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Internet of Things, artificial intelligence, bots, Big Data – digitalization has given the world a number of buzzwords. But what does digitalization really mean for a global company like Allianz and its customers?
In an interview with Digitale Welt in June, Allianz Chief Operating Officer Christof Mascher dives deeper into the topic. Edited excerpts from a translated version of the interview:
Christof Mascher discusses the Internet of Things and Digital Ecosystems at the start-up conference Bits & Pretzels
First, let’s take a look at the demands of our customers: digitalization has changed their expectations and behavior dramatically. Customers apply their experience with other sectors to insurance. If people have access via their mobile devices when dealing with other industries, they expect the same when dealing with Allianz. Digitalization has changed a few things on the supply side within our own company too. Automatization has enabled us to improve our services and lower costs.This is true for both of our major business processes - the customer journey to the customer and the claims process.
Definitely. We’re still offering our products as we always have: via our agents, intermediaries and brokers. But we are also increasingly offering them via our digital platforms. The range of our communication and offers has grown. Nowadays, we have many different hybrid interfaces - a combination of personal contact and purely digital communication.
A digital ecosystem is a living system where technical components are perfectly aligned with each another. The Internet of Things (IoT), in its simplest form, is a network of devices that are connected to each other. You connect to them via the internet and communicate with them, creating digital ecosystems for customers. IoT provides many opportunities to set up cross-sector digital ecosystems. It is in the interest of businesses to connect their products and services in ecosystems to create a sustainable network with customers.
As the world’s largest assistance insurer, we offer a whole range of services that are closely related to insurance, but which aren’t actually insurance policies themselves. Today, these typical IoT services have changed, for example in the automotive sector, where we provide different tow and repair services on the basis of remote maintenance.
Our business is built upon a relationship of trust with each of our more than 86 million customers worldwide. This is why it is imperative for us to be sensitive when handling customer data and to stay safe. We also offer services to better manage private data and provide financial compensation in a loss event. The same is true for cyber security. IT-integrity is an important asset for a business.
The article is a translated reproduction of an article published in Digitale Welt.
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