SilverBridge launches AI division

In a move designed to enhance decision-making and provide its clients with an innovative way of embracing the latest technology innovations, SilverBridge, a provider of insurance software solutions for the African financial services industry, has launched its artificial intelligence (AI) division focusing on Merlynn’s Tacit Object Modeller (TOM).

“Given the amount of data available to insurers, it has become increasingly important to leverage it with meaningful insights and make more accurate predictions on everything from client risk to policy enhancements. Decision-making in the machine-learning space is largely a rules-based process and does not take intuition into account. TOM changes this,” says Johan Reyneke, Research and Development Executive at SilverBridge.

Essentially, TOM learns from human experts and not from data. It then applies the subject matter expertise based on the person’s experience to make decisions. This experience includes rules but also accounts for the ‘gut feeling’ or humanised decisions. From this, SilverBridge can introduce a virtual expert that aids customers with the decision-making process which can complement data analytics.

“SilverBridge does not want to replace the role of data analytics in AI but use the innovation enabled by TOM to complement it and give its customers the ability to make humanised decisions which is explainable. Unlike more traditional AI tools, TOM empowers an insurer to provide its customers feedback on why certain decisions were made around their policy. This can range from how premiums are determined to the outcome of a claim’s decision.”

TOM can be used to screen all short-term policies on renewal with the intention to reassess the risk associated to the policy or to identify the opportunities for cross or up-selling in real-time. Traditionally, insurers do not reassess all policies on their anniversary. Rather, a selected few flagged as risky. This is because the insurer cannot afford the human resources required to handle the sheer volume of policies to be assessed.

“So, not only do the risks need to be managed better, but also the opportunities that potentially exist must be capitalised on. TOM essentially virtualises the underwriter daily to enable the insurer to understand each of its policies better. In turn, this allows either upselling to take place or policy restructurings to be done more effectively.”

The SilverBridge AI division will therefore provide customers with more agile ways to enhance AI and machine learning in their organisations and capitalise on trends to make decisions faster.

“This intuition-based approach has the potential to fundamentally change not only insurance, but any industry that has been desperate to take AI to the next level,” Johan concludes.

About SilverBridge
SilverBridge has over 23 years’ experience as a leading provider of insurance software solutions in the African financial services industry. Our footprint extends to 14 African countries. SilverBridge’s digital insurance suite allows financial services companies the opportunity to respond quickly to changing markets. With customers throughout Africa, SilverBridge has the knowledge, experience, and technology capabilities to help its clients do better business.

SilverBridge recognised at Microsoft AI hackathon

A three-member SilverBridge development team, who participated at the Microsoft Artificial Intelligence (#MSAIHack) Hackathon held in Bryanston last week, was awarded the runners-up prize in the Financial Services Industry (FSI) category.

The team consisted of JC Oberholzer, Henlo Ueckermann, and Yunus Scheepers. The event took place over two days at the Microsoft South Africa headquarters on June 12 and 13.

The hackathon was designed to facilitate the creation of innovative prototypes that leverage AI and machine-learning services in the Microsoft Azure cloud. It was used as a platform for developers to showcase their talents and build something innovative by highlighting how Azure AI services can improve people’s lives and experiences in the FSI and Health services industries.

Six teams competed against one another by creating prototypes and presentations using Microsoft Azure AI services.

“The SilverBridge developers used the cognitive Services Vision API (application programming interface) with a specific focus on facial recognition to build an app focussed on client services within the FSI sector,” says Yunus Scheepers, CTO at SilverBridge Holdings.

The facial recognition would identify customers walking into a service centre and provide the support personnel with information on that individual.

“AI and machine-learning have the potential to fundamentally change customer service in the digital age. The SilverBridge app highlighted just how far-reaching this impact would be by empowering FSI employees with all relevant customer information once a person walks into a service centre such as a bank branch. We are incredibly proud of our team for the recognition they received at the event,” concludes Scheepers.

About SilverBridge

SilverBridge has over 20 years’ experience as a leading provider of insurance software solutions in the African financial services industry. Our footprint extends to 14 African countries. SilverBridge has introduced an enhanced service offering allowing financial services companies the opportunity to respond quickly to changing markets. With customers throughout Africa, SilverBridge has the knowledge, experience, and technology to help its clients do better business.

Marketplace model provides insurers with opportunities

Marketplace model provides insurers with opportunities

Nelson Camara, marketing at SilverBridge

With consumers expecting their service providers to deliver more tailored products providing better experiences at more cost-effective rates, insurers are under pressure to adapt their business models to ones better suited to this new environment. Given its mainstream appeal and success in driving adoption of mobile apps, the marketplace model has emerged as such an enabler.

While end-users understand how marketplaces work (think the Apple App Store and Google Play), it provides insurers with an opportunity to create an enabling platform for future growth. For example, in the music industry EVAmore has emerged as a convenient way for people to book musicians for their events. Previously, the process involved either knowing someone in the industry or having to go through agents which typically charge premium rates.

However, EVAmore adopted a marketplace model that lets customers create free listings including time, location, budget, and music genres required, with artists able to search for and ‘pitch’ to play at the gigs. The marketplace platform manages all the back-end payment and messaging between customer and artist to remove the cumbersome traditional way of making bookings.

With the marketplace model presenting insurers with opportunities to better engage with customers and meet future demand, decision-makers need to carefully asses how best to integrate it into its existing operations.

Customisation

Most insurers already offer a unique suite of products. Typically, these are developed in-house and are nuanced to meet customer demographic requirements. However, no insurer can be the best at every solution or even cater for every possible client requirement.

Whether through lack of resources or just difficulties in keeping up with continually evolving trends, insurers are realising that they need to rethink how they approach meeting customer requirements in the modern world. This requires the organisation to take a step back and focus on how it will meet customer needs to create a more enabling experience, reduce cost of development, and minimise churn.

Going to market

The marketplace model provides insurers with an exciting new option to enhance their existing business models. In this dynamic, an insurer will provide customers with access to third parties that have the best products in each segment as the means to complement their own solutions. Think about it as a one-stop shop where a customer can go for the best insurance experience at the lowest costs and able to select an offering tailored to their specific needs.

So, just like with a mobile app store, the end-users get continuous access to the best products and services in the market. For the insurer, it is an effective way to reduce churn while at the same time build a reputation as a solution provider that empowers its customers with the best possible products.

The marketplace model is poised to positively impact the insurance market. We expect to see movements in the industry that will result in many of the incumbents partnering with emerging insurtechs. These will be mutually beneficial agreements focused on delivering more value to customers.

About SilverBridge

SilverBridge has over 20 years’ experience as a leading provider of insurance software solutions in the African financial services industry. Our footprint extends to 14 African countries. SilverBridge has introduced an enhanced service offering allowing financial services companies the opportunity to respond quickly to changing markets. With more than 30 customers throughout Africa, SilverBridge has the knowledge, experience, and technology to help its clients do better business.

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