“We want to become the leading digital insurer by 2025”

Digital Ambition

Magazine, 30.04.2021

At the end of last year, together with the Munich Re CEO Joachim Wenning, the ERGO CEO Markus Rieß presented the new “Ambition 2025” strategy program - with ambitious goals. The four intermediate holding companies ERGO Deutschland, ERGO Digital Ventures, ERGO International and ERGO Technology & Services will contribute to achieving these goals with ambitious measures. In our “Strategy Insights” series, we talk with Mark Klein, Chief Digital Officer at ERGO and also COO of ERGO Digital Ventures about his “Digital Ambition”.

Mark Klein, CDO ERGO Group

What role does ERGO Digital Ventures play in the new “Ambition 2025” strategy?

Last year, all of our lives have become considerably more digital. Corona is a real digitization booster. Sales via digital channels, counselling and services received yet another strong push during the pandemic. At ERGO Digital Ventures this trend, this momentum, will be used even more to our advantage in the future.

Specifically, we will address two aspects. First: We will continuously expand ecosystems and partnerships in travelling, mobility and the annex business. We will focus further on the end-customer business and strengthen our digital-only insurer nexible in Germany and Austria. 

And second: ERGO will be the digital leader in the insurance sector by 2025 – both in Germany and in our international core markets. To this end, we are rolling out our digital assets and key technologies at an international level and also making our digital platforms available to third parties in order to unlock additional growth potential.

What tasks now await Digital Ventures next? 

Our ultimate goal is an intuitive and efficient customer journey that will inspire our customers as much as our employees. ERGO has already made great progress in this area over the past few years. Technologies such as robotics and artificial intelligence have now matured to the point that we will be using them across the board in the next few years. For example, we are already using artificial intelligence in the customer service. This has made our service even faster. 

Our ambition is to become the leading technology expert in robotics, artificial intelligence and voice by 2025. We will also use other technologies such as virtual reality for ourselves. With measures like these, we as Digital Ventures will make a significant contribution to the further development of digitization at ERGO and thus also to increase the customer satisfaction.

It sounds like ERGO Digital Ventures will become a provider of innovative technologies itself in the medium term. 

That’s right. Our global IT teams are already working together with great results. We are already building all new technology applications right from the start so that we can also offer our digital assets as-a-service to third parties. For example, we are building a Phonebot-as-a-Service model in our independent company nexsurance in order to make the Phonebot platform available not only to the ERGO units, but also to (insurance) companies outside the group. ERGO is thus progressively evolving from a traditional insurer into a tech company.

How will Digital Ventures achieve the goals of Ambition 2025? 

A triad was defined for the group-wide strategy program – scale, shape, succeed. This triad should give us guidance for achieving our goals in the future - also with Digital Ventures. Scale means that we will continue to expand the areas of robotics and artificial intelligence, and our online platforms. At the same time, nexible is growing on the basis of digitally optimized, highly automated processes. In addition, we are scaling our existing collaborations with car manufacturers and dealers.

Shape means that we consistently optimize our technologies and will continue to expand our digital offerings. At the same time, we are strengthening our leading role in the area of digitization within the insurance sector. Again, the following applies: ERGO is not resting on its laurels, but continuously evaluates and tests new fields of technology, such as virtual reality. This is currently in a rather recent test phase in sales. The counselling takes place via data glasses in a virtual room, which - even if it sounds surprising - really gives a feeling of closeness. I also use this technology at my own division manager meetings and I am truly enthusiastic. 

At the same time, we are expanding nexible's digital business model, underpinning our role in the mobility and travel ecosystems and further digitizing our annex business. I am convinced: The insurer that positions itself in the best possible way as a partner in promising ecosystems with convincing products and services will be one step ahead in the future. 

As part of succeed, we develop growth opportunities together with our partners, drive digital transformation, and simplify the processes for our customers. We offer them insurance solutions based on future digital technologies. Everything under the overall goal: ERGO inspires its customers with simple, fast and customer-friendly processes. Ideally, insurance should be as easy to book as signing up for a Netflix subscription. 

So we have set our sights high, no question about it. But I am convinced that we will achieve these quite ambitious goals. After all, the teams of ERGO, not least of Digital Ventures, have already shown in an impressive way over the past years how much they are capable of. 

Thank you very much!

Welcome to //next!

What drives the insurance industry? Which trends should be looked at more closely - and how should they be dealt with? With the online magazine //next, ERGO has created a platform where experts reflect on necessary innovations and technological developments in the insurance industry.

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