Case Study - Blue Insurance
Data & System Integration
Blue Insurance began life as an insurance provider for Travel Agents.
From the outset they were ambitious, different and prepared to move fast.
Blue’ve done things their own way and thrived on their ability to spot market trends quickly, often before anyone else.
“We noticed a change in the marketplace. People starting to go direct, flights being booked direct.” (circa 2012) Dave Moore IT Director, Blue Insurance in conversation with EastPoint
Using this idea as a growth template Blue expanded into other markets, pet insurance, gadget insurance and one of the great insurance ideas of the last decade, multi-trip insurance.
“We never looked back, Multi Trip is the same today.”
Blue Insurance had always looked after their own platform development. Unlike the rest of the industry they believed their type of business was best served with their own software engineers
“We’ve operated all down through the years into a pretty agile development platform. We build platforms, we rebuild those platforms, we add stuff we takeaway stuff, we dump them, we create new ones.”
Blue continued their expansion into the UK and Australia, both markets enjoying Blue’s innovative insurance products. Blue concentrated their resources on the brand new online insurance aggregators, coming into their own at the time. As is Blue’s way, they were ahead of the pack in this regard. They recognised the importance and opportunity provided by Compare the Market, Confused.com, GoCompare, Money Supermarket and the plethora. Competing well now on multiple fronts, Blue looked once again to new horizons, the twin giants of retail insurance, Home and Motor.
“if we were going to go into home and motor we needed to have something different. Something unique.”
Blue decided to launch a new two year product to spearhead its entry into the home and motor insurance market, a true 2 year policy. Blue correctly sensed that people were hungry for innovative products, and in a marketplace with prices going up all the time consumers were interested in pinning down a policy price for two years.
“In motor you have an environment where everybody haggles …”
Home is the opposite.
“ … home is sacred to them, they are not moving. You can’t go online and sell cheap home insurance.”
Yes, Blue needed a new product, it also needed more boots on the ground, with access to a CRM containing their 500k plus customers. Blue needed all that data themselves, integrated into their own system, ready for their own forward innovation.
“Home and Motor are bigger decisions than travel, pet or gadget. They require people on the phone, people talking to customers, talking them through the product, answering their questions and queries. And to do that we needed, first of all, we needed systems to support that and second of all, we had a pretty significant customer base from our niche products.”
Blue needed a CRM their sales people could use. A CRM that could handle all their data from the multiple self developed platforms, each unique in purpose, in design, and in development cycle progress. They chose Salesforce. Next up…..
Blue insurance wanted EastPoint to:
“bring the systems together … Make these systems interoperable.”
EastPoint listened. Blue needed a data integration solution, using all the data from Blue’s own various products, including the Motor industry platform which was outside of Blue’s development ecosphere, and to bring all the data together into one place. Presto integro!
“we had a pretty chunky project in terms of how do we get half a million customers in terms of potential customers, leads if you liked, into this CRM system.”
How would that manifest itself? Blue wanted the data to be brought together before it flowed into their CRM. They knew what they wanted, they needed someone to achieve their own bespoke data integration solution.
Blue wanted to be able to use the data they had accrued from their niche products sold direct.
“Our direct customers of which there are nearly half a million, we could talk to these people, we could market to these people, we could tell them about our product.”
After speaking with EastPoint and discussing their Jitterbit solution for the data integration piece:
“What we liked about this idea was the idea of a central hub, that the data would come in and we could integrate the data” into Salesforce in a timely and efficient manner.
“EastPoint were doing this specialised part which turned out to be the Jitterbit Engine.”
It was a complicated project, Blue Insurance needed a knowledgeable and trusted guide to see them through it. But in order to enter the Motor and Home insurance markets they simply had to be able to access the data to enable their sales people to generate, foster and find leads, follow up, all using their client’s data.
“we were a medium sized company with a keen eye on the bottom line, it is always a difficult challenge to bring a somewhat abstract concept, like data integration.”
Nonetheless Blue still felt it was essential to their expansion into new markets. There were two parts to the piece, the CRM and the data integration. Blue felt both were an integral part of their objective.
“there was a significant amount of work on the data side, it showed us in the end that the data side was perhaps more important than the Salesforce side.”
As the project went ahead on multiple fronts there were issues, as to be expected.
“With EastPoint it was down to how they thought about solutions. How they worked those solutions through.”
“We ran into budget issues, we ran into every problem we could. But EastPoint worked through those problems. And worked to solve underlying issues and not simply just to railroad the project through”
Blue wanted a data system integration. They had multiple platforms built by themselves, in their own image, but each defined by the market, their product and their own needs. There was also Relay the system platform used by Motor insurance across the board.
“it was a challenge we had many many different platforms, even though they were built by us, they were still all different in the way they approached things.”
The issue looming large was how to integrate all this data, yes into the CRM, but first into Blue itself. As a result of this integration and interoperability Blue had all their data stored in our CRM. Blue naturally wanted their own data to integrate into their own system first. This was what emerged but it was not all so obvious from the beginning….
“I liked that about the fact that EastPoint were able to see the bigger picture … And from the very beginning they (EastPoint) challenged us. They challenged the concept. Which I liked, they weren’t simply taking an order form and turning up at the door, and saying yes I will fill that in for you.”
What we did
What we delivered
Data & System Integration Hub utilising Jitterbit
Microsoft O/S /SQL Database
Business requirements – Tech target – CRM Salesforce
Existing 3rd systems (database)
Jitterbit Proof of Success
POC – data stress test