Sanlam started a business intelligence renewal discovery project in August 2015 to shape our response to the business’ requirement for consolidated client data with improved business intelligence and analytics capabilities. To access a holistic, client-orientated view of data, a centralised access layer was created with the Group office as the custodian of the technology architecture.
With lower cost of storage, higher processing power and advances in shared computing, we can create significant value for the business units in shaping their offerings and improving pricing. In 2017 we established an analytics and discovery capability to deliver a selection of smaller, business-determined outputs up to the end of 2018. By focusing on analytics first, we are gradually building curated data in a way that is scalable and reduces impact and delivery risk.
Simultaneous to our analytical ability, creating an omni-channel capability is a key competitive priority. This includes applying new enabling technologies and investing in fintech. The omni-channel capability is based on understanding the client experience through different touchpoints and channels, which should be seamless and context appropriate. It has shifted our focus from transactional interaction to contextual engagement, with the intermediary remaining essential. We enable intermediaries with data and tools while sharing information and experiences between them, clients and Sanlam – all in full adherence to regulatory directives.
To drive Group-wide collaboration, we created an omni-channel Board, which acts as a forum for communication and alignment on priorities. The new Sanlam Design studio is a further enabler as it focuses on the development of digital distribution channels and related product development as part of our omni-channel distribution approach.
Santam initiated a range of strategic digital projects in 2011, which have delivered online self-service offerings for policyholders and intermediaries, while centralising the cluster’s back-office processing and developing a new core underwriting and product management platform. These online platforms increased Santam’s ability to price and underwrite risk, improve service levels and reduce cost in the system through data efficiency and automation.
Other Sanlam digital capabilities in different stages of maturity include SPF’s robo-advice offering – a self-directed, simplified and automated unit trust investment platform – as well as full-service web presences, with online fact find and buying capability, for each of SPF’s 240 BlueStar franchise businesses in South Africa. Our virtual advice platform is an online service allowing users to screen, select, book and pay an adviser for a needs-specific advice session – either face-to-face or via Skype, Google Hangouts or telephone. We have achieved a paperless application submission for 75% of SPF’s life new business.
Read more about our investment in fintech in the case study.