By Eileen Potter, Vice President of Insurance Marketing at Smart Communications
Guidewire Connections 2023 was an amazing experience, once again raising the bar for an industry conference. We enjoyed three days of conversations with customers, prospects, analysts, and partners, along with inspiring keynotes and a lot learning.
There were too many great moments to mention them all here, but some personal highlights were moderating a panel with Shawn Antao from EY and Karen Hopkins-Lee from Premier Insurance, presenting in the Demo Theater with my colleague Andrew Cortright, and seeing our customer Tim Hays from Mountain West Farm Bureau onstage with Guidewire’s Daniele Groves, talking about how to strategically build your Guidewire ecosystem.
It's never easy to narrow down the highlights from such an event, but here are the 5 things that resonated with me:
1. Innovation Takes Center Stage
Guidewire Connections 2023 wasn't just a conference; it was a showcase of innovation at its finest. From cutting-edge technologies to cutting-edge business models, the event was a testament to the industry's commitment to staying ahead of the curve.
2. Digital Transformation Accelerated
We all knew that digital transformation was the name of the game, but at Guidewire Connections, things shifted into high gear. Insurers are not just dipping their toes into the digital waters; they're diving in headfirst. The buzzword of the moment? AI, of course. But what impressed me the most was how insurers are more open to creating a technology ecosystem that will enable them to scale – and, keep them agile for future change. Innovation is now firmly integrated into the industry's DNA.
3. Customer-Centricity Reigns Supreme
No surprises here – customer-centricity continues to be the Holy Grail of the insurance industry. But what stood out at Guidewire Connections was the genuine commitment to putting customers at the heart of every decision. Insurers are no longer just service providers; they're experience creators. The focus on personalized, frictionless customer journeys left me feeling optimistic about the future of insurance.
4. Data, Data, Data: The New Currency
The emphasis on data analytics and insights was impossible to ignore. Insurers are not just collecting data; they're leveraging it to drive strategic decision-making. The shift from reactive to proactive risk management is real, and it's powered by the mountains of data being generated and analyzed within the industry.
5. Collaboration is Key
The theme for the conference was the Power of Community, and in the spirit of "we're all in this together," collaboration was a recurring talking point throughout the event. Insurers are recognizing that they can't go it alone in this rapidly evolving landscape. Partnerships, ecosystems, and cross-industry collaborations were not just discussed; they were celebrated. It's refreshing to see competitors becoming collaborators, all with the shared goal of creating a more resilient and innovative insurance ecosystem.
Guidewire Connections 2023 reflected the best of the insurance industry: Insights, innovation, and inspiration – and partnership. I am extremely proud that Smart Communications is a Guidewire FY23 PartnerConnect Partner Excellence Award winner: named the “Ecosystem Partner of the Year” for outstanding achievement and adherence to project requirements, joint customers, and FY23 Marketplace data.
As we move towards 2024, and navigate the ever-changing landscape of Insurtech, these takeaways serve as a compass, guiding us toward a future where insurance is not just a safety net but a proactive, customer-centric force for good. Cheers to the future of insurance, and here's to Guidewire Connections 2024 – may it be even more groundbreaking than its predecessor!
About the Author
Eileen Potter has more than 25 years of insurance and insurance technology experience with both Property & Casualty and Life, including insurance operations on both the agency and company levels. She has worked in independent agencies and MGA operations in a variety of roles, including commercial marketing and underwriting. Her software background includes systems marketing, sales support, and implementation roles with organizations such as ABBYY, Appian, One, Inc., and Duck Creek Technologies.