Electronic Chat with Christopher Tramontano and Zbigniew Gawienczuk
Staff Writer | June 29, 2020
Chris and Zbigniew (Ziggy) spent over a decade working for AAA, specifically in IT, improving digital landscape on the P&C insurance side. Chris managed implementation and maintenance of policy, claims, and billing systems as well as other customer and agent facing supplemental applications. Zbigniew was managing overall application development and QA.
Last year, they launched ClearLync with the goal of applying their insurance business and IT knowledge to help other small and medium size P&C insurance companies. ClearLync is a full-service software consulting firm that specializes in custom web application development, core system implementations, system maintenance, user interface and experience design for insurance systems.
You have both a strong project management background and insurance expertise. When did you first see the need for the services you provide to your target clients?
Chris: Working for a larger carrier provided access and exposure to industry conferences where we would meet people from other insurance companies that had similar challenges working with the same applications being leveraged by our company. Over the years we were able to successfully assist and provide those individuals with solutions to remove the roadblocks they were experiencing with the various applications. This became the catalyst for us to make the transition from the carrier side to launching our company.
Why the focus on the InsuranceNow product? Do you have plans to specialize in other vendor platforms?
Ziggy: InsuranceNow was leveraged by our previous carrier for their policy, billing, and claims solution. We’ve been working with InsuranceNow for 10 years and have both managed and maintained all aspects of the application that included hosting, implementation, third-party integrations, and developing custom applications that tie into InsuranceNow. We would love the opportunity to work on other systems, but from a business perspective it made sense for us to focus on what we know best.
What are the main competitive advantages you provide for your clients?
Chris: We’re not just a group of software developers. We come from the carrier side, which provides us with the knowledge of Insurance and the ability to bridge the gap between the business side and the technology side of the house. The business knowledge allows us to seamlessly work within each area of a carrier to understand their business needs and translate those into a technology solution that makes sense.
One of the services ClearLync provides is helping carriers manage a distributed work force. How has this accelerated during the COVID-19 crisis?
Chris: With recent events, most people are now working remotely. We thrive within this type of environment model since this is how we operate. The key to making this work efficiently is implementing a solid communication plan from a process standpoint and leveraging technology in a thoughtful manner to keep everyone engaged. This allows for the continuation of a smooth workflow and business continuity with clients, stakeholders and team members.
Ziggy: Things are also changing from an agent perspective; they’re not seeing as many personal interactions as they’re used to. Many customers now may prefer contacting their agent in ways other than face to face, and that’s where technology helps. COVID-19 has changed the world and we need to adjust. Agent and customer-facing web sites and applications are even more important now. In fact, we believe that we are in a phase where sales and customer service for insurance products are being redefined. Excellent communication tools and technical solutions to enable them are a must and this is where ClearLync can make a difference.
What are your clients’ most pressing needs and how do you help them?
Ziggy: Their most pressing needs are their most immediate needs; if they have a system problem, they need a pro to help them ASAP to get them going. But while that may be the most pressing need, in the long term they may also need help in simplifying their environment, migrating from systems that are no longer supported, or combining several systems into one. We can help them keep operations simple, organized, clean, and efficient.
How do you see carrier technology needs changing with the advance of tech tools like AI and ML?
Ziggy: It has already changed. Big players are working on AI to help them with the customer service experience. For example, AI systems can advise CSRs on how to handle the customer conversation based on data provided. AI and more robust data analysis are helping insurers to deliver a better customer experience. We don’t know exactly how those tools are going to be used specifically in insurance business, but it’s something to keep close eye on. Small to midsized carriers have to stay well informed and quick to adopt these technologies when they become commercially feasible for them to implement.
Chris: The most advanced tools might be still quite expensive and cost prohibitive, we’re not seeing small or midsized insurers really using AI a lot at this point. Some bigger insurance are using IBM Watson AI for customer experience, but it’s not available yet at a price point that makes sense for smaller companies. However, this is changing quickly. Amazon and Microsoft makes new tech tools available every month and at the price that is quite attractive. It is coming quickly to carriers of any size, and we would like to be able to help them adopt it.
- A Digital Wildfire Creates a Burning Platform for Digital Insurance Business Transformation
- Digitalization, COVID-19 Spurring More IT Investment in Cybersecurity
- Electronic Chat with Michael DeGusta, CEO, ClarionDoor
- U.S. Consumers Significantly Underestimate Flood Risk, New Survey Finds
- The Future of Insurance: Opportunities in Ecosystems
- Electronic Chat with Todd Greenbaum, CEO, Input 1
- Majesco to be Acquired by Thoma Bravo
- The Evolving Role of Managing General Agencies
- Electronic Chat with Char Hu
- Electronic Chat with Allan L. Egbert, Jr.
- Electronic Chat with Christopher Tramontano and Zbigniew Gawienczuk
- Data Science is Gelato
- Insurance Innovation: Alive and Kicking
- Independent Agents Divided on Digital Experience, New Survey Finds
- Electronic Chat with Michael Jones
- Electronic Chat with Paul VanderMarck
- As Auto Insurance Premiums Shrink, Insurers Need Mobility Ecosystem, New Study Finds
- Property & Casualty Insurers Raise Digital Games as COVID-19 Elevates Customer Expectations, J.D. Power Finds
- Electronic Chat with Bobbie Shrivastav
- Meet the Board: Marissa Buckley
- Big Data and Insurtech: A Carrier Perspective
- Traditional Insurers Need Open Ecosystems, Partnerships to Remain Competitive, CapGemini Report Finds
- Electronic Chat with John C. Siegman
- 4 Ways AI is Empowering Insurers During COVID-19
- 6 Big Changes to Insurance from the COVID-19 Crisis
- Electronic Chat with Christopher Ewing
- Independent Agency Staff Morale High During COVID-19, New Survey Finds
- Electronic Chat with Brad Epker
- Tapping AI to Improve Policyholder Experience
- Electronic Chat with Manisha Bhargava
- ITA Pro Magazine, March/April 2020
- COVID-19 a Game Changer for Workers’ Comp
- Electronic Chat with Steve Comer
- COVID-19 Pandemic Forces Cancellation of ITA LIVE 2020
- Leveraging Digital Resources in the Time of COVID-19
- Electronic Chat with Robert Hartwig on COVID-19 and Insurance
- Celent Study: Most Small Businesses Still Unclear on Importance of Cyber Insurance
- The January/February 2020 ITA Pro is here!
- Deloitte: New C-Suite Roles Mean More Opportunities for Women
- Electronic Chat with Pankaj Parashar
- Electronic Chat with Tara Kelly
- Electronic Chat with Chuck Wilson
- ITA, InsNerds Collaborate to Enhance ITA LIVE 2020 Content and Coverage
- How SMBs Can Compete in Digital Ecosystems in the 2020s
- 4 Ways Insurance Can Prepare for New Data Privacy Laws
- Brewer Lane Ventures Launches and Hires Insurtech Vet Martha Notaras as Managing Partner
- 2020 GIA Cohort Launches on January 14
- The November/December 2019 ITA Pro is here!
- Electronic Chat with Joshua Snead
- Electronic Chat with Wendy Aarons-Corman
- Simplifying the Move to a Third-party Print Provider
- Take a Business-Driven Approach to Continuous Improvement for Core Systems and Processes
- Electronic Chat with Ron Glozman
- Guidewire’s Data Guru Mike Byam on How Insurers are Using Internal and Third-Party Data
- Electronic Chat with Russ Bostick
- Electronic Chat with Rock Schindler
- Electronic Chat with John Siegman
- Electronic Chat with Martin Burlingame
- Insurtech Landscape 2019: Top 5 Takeaways
- Grinnell Mutual Tackles Massive Transformation -- in Stride
- A Candid Conversation with Paul Mang
- SageSure Insurance Managers Improved Competitiveness by Consolidating Payments to a Single Digital Platform
- Digital Does Matter in Insurance-- And Insurers are Missing the Mark
- The 22nd-Century Insurer: Taking a Cloud-First IT Approach
- The September/October 2019 issue of ITA PRO magazine is now available in digital format here:
- ITA Pro Magazine May/June 2019
- Spotlight on the 2019 IASA Conference
- ValueMomentum Selects Erie as Site of Regional Development Center
- Capgemini and Majesco Become Alliance Partners
- Electronic Chat with Dr. Dan Shoham
- Electronic Chat with Todd Greenbaum
- Martha Notaras: The “Outsider” with an Amazing Inside View
- Electronic Chat with Larissa Tosch
- Martha Notaras Will Join ITA LIVE 2019 as a Keynote Speaker
- Five Things to Consider When Evaluating Your Cyber Risk
- ITA Pro Magazine, January/February 2019
- Synergy Between Insurers' IT and Analytics Teams Key to Operationalizing Insights, Says Novarica
- Major Ransomware Attack Could Hit U.S. with $89B In Economic Damages
- ITA Announces 1st of Three Keynote Speakers at ITA LIVE 2019
- Electronic Chat with Jeroen Morrenhof
- Legacy Systems Are Dead. Really? Don't Count On It.
- Now Accepting Nominations for the 2019 ITA Bridge Awards
- It's time to register for ITA LIVE!
- Registration is Now Open for ITA LIVE 2019!
- What to Expect from a Digital Experience Platform Implementation
- ITA Pro Magazine September Edition is Now Available
- It's National IT Professionals Day
- Save the Date for ITA-LIVE 2019
- OneShield Software and UrbanStat Work Together to Improve Real-Time Analytics and Risk Decision-Making
- ITA LIVE 2019 - SAVE THE DATE!
- Insurance Technology Association Announces New Editor-in-Chief
- August 2018 Edition ITA Pro Magazine is Now Available
- Enterprise Architecture in an Agile World
- Top 10 Tips for Securing Your Mobile Devices and Sensitive Client Data
- Industry Insight: 4 Global Insurance Trends in Digital, Data, Content Services and Security
- Diving Deeper into Prioritizing Your Strategic Digital investments
- Why Content Rules
- How Mass Personalization Will Open the Small Business Benefits Market
- At Year End 2017, Will Your Organization Be Protected from Cyber Risks?
- Do Insurance Bots Dream of Mitigating Risk?
- Conditioned to Respond
- Managing & Mobilizing Insurance Data in a Connected World
- Race to the Finish Line
- New Tools, New Opportunities in Claims
- ITA LIVE: Reaching Insurance Industry Crossroads
- Advice to Insurance IT Leaders: Keep Your Eye on the Ball
- New Date, Venue for ITA LIVE 2017
- Guidewire Makes Major Push to Small and Midtier Market by Acquiring ISCS
- Insurance Disruption is Happening Right Now
- Insurity Adds Strategic Investment Partner, General Atlantic
- Beyond Transformation: The Convergence of Finance, Risk, and Actuarial Functions
- The Rapid Evolution of Consumer Protection Regulation
- Talent Hunt: Finding, Attracting, Retaining Top People
- Insurers Flexing Their Distribution Models
- Technology Driving Disruption in Insurance
- Fear of ‘Next Bubble’ Challenges Life, Annuity Carriers
- Technology Allows Commercial Lines Insurers to Stand Out
- Single Sign-on Viewed as Biggest Tech Challenge for Agencies
- ISCS Observes 20th Anniversary; Scurto Predicts Major Changes Ahead
- Policyholders and Their First Impressions
- Progressive Making Progress on the UBI Front
- High and Dry: Insurers Search for Disaster Recovery Plans
- Insurers Sign The (Un)Dotted Line
- Reflections of a Retired Insurance CIO
- Mobile Device Management Just One Answer to BYOD Issue
- Lessons from GEICO and Progressive on Winning the Critical Buying Stage
- You Are a Target for a Cyber Attack
- Web-based Systems are the Next Evolution in Claims Technology
- Gaining a “Wow” Experience from Web Users
- Time to Shift from Business/IT Alignment to Business/IT Alliance
- Healthcare Insurers Changing to Consumer Model
- Organization is the Key for Selecting Software Vendors
- Analysts Expound on the Needs of the Mid-tier Insurance Market
- Finding the Cure for Obamacare’s Website
- New Software Solutions Benefit Insurers on the Inside and Outside
- Products, Market Impede Investment in Systems for Life Insurers
- Combatting Cyber Threats: Predict, Prevent, Persist
- The Future of Telematics Heads Beyond Insurance
- The Shame in Cyber Security Lapses
- Building Policy Administration Systems for the Future
- Insurers Look Into The Eyes of Their Policyholders
- It’s a New Dawn for the ITA
INSURANCE IT NEWS
- Encova Insurance Launches New Suite of Personal Lines Products
- Texas Farm Bureau Insurance Expands Lines of Business on Majesco Policy for P&C
- One Inc Acquires Invenger Technologies, Including Invenger-InsurPay
- Hyland Releases Foundation Version of Brainware Intelligent Capture
- Guidewire Software Announces Promotion of PartnerConnect Consulting Partner
- Sapiens CoreSuite for Life Insurance Now Available on Microsoft AppSource
- OneConnect and Swiss Re to Partner on Smart Claims to Europe
- Auto-Owners Insurance Now on IBQ's Commercial Platform
The Email Chat is a regular feature of the ITA Pro magazine and website. We send a series of questions to an insurance IT leader in search of thought-provoking responses on important issues facing the insurance industry.
ITA LIVE 2020
ITA LIVE 2020 –SAVE THE DATE!
April 5th – 7th, 2020
The Diplomat Resort
Become a member today to receive updates – www.itapro.org/MR
BLOGS AND COLUMNS
The next generation of customer requires a digital platform and robust ecosystem that work together under one common platform across different core... READ MORE
Denise Garth of Majesco examines how insurance can tap into the synergy between companies and customers that helps meet the needs of all participants... READ MORE
You have surely heard it said that small businesses are the growth engine for America. Today, the phrase has a special ring to it for benefits... READ MORE
With stagnant growth and lingering low interest rates, the life insurance industry faces a challenging future... READ MORE
Finding insurance carriers willing to write commercial lines risks has always been a challenge for producers... READ MORE
As Guidewire Software prepares for the start of Connections, its 11th annual user conference that begins on Nov. 2, Brian Desmond, chief marketing... READ MORE