog to the kind of associated processes, supporting testing and deployment. So, there’s the benefit from IT. There are maybe instances where we have complex integration needs, in which case there’s also a benefit from having it involved, but the platform itself offers significant leverage to the product team, to the team that is seeking a, an automated solution to a business problem.

Vinayak Joglekar: (09:59)
All right. Yeah. So let me, you know, ask this question a little differently and dig a little more deeper. Now let’s say you are saying that you need some involvement from IT in terms of the model or the process that you follow in terms of defined the way we define the requirements and the way we manage, let’s say development, sprints, and, you know, users’ stories and all that in the edge way is what it sounds like is the main reason why we still need IT and it’s not just the subject matter experts that is well understood. Now, you know, the question I have is in IT itself, you have developers, you have QA, you have DevOps professionals, the variety of, roles that are there. And let’s say I don’t have a top-notch developer available for reasons well known, but I do have a couple of good QA professionals who have experience in the process that you follow in terms of defining requirements, getting users to re estimation planning, running the sprints and all that, would they be able to work well without any involvement by a programmer as such? I mean, they may be able to write script, but they may not be able to do hardcore object-oriented development with long running, core, typically what you can say and, QA who’s engaged in automation. Would that work, would they be able to do the whole thing end to end that you just described?

Gary Kay: (11:35)
They could make a significant contribution. I would still suggest that you kind of seed the team with someone familiar with the platform, and its capabilities, someone who might have built out, you know, multiple solutions on that platform to just, you know, take advantage of lessons learned and provide overall guidance to the team. But absolutely there’s significant opportunity for each of those roles that you mentioned to be active contributors and, and provide meaningful input into the, the development process.

Vinayak Joglekar: (12:11)
Right? You mentioned, you know, two things that kind of got my attention, Gary, the first one you mentioned was, you know, the front end, the user interface that you get developed. And the second one you also mentioned in passing was AI/ML. Now these two things, I have seen people spending entire careers, being good UI professionals or being good data scientists, right? I mean, you, you, you know, those people now, what you are saying here is that someone that you just described who has a good understanding of the platform can in fact do what a good UI professional, who’s been doing that all his life or a good data scientist who’s been doing all his life. They could be replaced by someone who has good understanding of this local platform.

Gary Kay: (13:04)
They, I wouldn’t necessarily say replaced. I think you will always benefit from that UI/UX experience. But I do, I would say that most of these platform’s ha are rich in UI level type functionality, that provide a kind of a dragon drop interface that allow you to draw from a, a pallet of objects to create a user interface. You may not have the, the same level of flexibility that you might have in some other technologies, but the trade-off is speed. And the fact that that UI is built on the platform. So, you’ve got integrity kind of in the platform on the AI machine learning side, most have some type of relationship integration. Third party engines might be Google or Azure, et cetera, AWS. And so again, you might benefit, you would benefit from somebody with prior experience with some of those technologies, the AI, the platform though, the low code platform, helps to facilitate and provide that integration and make, provide that underlying plumbing, so to speak, to make that technology more accessible to the application.

Vinayak Joglekar: (14:19)
Yeah. So, you know, so now I’m kind of, you know, trying to paint a picture in my mind, Gary, of, you know, a likely project and I see a domain expert or a subject matter expert as a main persona who’s kind of defining the problem and the kind solution and then there is, somebody who is a deep expertise. Who’s done this kind of thing before, using the low code platform. And then he’s the second person who’s guiding the team. And then there is a team consisting of, you know, professionals who could be good at the agile development life cycle, maybe from automation, scripting angle, from QSI, or maybe a developer who’s good at some programming language and a combination of these, would kind of deliver. I would be able to come briefly wrap my head around this, if you just describe a successful project so that, you know, you can touch upon how it is different from a regular software development project in terms of timelines, in terms of the way we run those projects, requirements, definition to testing and all that. So, can you just describe a use case or a particular project that you have atypical one?

Gary Kay: (15:38)
Yeah. Oh, well, it’s hard to kind of identify atypical one, but let me give you three kinds of what I often refer to as macro use cases for this technology ways that you can leverage low code for the benefit of your business. The first are building out enterprise class applications, right? So, while the platforms vary, those that we are associated with have kind of what we refer to as a, the full stack, right? Has everything necessary to build out a customer facing, a user facing application, everything from user interface to business process management, to business rules, to case centric capabilities, to content document management, and then third-party connectors that allow you to extend to other applications with their legacy or commercial. So, you can build out very rapid order, full scale enterprise applications. You can also use low code to compliment an existing system that you might have.

Gary Kay: (16:42)
For example, the advent of COVID 19, we’re now faced with the challenge of bringing our employees, our team members back to work well, there are very, very few systems support that functionality. We all have human resource management systems, but nothing that says, or that captures information associated with somebody’s health wellbeing, their ability to return to work their when they do return to work, where are they working, et cetera, and tracing that information. With low code, we can essentially complement our human resource system with that additional functionality in very short order. And then the third macro use cases is we may have a, a business function that relies on 2, 3, 4 other systems could be admin systems, claim systems, you know, internally developed systems, whatever. But with the low code capability, we can essence kind of orchestrate the process that involves those three or four systems.

Gary Kay: (17:49)
So I shared earlier a, a use case that many have, begun their low code journey with, which is really aggregating data. One, large insurance company grew through acquisition. So, over the course of time, they acquired something in neighbourhood of 22 different policy admin systems. And again, each of those policy admin systems reflects client or member data. It reflects the nature of the policy, the associated rules of that policy, and many of these systems are very expensive and complicated to migrate. So, what this organization elected to do is to retain these legacy systems, but to use low code to in essence capture information, member information from each of these 22, legacy policy admin systems, and present those, on a single pane of glass to their customers service function. So, in essence, simplifying and bringing value to the business while managing risk and cost technology side, we also have clients that are frustrated with, the functionality that’s available in today’s kind of commercially off the shelf package software. In many cases, those packages were built based on requirements of a client somewhere sometime, but they may not reflect your needs. In which case you’re looking for something that might best fit, your functional requirements. And that’s a great opportunity for low code. So, with low code, you can cost effective, provide a highly tailored solution that specifically addresses, you know, a client’s or organization’s needs in a, in again, in a very cost-effective manner.

Vinayak Joglekar: (19:41)
Right? Yeah. So, these, this is a good description. And for any application that I would say that requires integration of, different kind of, of platforms at enterprise level and applying, business processes and rules, and then, you know, bringing it all together to make sense, bringing uniformity to the variety, that variety could be a reason of multiple, acquisitions, or it could be a reason, you know, different brands of software got bought or different packages or solutions were bought by different people at different points in time. And finally, you are, having left holding this, and then you wonder what, how we can bring it all together. And that’s when you would reach out to, so this is very powerful, you know, to utilize and quickly bring it all to one level where you can take a look at it coming from different levels in time and complexity.

Vinayak Joglekar: (20:45)
So that is a good summary. Now I have one question that, you know, when we start anything of this nature in the traditional, we, we thought about whether it is, enterprise or the complement or the orchestration kind of use case. We need some kind of architecture we have some kind of best practices we have design patterns that have evolved over the years and, you know, we need some level of, you know, you have some picture, some diagram and then an architect can walk through those and tell how you going to accomplish that to a probable developer. So, you do have some such an involvement by an architect level person.

Gary Kay: (21:31)
Absolutely. So, when we move forward with a client, we follow an agile methodology, very similar to, you know, traditional or, you know, conventional agile methodology, and the team benefits from an architect level person. It may be from an outside, you know, consultant such as ourselves or perhaps the platform vendor, but there’s high value in having experience on the team. Typically, our experiences that these are smaller teams typically, you know, less than 10 people from a peer development perspective who can accomplish significant results in, in very short order.

Vinayak Joglekar: (22:16)
So if you were to compare, right, I mean, you’re saying 10 people doing something significant. If you were to compare, given your experience the same thing with the traditional approach, how many people would it take to do what these 10 people you just said would do?

Gary Kay: (22:33)
It could easily be twice to three times that size, you know, again, depending on the nature of the application, go put the application. It could be, you know, double to three times that size we’ve got a team, highly experienced developers. I mean, it’s not, I think our average tenure is roughly 15 years of professional experience. And when they first started looking at low code technologies, they were a bit sceptical. They were, you know, largely thought it might be the, you know, the latest, bright, shiny object, but that it might it’s, you know, it might be constrained or, or, you know, be simple, maybe useful in creating simplified applications, but more complex enterprise applications might be out of reach. And what I’ve seen is that those people are now the strongest proponents for it because what they’re now capable of doing is delivering high value in very short order, much of the, the tedious work, necessary to create functionality is provided for them out of a platform. And they now can focus on how best to address a business need and extending further how best to integrate with other systems. So, yeah.

Vinayak Joglekar: (23:51)
I, I can totally understand because, you know, having this short interaction of half an hour, I myself, was having some reservation and you have more than being able to address Gary. So, I can understand someone who’s sceptical, how they turned out to be advocates for low code, no code. And I can totally understand that. So Gary, uh, you know, as, we are coming to an end of this, is there something that Gary, uh, you wanted me to ask, a question and that I didn’t ask in this.

Gary Kay: (24:27)
You know, I think the big question for, for many organizations is, well, this is promising in interesting, but how do I begin and how do I understand how this fits within my organization, right? It’s the, it’s the age-old IT question? How does this fit my environment, how do I begin or that I would encourage listeners to take a look at what the analysts are saying, take a look at what each, low code vendor offers. I know we partner with, and the industry leader in this space, and it’s amazing how my knowledge transfer train type sessions are available online for free to become familiar with take advantage of opportunities, to use a vendor’s product in a trial setting and look to a partner like Synerzip Prime who can quickly, help you understand, and the capabilities and power of this amazing technology.

Vinayak Joglekar: (25:30)
Wonderful. So, this is, you know, a good, advice to those who are kind of, sitting on the fence and wondering whether it would work in their organizations. So, this is a good indication of the first few steps that they can take. Very useful advice. Thanks a lot, Gary. Thanks for coming here and, you know, sharing all this information so valuable, so helpful. Thank you again.

Gary Kay: (25:58)
Well, thank you very much, Vinayak for having me. This has been, interesting conversation.

Madhura Gaikwad: (26:04)
And thank you everyone for joining us today. If you are looking to accelerate your product roadmap, visit our website, for more information, stay tuned to future episodes for more insights on technology and agile trends. Thank you.

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