Customer Story

Sompo Insurance (Hong Kong): Expanding into retail insurance business

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Using G Suite, Sompo Insurance (Hong Kong) streamlined and modernised traditional working practices and reduced the administration load on its IT team.

Google Cloud Results

ROI of 104% in 3 years with G Suite

• Company-wide internal portal and systems—created quickly and inexpensively—supports teams seeking new business

• Recorded near-immediate payback versus six years for payback with a rival solution

• Enabled the rapid setup of a retail insurance team

A medium-sized business with about 100 employees, Sompo Insurance (Hong Kong) marked its 60th anniversary by modernising its operations and moving into new markets. “We wanted to become a very reputable international insurer providing professional risk solutions and services to individuals and companies,” Joe Lee, Head of Information Technology, Sompo Insurance (Hong Kong) says. “However, our technology was not very advanced—we were certainly not a first mover or innovator in adopting new tools and systems.”

Lee and his seven-member IT team wanted to provide technologies to enable team members to work more efficiently and focus more intensively on improving customer satisfaction. “We are in the middle of a program to deliver some customer-facing applications and digital marketing services to boost sales and customer loyalty,” he says. “We’ve also been looking for technologies to streamline our IT and development operations to reduce the load on our small IT team.”

“We decided to measure G Suite and rival cloud-based office productivity software. Our calculations showed a return on investment for G Suite of 104% in three years, compared to 30% for the rival solution over the same period.” Joe Lee, Head of Information Technology, Sompo Insurance (Hong Kong)

The business’s ambitions to grow and modernise outstripped the capabilities of its on-premises productivity applications. When the servers running these applications reached end of life, Sompo Insurance (Hong Kong) decided to use the opportunity to transform its work processes and culture.

The business quickly turned to public cloud services that could minimise the need for its internal team to run and configure in-house infrastructure. This would enable the IT team to focus intensively on application development and other key priorities. Sompo Insurance (Hong Kong) then adopted a policy of choosing applications that could be deployed quickly and easily, would be simple for employees to use, and that delivered a rapid return on investment.

“We decided to measure G Suite and rival cloud-based office productivity software,” Lee says. “Our calculations showed a return on investment for G Suite of 104% in three years, compared to 30% for the rival solution over the same period.”

“We could also see near-immediate payback in the first year for G Suite, compared to about six years for the competing software.” Furthermore, G Suite included products such as Google Sites, which Sompo Insurance (Hong Kong) could use to help create an internal staff portal.

Lee and his team presented a plan to deploy G Suite to senior management, who leapt at the opportunity to streamline processes at the business. Sompo Insurance (Hong Kong) decided to proceed with its G Suite deployment in February 2017 and completed the rollout to its 100-strong workforce in early May the same year. Team members now have access to a range of intelligent applications to operate more efficiently and productively, while the IT team has sharpened its focus on higher-value activities.

“Our business teams use nearly all the applications available, including Gmail for email, Google Calendar to manage appointments, Google Drive to provide file storage and backup, Google Docs to create documents, and Google Slides for presentation development,” Lee says. “We also use Google Forms to create and analyse customer surveys and Google Keep for personal note taking.”

An internal portal for team members

“I have observed that after the implementation of G Suite our employees have become more engaged with their work and show greater willingness to share their ideas.” Joe Lee, Head of Information Technology, Sompo Insurance (Hong Kong)

Sompo Insurance (Hong Kong) has already used Google Sites to create its internal portal. “We had originally submitted a budget to set up a portal, but Google Sites enabled us to create a working version for next to nothing in just a few days,” Lee says. “The portal is now the first screen that opens when our employees log on and gives them immediate access to Google services via icons for Google Drive, Google Docs, and others. They can also directly view content posted by teams from across the business and news about the insurance industry through RSS feeds.”

Sompo Insurance (Hong Kong) has also employed Google Groups to set up a collaborative site for a small customer service team established to extend the insurer’s business into retail products. “In early July this team started selling online travel policies to retail clients,” Lee says. “Google has enabled us to set up a collaborative inbox for this team that also enables its manager to assign tasks as necessary. We’ve also used Google Sheets to manage case logs. These technologies have been absolutely integral to enabling us to set this team up as quickly as possible.”

The combination of tools available through G Suite has also enabled Lee to set up a highly functional project management structure. “I am using Google Drive to store project management documents; Google Docs for minute taking; Google Sheets to log issues and collaborate with external partners; and Google Slides to create presentations for management and other stakeholders.”

Greater engagement and collaboration

The benefits of G Suite to Sompo Insurance (Hong Kong) are not limited to specific use cases. “I have observed that after the implementation of G Suite our team members have become more engaged with their work and show greater willingness to share their ideas,” Lee says. “Also, we found that we are all saving considerable time in our daily work.”

“In the past, if someone wanted to create a presentation, they needed to create a draft that then needed to be reviewed by a range of colleagues. Doing this involved a very complicated procedure of obtaining feedback that must be consolidated manually into a master version. Now, using Google Slides, team members can input their feedback directly into the presentation.”

With G Suite now implemented and delivering value to Sompo Insurance (Hong Kong), Lee and his team are keeping a close eye on new tools that may enhance automation and link tasks and activities together. “G Suite is very much our direction and a key enabler of our modernisation program,” he says.