How Atos streamlined the reinsurance process and built trust among financial services partners
Atos lauds Vendia Share’s low code development and distributed ledger design while celebrating the solution’s new single source of truth across reinsurance partners.
The business need
Atos, an international IT services consultant with customers in the financial services industry, needed to help their clients specializing in life insurance products overcome hardships around their reinsurance processes. With insurers assigning the liability of paying customers to other insurance companies, it’s not uncommon for multiple reinsurers to take on this responsibility. But, because many life product insurers employ legacy technologies, they commonly experience problems updating information across their multiple reinsurers. Consequently, there’s a lack of trust in each other’s systems, and partners suffer from the inability to maintain accurate information for assigning, assessing, and paying for liability.
Ben Murphy, Chief Digital Officer, Atos Financial Services, summarizes the problem:
“You never have trust in the data throughout the chain because you don't know what's happened from start to end. You don't know what the true version of the truth is because, in the end, you may not have seen the original data. And, even if you're in the middle, you don't know if the others are using the same version that you are.”
After trying out several other distributed ledger approaches, Atos eventually adopted Vendia’s platform, Vendia Share, for its real-time operations, developer friendliness, and rapid time to value. The solution delivers transparent data sharing that works as effectively on legacy systems it does in modern IT infrastructures.
The platform benefits
#1 – Automate and accelerate data workflows with easy deployment and minimal maintenance
Atos had considered employing distributed ledger technology as far back as 2019, but the company was hesitant. There was concern over the lack of in-production use cases from its peers. After experimenting with Hyperledger Fabric and several other solutions, Atos found there was a high level of technical competence required, which translated to burgeoning costs, time, and effort for implementations. These costs were considered prohibitive for many of its legacy customers.
“In a true blockchain, you need very good front and backend engineers to link all of the organizations in. If you have a consortium of three groups and invite another organization into it, you’ve got to tell your engineers you now need to code in this programming language, know these kinds of systems, and alter the chain code. That level of expertise is really high.”
Atos was immediately impressed with Vendia Share because of its ease of use. Early on during the Vendia Proof of Concept, Atos realized each organization in the chain could not only own its own node, but each company could also provision it as it saw fit. Moreover, organizations could query one another’s data via more intuitive frameworks like GraphQL, which was already popular in the reinsurance and insurance space, particularly compared to the programming required to manipulate APIs.
“With GraphQL, you’ve got the means of querying the ledger to understand what data is in there. Therefore, we didn’t need this high competence threshold, which became a lot lower for our customers. Because the threshold was much lower, it now actually fits their needs.”
#2 – Create a secure, trusted data ecosystem fast
The main benefit was enabling almost instantaneous updates of data for lengthy reinsurance chains while allowing life product insurers to continue to use their legacy systems—which is much more cost effective than a complete system overhaul. The single version of truth Vendia’s solution provides, has compounding value each time a member of the reinsurance chain accesses it—including flawless provenance for as many participants as needed.
By considerably simplifying the developer experience, Vendia Share provides Atos’s end users everything they need to expedite the trusted exchange of data. Now, Atos’s entire ecosystem of reinsurance and insurance customers can leverage swift transaction validations to ensure that assets share the same value among all parties.
“Time to market was actually quite important. We could have probably built something that was a distributed ledger, and we’ve got a couple engineers that would have loved to just kind of keep churning away code for it. But we would have been six months down the line and spent a lot of money. And we’d have to support it, as well. There’s a cost to that learning for what you get wrong.”
Vendia Share’s low latency updating is also ideal for maintaining information about customers, their property, and their life insurance needs. Moreover, the solution’s immutability provides data lineage; users can easily see how valuations and customer information has shifted over time, from the beginning to the end of the chain. The solution provides these advantages across a distributed data landscape spanning locations, time zones, currencies, regulatory concerns, and more.
#3 – Onboard partners transparently as owners without red tape
Additionally, Vendia Share allows Atos’s new clients and their new partners to join the chain easily, exchange their data just as readily, and review the lineage of what took place before they joined. Atos reports, now that each party can engage in data sharing while owning its own node without a centralized authority, there’s an even deeper sense of trust amongst partners. With customer support from Vendia just a click or two away, Atos now has everything it needs to accelerate the growth of its reinsurance business.
The business results
Vendia reduced the time Atos’s customers spent validating one another’s data, disputing specific points, and paying for costly litigation when disputes couldn’t be reconciled otherwise.
As Murphy attests,
“[Vendia Share] is transparent and the source of data is true; that’s the use case for us. You can try and solve that with other means, but it’s typically going to mean that there’s one person that has control. Distributed ledgers mean that the logic behind that gives everyone access to the data, which is distributed transparently.
Vendia Share also did much more than simply reduce the level of technical expertise required for near real-time data sharing between a multitude of Atos’s clients and their partners. In practical terms, Vendia Share substantially decreased the time to market to implement such a solution, bearing both quantitative and qualitative value in the world of insurers and reinsurers.
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