Allianz SE and Microsoft Corp. are partnering to reimagine the insurance industry experience for carriers and customers, in part through greater use of digital technology and the cloud. Their initiative will also incorporate the idea of open-source software for some key Allianz technology, which would enable outside parties to improve it for their own or outside use.

Through the strategic partnership, Allianz will move core pieces of its global insurance platform, Allianz Business System (ABS), to Microsoft’s Azure cloud. At that point, Allianz will open-source parts of the product’s core to improve and expand capabilities.

Christof Mascher, COO and member of the board of management of Allianz SE, said in prepared remarks that the partnership creates “an exciting opportunity, both for larger insurers needing to replace their legacy IT, and smaller players — such as InsurTechs — looking for a scalable insurance platform.”

Added Jean-Philippe Courtois, EVP and president, Microsoft Global Sales, Marketing & Operations: “By delivering an open-source, cloud-based insurance platform and software application marketplace, we will support innovation and transformation across this sector.”

Specifically, Microsoft will partner with Syncier, the InsurTech firm founded by Allianz, which will offer a configurable version of the product called ABS Enterprise Edition to insurance providers as a service. This insurance platform is designed to benefit customers by reducing costs and centralizing their insurance portfolio management, increasing efficiencies across all lines of insurance business, Allianz said in a statement.

Syncier’s ABS Enterprise Edition can handle insurance processes across all lines and it can be customized for any insurance company, country and regulatory requirements, the company said.

Insurers, brokers and agents adopting the platform can service clients and manage entire portfolios end to end in one system, gaining a unique 360-degree view of each client and the business, Allianz said.

To accelerate industry innovation, Syncier will also offer an Azure cloud-based marketplace for ready-made software applications and services tailored to the insurance sector. Such offerings could include, for example, customer service chatbots or AI-based fraud detection. The marketplace enables insurance providers to easily and quickly implement the available products and services in a plug-and-play manner, the companies said.

Allianz uses ABS globally as a platform for all lines of business and along with Microsoft said it is committed to supporting the ABS Enterprise Edition long term. Today, ABS handles around 60 million insurance policies in 19 countries and is being rolled out to all Allianz entities, the announcement noted.

Source: Allianz and Microsoft

*A version of this story ran previously in our sister publication Insurance Journal.