Earlier this month Guidewire announced they were leasing new office space in Dublin and expanding their Irish base with an additional 60-80 staff.
The company was founded in 2001 and its HQ is in Foster City, California; their Dublin hub, the largest office they have outside the States and the 5th largest hub in their entire operation, hosts, inter alia, Guidewire’s Global Services and Development Centre.
The company trades in the property and casualty section of the insurance market. This area of the industry focuses on the protection of property from damage, loss or legal liability.
Guideware markets a full suite of insurance software delivered from the cloud. Forbes Magazine called it the “the leading industry cloud company in the insurance vertical”. Their software offering contains applications that help clients manage insurance policy, administration, claims and billing. It’s continually adding new products to its platform and this is what’s driving the Dublin expansion.
In the podcast below you can listen to Niall Lalor and Dan Naughton from Guidewire Ireland talking to NewJobRadio about the Guidewire story. This was recorded in March.
Product Development has been a significant factor in the growth of the EDC this year, where its highly-skilled technical team is developing product extensions, accelerators, mobile applications and web portals. The strength of technical talent in Ireland led Guidewire to designate the Dublin site as its fifth Development Centre.
Guidewire is winning new business: on 19th January this year, a top Polish insurer, Warta, announced that it had signed up Guidewire as a software supplier. Warta are now using Guidewire ClaimCenter®. This app can be standalone or come as part of the Guidewire full suite. And just before this on the 15th January, Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company rolled out Guidewire’s PolicyCenter as its underwriting and policy administration software.
Innovation is the engine driving this growth. The company has had global success in winning its core market and is continuing penetration of these markets by developing more value-add on top of their initial offering.
Forbes calls this a “Layer Cake Product Strategy”: Guidewire constantly adds to the basic layer of their product with new layers of additional functionality. It’s already established a strong presence in the insurance vertical but wants additional sales and further penetration with new products.
If a company already has a great relationship with a customer, they’ll sit up and listen if the cloud service provider comes to them with a keener offering.
A lot of this development work is being done in the Dublin located European Development Centre. The team there is extending product functionality into business intelligence, data management, mobility and web access. The benefits for the client with this additional functionality are greater convenience and a smoother experience.
In managing insurance claims, both parties need a speedy resolution to business and customers value being updated frequently during their claims process. Guidewire’s new technologies enable clients to text and mail their customers with updates. The technology also allows staff better visibility of the process and better control.
The two major areas of development for Guidewire are Business Intelligence and Mobility. Their mobile and portal features allow greater ease of communication between client and customer and bringing the business closer to the market.
Clients can respond more quickly to customers’ requests for quotes, offering a greater chance to close a sale while a customer’s thinking about buying. And with online form technology, customers can achieve a high level of self-service. This later functionality is a great way of relieving pressure on contact centres and saving on customer service cost.
No-one needs data analysis like insurance companies. They have to be able to predict and anticipate future trends and events with a higher degree of accuracy than other companies. A tried and tested way of doing this is understanding past market behaviour and data analysis can identify trends in the huge volumes of data they generate.
A 2013 IBM report based in the UK insurance market said that many players are failing to capitalise on the data that their operations generate.
They didn’t have a single integrated database and were less than optimal in the collection of data, or mining and using data. The integration of datasets on one platform will allow insurers to get an accurate profile of the individual customer. One of the advantages this offers is a better understanding of the individual customer and the opportunity to create a better customer experience.
Guidewire have added business intelligence and data management capabilities to their offering. This specific product is Guidewire DataHub. It “unifies, standardises, and stores” data from heterogeneous sources both inside the client’s network and outside.
Practical Business Intelligence Strategies: Getting the Best ROI [Click on image for larger version]
It can store data from current, and crucially, from legacy systems as well, making it accessible to current technology. Their DataHub product also aims to secure the older data’s integrity and consistency.
The Guidewire expansion story is in line with FDI trends of the last few years: Ireland is winning the cream of foreign investment with more companies setting up part of their high value engineering and development centres in the country; a major attraction is the tech talent pool.
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