Mitsui Sumitomo Insurance

Supporting the development of a dynamic society and a healthy future for our earth.

Digital transformation is more than mere digitalization. It encompasses the need for companies to transform their business by digitalizing processes, and visualizing and understanding the flow of people, things, and money. What's more, digital transformation is not a goal, but rather, a means.

Founded in 1918, Mitsui Sumitomo Insurance is the core non-life insurance arm of the MS&AD Insurance Group in Japan. The group commands the largest market share in Japan when it comes to non-life insurance and has a presence around the world, offering financial services in 49 countries and regions. Their mission is to support the development of a dynamic society and a healthy future for our planet by providing both security and peace of mind through the global insurance and financial services business.

Digital technology improves customer experience and operational excellence

Promoting digitalization is key to achieving the goals outlined in the MS&AD Insurance Group's mid-term business plan, dubbed Vision 2021.

“We are investing in digital technologies to enhance the functionality of our agents in an effort to improve upon the value of the customer experience. This is one of the cornerstones of our digital transformation,” says Shinichiro Funabiki, who serves as representative director, president and CEO at Mitsui Sumitomo Insurance.

Mitsui Sumitomo Insurance believes that improving customer experience and enhancing operations will allow the group to respond to changes being seen in the business environment, and that this will result in continuous growth for the group itself. They’re currently promoting:

  • Rapid deployment of digital technologies and analytics technologies: An environment in which AI and machine learning can be leveraged will be constructed through the building of a new, cloud-based architecture.

  • Implementation of digital governance: Governance will be established and maintained which fully complies with the ever-changing laws and regulations seen around the globe.

  • Generation of new business ideas: The hiring and training of data scientists and business analysts will promote leveraging data to produce a completely new concept of digital business.

Mitsui Sumitomo Insurance by the numbers

1.6T yen
Net premium income
Number of agents in Japan
Overseas offices

Data integration drives digital transformation.

With more than 180 terabytes of data, the issue facing Mitsui Sumitomo Insurance was not the amount of data involved, but rather that this data was contained in data silos, making it difficult for many business users to access the data they needed. Data integration is extremely important when it comes to digital transformation requiring AI and the kind of advanced analytics which involve automated decision-making.

Mitsui Sumitomo Insurance chose to go with Teradata Vantage on AWS, the connected, multi-cloud data platform for enterprise analytics.

“Developing a system to centralize and analyze data allows us to greatly improve upon the value we can provide to our customers.”

Shinichiro Funabiki, President of Sumitomo Insurance Co., Ltd.

Teradata Vantage on AWS is at the center of Mitsui Sumitomo Insurance.

The first step in data integration was to decommission siloed data warehouses and data marts, integrate data scattered across the company, and have the data aggregated on an enterprise cloud data platform where everything could be managed in a centralized manner.

An integrated data platform capable of high-performance, at enterprise scale, is required to handle the workloads, data volumes, and data types coming from various users and applications. While assessing multiple cloud vendors, Mitsui Sumitomo Insurance noticed that many were unable to offer expanded functionality to meet actual workload demand, meaning that the vendors would be unable to satisfy the SLAs required by business stakeholders. Future-proofing was also essential given that progress in their digital transformation means a dramatic increase in users, connected applications, data volumes, data types, and data sources.

“Teradata Vantage on AWS is great because it provides the scalability, availability, and performance we're seeking in terms of a company-wide platform for the utilization of data,” says Funabiki, giving his assessment of Teradata Vantage on AWS.

The advanced workload management in Teradata Vantage executes a large volume of complex query demands while maintaining SLAs required by each user and application, without the need to increase compute. Some cloud vendor solutions offer limited workload management, scaling cloud compute resources to meet processing demand. However, this approach often results in unexpected increases in costs. With its massively parallel processing technology powering linear scalability and advanced workload functions, Teradata Vantage on AWS maximizes the efficient use of currently available cloud resources to deliver excellent price-performance, future expandability, and predictable costs.

Combining people and technology.

Mitsui Sumitomo Insurance sees its agents as crucial distribution channels. And digital transformation has the potential to revolutionize the B-to-B-to-C model.

Insurance is different from general consumer goods, which can be purchased online or in-store without there being a considerable difference between the two in terms of the choices available. Insurance is a product that people purchase only after considering factors such as whether it really meets their own needs, whether there is any waste involved, and whether the accident coverage provided is sufficient. Therefore, appropriate advice provided by agents has a huge impact on premium income.

With that in mind, Mitsui Sumitomo Insurance has developed a sales support platform for its agents called MS1 Brain, which the company provides to more than 34,000 domestic agents.

MS1 Brain has four main features, which are:

  1. Forecasting of customer and product demand using AI;
  2. A Next Best Action (NBA) function which provides suggestions on the next action that an agent should take;
  3. Personalized videos to explain appropriate insurance plans to get customers aware of something they might need and for customers whose current policy has reached maturity; and
  4. A business management support function for the agent themselves.

Mitsui Sumitomo Insurance is also building a digital sales channel. This will mean that customers can purchase products online such as short-term travel insurance. The company is also optimizing its operations to provide support for the latest trends in insurance products, such as insurance involving online C-to-C transactions, which have become widespread in recent years.

RisTech opens up new insurance markets.

Mitsui Sumitomo Insurance is also focusing on what it calls RisTech. The company coined the term by combining the words “risk” and “technology.” In the past, doing a risk analysis meant visualizing the risk of companies or individuals, preventing accidents, and minimizing any damage that would occur when accidents do happen. In other words, risk analysis was limited to the purpose of supporting traditional insurance products and services.

With RisTech, however, the company aims to enhance its conventional risk analyses by mixing large amounts of its own data with external data obtained from client companies and other sources, identify potential markets in fields which were not covered by insurance despite existing risks, and contribute to the solving of societal issues.

That includes, for instance, natural disasters, cyberattacks, the collapse of deteriorating infrastructure, and the unforeseen spread of infectious diseases in cases where biotechnology has been adopted. Through RisTech, Mitsui Sumitomo Insurance is working to produce visualizations, based on data integrated in Teradata, pertaining to areas which conventionally have not been covered by insurance, continuing the company’s digital transformation.

Continuous digital transformation leads to the democratization of analytics.

Mitsui Sumitomo Insurance is working on initiatives to transform its business by using data in a wide range of fields, including in marketing and for the verification of the premium rates for insurance products. Mitsui Sumitomo Insurance's 14,000 employees and more than 34,000 domestic agents are working to provide products and services that will deliver both security and peace of mind to its customers. Data integrated with Vantage on AWS is being used to find the most suitable products or services for each individual customer.

Mitsui Sumitomo Insurance is aiming to expand data utilization to all of its employees and agent staff, and go beyond a limited group of specialists like data scientists. Leveraging data across the whole company makes it possible to approach and solve the issues being faced in each respective business. Furthermore, through various digital personnel training systems, the company is working on democratizing analytics by improving the digital literacy of its employees.

So, what is Mitsui Sumitomo Insurance's ultimate goal of their data analytics efforts? To fulfill its mission to support the development of dynamic society and a healthy future for our planet.

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