AWS for Industries

Accelerating the Adoption of Digital Engagement Technologies in Insurance

The insurance industry is under pressure—rapid advances in technology, demographic and economic shifts, disruptive business models from nimble new competitive entrants, increased customer expectations for frictionless engagement—just to name some of the issues insurers face in today’s environment.

A company-wide digital transformation to address and harness these forces has been a top priority of many insurers for years, but the industry’s overall modernization has trailed behind that of other industries like banking and entertainment. Insurers aim to deliver innovative products and experiences, but are held back by manual processes, struggle to optimize data trapped inaccessible silos, and run outdated core systems in expensive and rigid data centers.

Many would like to have greater insight into and take better advantage of the growing array of partners that are today available to support every aspect of the insurance value chain.

Insurers are also adjusting to recent changes to the ways people work and how companies operate, particularly in the wake of the pandemic, accelerating the adoption of digital engagement technologies to meet those needs. These changes are here to stay and insurers will need to continue to innovate, invest, and partner to meet the challenges—and opportunities—that lie ahead. Insurers need to consider how they will handle core modernization, customer experience transformation, cloud-enabled analytics, and how to best leverage the cloud partner community. While the priority of these four elements varies based on a company’s specific situation, environment, and offerings, they all contribute to creating sustainable, long-term growth.

Insurers are using AWS to modernize core systems; leverage data to identify risk, avoid loss and enhance customer intimacy; and quickly launch new digital customer experiences all with the responsiveness of a nimble startup.

AWS hosted four virtual roundtables that directly relate to those themes, inviting AWS Partners specializing in insurance to share their observations and experiences.

Core Modernization and Transformation in Insurance: Modernize legacy systems with AWS Cloud to improve agility at scale

Agility is a key factor for insurers to be more innovative and responsive. They need to be able to adapt to market and regulatory forces, skyrocketing customer expectations, the rise of new cloud-native competitors, increasing climate change-driven natural catastrophes, and continued low interest rates.

Insurers with outdated legacy core systems and private data centers face serious limitations compared to those that have shifted to the cloud with respect to agility, scale, and time to market. AWS Partners such as BriteCore and FINEOS provide modern, scalable, flexible core insurance systems that help carriers offload undifferentiated heavy lifting and focus on growth, profitability, and innovation.

“Core system transformations are often viewed as elephant projects; large, cumbersome, expensive, and prone to breaking everything around them. Some carriers choose to implement small projects in an ad hoc fashion, hoping to eat the elephant one bite at a time. However, while each project delivers ROI in the short term, it creates problems in the long term. A better approach is to tackle individual business functions and product lines using a single cloud platform. That way you get your incremental ROI with each project while building towards an integrated solution.” – Jonathan Boylan, CTO at FINEOS

Watch the roundtable video with Phil Reynolds, CEO at BriteCore, and Jonathan Boylan, CTO at FINEOS.


Cloud-enabled Analytics Transforming Insurance: Drive business growth by harnessing data

Data and analytics are at the heart of every insurance company and every insurance transaction. With increased data accessibility and insights, insurers can dramatically improve their assessment of risk, price coverage more effectively, and develop innovative products and experiences.

Customer demand for more personalized experience is at the forefront of why insurers aim to use data and analytics effectively, however, much of the data insurers have is locked up in silos and hard to analyze, and relatively few insurers can integrate the vast and growing amount of external data available today. As a result, without a modern data estate and the tools to drive insights at scale from it, insurers will find it difficult to thrive in today’s challenging marketplace.

AWS and AWS Partners like Verisk, Montoux, and FINEOS help insurers harness data to drive business growth. By shifting to the cloud, insurers can move away from the undifferentiated heavy lifting of data center management, break down information silos, and leverage third-party data to focus on innovation and competitive differentiation.

The insurance industry generates trillions of pieces of data every year. Yet, this data is notoriously sequestered in legacy systems never to see the light of day. As systems are replaced, as APIs get more robust and connectivity improves, this data can be used to allow for better decision making (think product creation and purchases), better underwriting (more precise pricing), and ideally prevention of a whole host of health issues, including predicting disease.”- Jason Andrew, President of North America at FINEOS

Watch the roundtable video with Vikas Vats, Chief Analytics Officer at Verisk, Geoff Keast, CEO at Montoux, and Jason Andrew, President of North America at FINEOS.


Customer Experience Transformation in Insurance: Meet rapidly changing customer behaviors and expectations

While core insurance policy and claims systems are crucial, it’s the customer-facing solutions that are associated with faster and more immediate change for insurers. According to a recent study by Deloitte, 45 percent of insurance executives believe that rapidly evolving customer needs and expectations will be the top challenge for growth. Customers today expect insurance companies to provide the same level of real-time insights and anytime interactions that they experience elsewhere.

According to Celent insights, it has been highlighted that, “Customer experience is the hot new topic in the insurance industry. The explosion in new technologies continues to shape customer expectations of what a customer experience should feel like. The speed and convenience we get from, the transparency from Uber, and the control we get from Dell are all experiences that drive expectations across insurance. And of course, all the research shows that a superior customer experience drives retention and profitability.”

AWS Partners such as Unqork and Salesforce work with AWS to provide solutions and services that transform the customer experience for insurance.

The global crisis has accelerated the digital revolution by a decade, and Insurers are making dramatic investments in InsureTech. They are trail blazing the industry by offering innovative products leveraging the explosion of real-time data and AI, shifting their selling models and operations to digital channels and the cloud, and disrupting their business models by partnering in the Financial Services ecosystem.” – Ayan Sarkar, VP and Global Head of Insurance at Salesforce

Watch the roundtable video with Farooq Sheikh, Insurance GTM Lead at Unqork, and Ayan Sarkar, VP and Global Head of Insurance at Salesforce.


Benefits of a Cloud Community in Insurance: Optimize your solution with AWS Partners

The increased adoption of cloud services and growth of APIs brings new opportunities for partners to work together, building on one another’s services and solutions to improve the end customer’s experience and increase the insurer’s profitability. A recent article by Celent stated, “to enable the strategic directions of the integrated ecosystem…requires the setup of the cloud and edge computing infrastructure.”

The AWS Partner Network is a robust community focused on helping accelerate innovation through partner-to-partner and customer channels.

Within today’s ever-evolving technology landscape, strong partnerships have never been more critical. Not only from a solution standpoint, but the implementation process as well, because the only definitive answer is to band together.” – Bill Kavanaugh, Senior Vice President of Global Commercial Sales at Hyland Software

Watch the roundtable video with Becky Mattick, VP Global Solution Alliances at Guidewire, Neal Keene, Field CTO at Smart Communications, and Bill Kavanaugh, Senior Vice President of Global Commercial Sales at Hyland Software.



The time has come for insurers to innovate, to differentiate their services, and to create competitive advantage through digital transformation. AWS and AWS Partners continue to advance the wave of adoption by assisting insurers at every stage of their cloud journey through core modernization, customer experience transformation, cloud-enabled analytics, and the cloud partner community.

To learn more about how insurance customers can grow with AWS, visit AWS for Financial Services.

Ralph Severini

Ralph Severini

As the Amazon Web Services (AWS) Global Lead for Insurance Partners, Ralph Severini is responsible for the strategy and business development of AWS’s worldwide insurance alliances. Ralph has over 25 years of technology and international financial services industry experience. He has served as vice-president of sales, marketing and alliances, for 4 publicly traded technology companies with a focus on financial services. Within the insurance industry Ralph has been a broker and underwriting director, and has worked with both life and property and casualty companies. He holds the Chartered Property and Casualty Underwriter (CPCU) and Associate in Risk Management (ARM) designations in insurance, as well as master degrees in science (MS) and business (MBA). He splits his time between work and residences in New York City and Park City, Utah, although it’s been more mountain time of late post-covid.

Terry Buechner

Terry Buechner

Terry Buechner is the Insurance Segment lead for Technology Partners at Amazon Web Services. He joined AWS in May 2019. For the three years prior, Terry was the director of the Digital Consulting practice at Majesco, an insurance software and services company. Before Majesco, Terry spent 12 years at IBM in various roles within the global insurance team, including five years stationed in Tokyo, Japan. He lives with his family in Hastings-on-Hudson, New York, where he is a line officer in the all-volunteer fire department. He has a BA from Georgetown University and an MBA from New York University’s Stern School of Business.