May 21, 2020

Berkley Risk – a digital transformation

Bizclik Editor
2 min
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(Norwich, UK, 6/11/2018)

We speak to Chief information Officer William Tran regarding the insurance management service’s digital transformation of its entire operations and offerings…

William Tran was brought into Berkley Risk Administrators – an insurance company and part of W. R. Berkley – in 2016 as Chief Information Officer to address some pressing IT issues at the Minneapolis-based company. What Tan encountered was an IT system that was struggling to address its multiple operations, never mind competing in the wider market. “They'd been using the same type of system for 30-plus years,” Tran explains.

It was clear to Berkley and Tran that new systems and applications were needed. There had been a lot of unsuccessful attempts to upgrade, prior to Tran’s arrival and the situation he encountered was a ‘hodgepodge of technologies’. “We had four claim systems and I was like ‘What the heck are you doing? Are you that rich that you can afford four claims systems and all the required support?’ As for the user, they had to learn to use all four; logging into multiple systems for data and four different databases. It was clear that we needed to consolidate all that. It was ridiculous. We had so many people running around. At one time we had 40 contractors or more just running around trying to support our systems.”

The legacy system was an RPG IBM E Series; AS400, according to Tran. “It was a mainframe-type application and you can't survive in this day and age with that type of system, especially when we have so many millennial clients who demand so much more, such as portals. Imagine bringing in a 22-year-old as a claims adjuster and putting them in front of a bunch of green screens and saying, ‘OK, so to answer this, you do shift, shift, alt, P. Type this number, and then you tap, tap, tap…’ That wouldn’t go down to well with those who grew up with the iPad and the iPhone, ha ha. Plus, a lot of our clients are saying they require more of a self-service model, and real-time access to their data. They want to be able to see certain stuff without actually emailing and having to be told to wait a week.”

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