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Image: (From left) Aaron Ooi, Head of IT Services & Business Operation, Tokio Marine Insurans (Malaysia) Berhad, Mark Cheng, Chief IT and Operations Officer, Tokio Marine Insurans (Malaysia) Berhad with Keane Leong,Chief Sales Officer, Bridgenet Solutions Sdn Bhd.
With the pace of competition picking up in the Malaysian insurance industry, insurance providers are making rapid changes to ensure that their systems are ready and robust enough to meet new challenges. The de-tariffication of Malaysia's general insurance industry is adding impetus to those changes.
"Technology plays a significant role in how we want to run our business. We decided to overhaul our entire infrastructure and processes as there will be increasing demands on our systems, and we wanted a flexible infrastructure conducive to change in place," said Tokio Marine Insurans (Malaysia) Berhad Chief IT & Operations Officer, Mark Cheng.
Tokio Marine Insurans (Malaysia) Berhad, a member of the Tokio Marine Group, is a leading player in the general insurance industry. Its products include all Motor, Non Motor, Personal Lines & Health.
In developing its transformation blueprint, the insurer placed its initial focus on uplifting its IT infrastructure operational backbone.
"We took a step-by-step approach to making these changes which covers our entire nationwide operation. This started with the strengthening of our backbone and putting in the infrastructure needed to improve our operations," explained Cheng.
Once that foundation was in place, Tokio Marine Insurans (Malaysia) Berhad enhanced their back-end processing and database management systems. They sped up daily administrative processes whilst ensuring that the changes met with regulatory compliance and service level agreement criteria. The front-end systems will be also upgraded to make it more user-friendly to all levels of intended users.
Automating processes was a key early objective. Eliminating manual, non-productive tasks enabled the company to reduce errors whilst allowing them to re-train their talent in areas where human interaction was more valuable.
"It is impossible to rely on manual processes under today's business expectations," said Cheng. "Automation also freed up our employees to develop new skills. They are now acquiring expertise in different work areas, and learning from experienced overseas staff we brought in to work alongside our local talent. With this mix, we are leveraging on our global knowledge and adapting it to meet our local market needs."
A second area of focus was improving Tokio Marine Insurans (Malaysia) Berhad's communication network. The legacy system was restrictive as it could no longer keep up with today's business pace. In contrast, the new infrastructure has provided Tokio Marine Insurans (Malaysia) Berhad with a hundredfold increase in speed, thus enabling faster internet access, video-conferencing across multiple locations, and the ability to connect easily with agents and customers.
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