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Cecilia Farrow describes it as one of the boldest moves of her life, going to her board and convincing them to invest a considerable sum of money in turning a bunch of spreadsheets into a cloud based platform for risk management and insurance advice. The board were convinced and they were particularly persuaded by the credentials of technology gurus ClearPoint to get the job done.
Cecilia realised two years ago that technology would provide the company with a springboard to go global and crucially, a means to protect its IP. She had developed a unique business model in the life insurance and “human capital” risk market and now needed to protect it from potential copycats. The calculations and IP for that business model were held in spreadsheets that could be easily downloaded and replicated which would strip the company of its worth.
The result has been nothing short of revolutionary in the world of insurance risk assessment for small to medium sized businesses, a historically difficult market. Triplejump now has a secure, cloud-based online platform that automates the process through which banks, insurers, accountants and risk advisers provide business protection advice and insurance to small and medium-sized companies. It is scalable and has international potential in target overseas markets, such as Australia, Britain, USA and South Africa.
A unique insurance assessment model
In a market where new stricter financial regulations for financial advisers are being rolled out around the world, Triplejump has developed a unique insurance assessment model that meets a growing and urgent need for small to medium sized businesses (SMEs). According to Ian Black, Chief Executive of Triplejump, these SMEs often don’t realise the “human capital” risks they are exposed to, such as the danger of a business owner becoming unwell and being unable to work.
“When something happens many of them have inadequate financial strength to retain the risk in their business and many SMEs could not survive the period when the business owner is out of action,” he said. “What we provide is a tool that advisers can use to walk [clients] through a discovery process to understand what that risk looks like and work out how they can protect themselves against that risk.”
The Triplejump process is highly detailed and produces a staggering amount of data. Their modus operandi is that risk should only be insured when their financial analysis shows that the business or individual cannot manage it themselves. That requires a deep level of questioning and analysis of clients’ needs. They entrusted ClearPoint to build the platform, secure the highly confidential data and protect their IP.
A result that can be relied on
Bain Hollister, Consulting Director for ClearPoint and co-founder said that ClearPoint employed their trademark Agile software methodology to kick start a fully functioning platform.
“Feature Driven Development means we release fully functioning pieces of software every two weeks. Seeing results produced fast gives confidence to clients.” — Bain Hollister, Consulting Director, ClearPoint
“The Feature Driven Development method aligns well with new product development allowing huge amounts of flexibility in terms of roadmap planning and feature priority,” said Hollister.
The first major piece of software went live in September 2013. It was smooth sailing with the accounting firm Crowe Horwarth as the first to adopt the platform with a newly recruited team of five specialist risk advisers.
The downsides to using spreadsheets have all been turned into positives. The platform is secure. It protects customer details and the IP of Triplejump. Risk plans are automatically generated. Once customer information has been collated, the click of a button produces the risk plan, containing all the necessary tables, calculations and attributes. There is an automated audit trail where there once was none, now a crucial regulatory requirement in the insurance and finance industry.
For the first time, advisers have a platform which guides and enforces the correct disciplines with regards to information gathering, storage and risk plan production.
“It’s about getting the right output from the right input,” Black said. “One of the key selling propositions that ClearPoint has achieved with the platform is a tighter, more controlled process; one which produces a result that underwriters can rely on because it is consistent, compliant and reliable.”
“We insist on great UX/UI design in all that we do. You’ve got to have the end user in sight at all times.” — Bain Hollister, Consulting Director, ClearPoint
“The functionality has improved out of sight,” Hollister added. “But that’s not the whole story. The user experience is outstanding and that’s a real ClearPoint differentiator. We insist on great UX/UI design in all that we do. You’ve got to have the end user in sight at all times so that the platform is intuitive and therefore easy to use. We’ve certainly done that with the Triplejump platform.”
Open for global business
The global market for Triplejump is now open for business according to Chief Executive Ian Black.
“The global market opportunity is known to be in excess of US$650 billion ($719 billion) and Triplejump is creating significant interest among large overseas accounting firms and financial institutions that understand the needs of SMEs but have been frustrated in finding a comprehensive and compliant means of servicing that market.”
The Triplejump platform offers a user experience that is groundbreaking and belies the level of complexity beneath the surface.
As it is cloud-based, advisors can log into the system anywhere in the world, at any time of day or night. The document generation capabilities save time and effort whilst containing all the right calculations. The automatically generated audit trail more than meets regulatory requirements.
Moreover, Triplejump has adopted many of the Agile processes themselves, particularly within the burgeoning IT department. They saw the benefits of ClearPoint’s innovative way of working and there’s no going back now.