By Chris Murphy, Senior Director of Product Marketing at Smart Communications

The 2018 Guidewire Connections Conference – a celebration of the insurance industry and users of Guidewire technology and applications – recently concluded another successful event. Over the course of 4 days in Las Vegas, close to 2,000 insurance practitioners across claims, policy, billing and underwriting, were joined by IT and operations professionals, C-level executives, partners, and sponsors to discuss not just the Guidewire platform, but also the pressing challenges facing the insurance industry today.  

I was hugely impressed by their focus on a Women in Insurance and Technology Panel session, which was featured so prominently in the agenda and moderated by Sandia Ren, vice president of professional services at Guidewire. For those unable to attend, you can check out the recorded version here.

Guidewire Connections 2018

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This panel as well as Malcolm Gladwell’s stellar keynote followed with a motivational story of innovation, intellect, and determination through the lens of the invention (and ultimately revolutionary impact) of containerized shipping was a great way to kick off a full three days of content.

Whether or not you were there, here are a handful of takeaways that I felt set the tone for this widely successful event.

1. Guidewire Customers Should be Looking to, and Excited for, the Future

From streamlined user experiences, newly upgraded accelerators being made available to partners, and a bold cloud-based vision across their ecosystem, it’s a great time to be a Guidewire customer. It’s also a great time to be a Guidewire partner. With over 70 joint customers leveraging both Guidewire and Smart Communications, and a member of their PartnerConnect program since 2009, Guidewire innovation means exciting things for our customers as well.

2. Learning From Core System Transformation Success

There was a strong customer presence on the stage at Connections with representation from leading global insurance organizations sharing their experiences. Many stories centered on their organization’s struggles, and ultimate success, in their core system replacement efforts to provide their policyholders a differentiated experience in a competitive, challenging and ever-changing marketplace. The stories shared were honest  – openly addressing the barriers and challenges that faced them – but hugely uplifting as they shared the ultimate successes of their efforts.  Specifically, many highlighted the emphasis for change being firmly centered on improving their current customer experience as well as the associated communications and conversations occurring between the company and their customer

3. Challenging the Status Quo

It’s easy to get jazzed up with ideas at a conference like Connections – the energy is high, you’re transported a little bit outside the daily grind of business as usual, and you’re surrounded by others who live your lives in an environment perfect for sharing ideas. What really struck me specifically from the conversations I had was the focus on innovation – on trying to do things that haven’t been done before or doing them in a completely different way. In so many interactions, attendees were challenging the status quo on how they can serve their customers and have better conversations with them. From expanding outside of print to embrace new digital channels, delivering insurance cards electronically and bringing telematics data into communications, to real visionaries who are pushing the envelope and integrate Smart Communications via voice assistants like Alexa and Google Voice.

4. We’re Thankful for Our Customers

We were privileged to speak with so many of our existing (and future) customers and, with so many there, we’re grateful that we sent such a large Smart Communications contingent! Whether or not you were able to join us at one of our events, joined us for a more in-depth conversation and demonstration of our Ready-For Guidewire out-of-the-box accelerators connecting Smart Communications to the Guidewire InsuranceSuite and InsuranceNow platforms, or just stopped by the booth to say hi, we’re thankful that you shared your time with us and look forward to serving you in the future.

5. When in Vegas 

Given the location, it probably comes as no surprise that entertainment wasn’t lacking while at Guidewire Connections 2018. We had an excellent showing for our Vegas 101 event where we brought dealers from the Wynn casino to our the Chairman’s Salon private space and combining it with great food, drinks, and conversation. On a fairly chilly Vegas night, the customer celebration event on Tuesday saw everything glow with the neon-tinged 80’s night. It was impressive with just how many attendees had pre-planned their 80’s outfits – including renditions of Boy George, the Ghostbusters crew and even Beetlejuice! Needless to say, fun was had by all.

Guidewire Connections 2018

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To learn more about how Smart Communications works with Guidewire – to give business users ultimate control over the creation, management and delivery of personalized customer correspondence – simply contact us today and learn how you can start scaling the conversation with your customers.