In this News Desk interview, Tom Smith speaks with Mark Klein, chief digital officer at ERGO Group, during Celonis’ Celosphere 2022 conference in Munich. The two discuss digital transformation projects and the role of culture, Celonis use cases, co-creation initiatives, and the board game that the company created to drive broader acceptance of Celonis technology.
01:20 — Klein provides an overview of his company and his role. ERGO Group provides life, health, property, and casualty insurance. It conducts business in Europe as well as Asia growth markets including China, India, and Thailand. It has a premium volume of $19 billion. ERGO is a Munich Re company. Klein says he’s responsible for the insurance business that ERGO does with partners: ERGO adds insurance to their offering to make it a better proposition for their customers.
02:34 — As Chief Digital Officer, Klein is driving the digitalization of ERGO, implementing new technologies including robotics, artificial intelligence, and phone bots. He led a proof of value initiative with Celonis technology in 2021 and notes, “We have seen the power of that technology because it creates transparency of an end-to-end process. So, we could see were elements that we can still digitalize, elements that we have to leave out, and where we have to change the process. This is helping us to drive digitalization and to drive customer focus throughout our processes.” Celonis helps create transparency regarding where to implement robotics, artificial intelligence, or phone bots.
03:57 — The company has identified two processes so far: operation of car insurance and claims; this work is helping to understand how Celonis software fits into the ERGO architecture. In today’s challenging times, customer demands are changing; they want faster responses and faster reactions. So, the customer of an insurance company is demanding digitalization. A project called “digital at scale” has the goal of driving more digital, customer-oriented processes. ERGO has identified 28 processes where it will implement Celonis over the next 18 months. It aims to get up to 60-70 processes in order to transform the business to become more customer-centric, lean, simple, and cost-efficient.
06:20 — Referencing a co-creation partnership between ERGO and Celonis that was announced at Celosphere, Klein said the two companies were in close contact and jointly developed projects together. Then the two companies thought about how they can combine ERGO’s knowledge — processes and data from the insurance industry — with Celonis’ tools. This resulted in an innovation partnership whereby ERGO has the opportunity to tap into innovations from Celonis and be early in implementing them. “This is a very good combination and a very pragmatic collaboration.”
07:54 — Klein says he’s convinced that digital transformation is mainly a cultural transformation. Companies typically have multiple initiatives and projects that they have to drive and they are heavily depending on the know-how of each individual in the organization. ERGO has seen the importance of creating transparency, the understanding of what the technology does, and how to demystify it so that people are not afraid. To achieve that with process mining, the company developed a real board game and top managers competed in a task to come from their location to the airport most efficiently. They could hike, bike, take a taxi, or drive themselves.
09:12 — The game involved calculating each person’s carbon footprint, how much they spent and how long it took. With Celonis, ERGO made it transparent who was fastest, and who had the best carbon footprint with real names. That helped employees understand what process mining is all about. Employees began thinking if they had the same transparency in the claims process, there would be a major benefit. The initiative started at the top and is playing out throughout the organization “to show the impact of process mining in a very easy, joyful manner.”
10:13 — Discussing new products introduced by Celonis at Celosphere, Klein cited three products and their benefits:
- Business Miner: “I like that the business users themselves can use it easily – so you don’t have to have the technical expertise…it might drive more adoption of the technology in our organizations.”
- Process Sphere: “You have to understand large organizations still live in silos even though we don’t want to…we basically overcome the silos because you can connect processes from different departments and create the whole picture.”
- Task Mining updates: “I’m really expecting a lot of efficiency gains because specifically in areas like finance, the larger process is already pretty automated…But the single task — these are the things that we could see and really improve.”
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