In the ramp up to Insurance Telematics USA, we return to our conversation with Rémi Demerlé, global partnerships director at Telenor Connexion, who discusses why service should be integral to offerings
TU: What does your company do?
RD: Telenor Connexion is the leading provider of premium M2M solutions for business and life critical applications. Building on more than 10 years of M2M experience, we provide reliable and cost-efficient wireless communication solutions for connecting machines, devices and vehicles on a global basis. Volvo, Nissan, Renault, Daimler, TomTom, Omron, Scania, Qualcomm and Hitachi are some of the global companies we serve.
Being an integrated part of our customers' business critical solutions, we realize the need to support and enhance all phases of our customers' product life cycles. Our connected solution offering is developed to ensure premium services ranging from technical and commercial design, throughout test/validation to long-term connectivity operations.
TU: What is your role and experience in the Insurance telematics market?
RD: Insurance telematics will change the industry for good, and we are excited to be part of this exciting development. We provide well-known companies such as Octo Telematics (on a global basis), Evogi, Allianz and MyDrive with embedded connectivity for their business and life critical services. Our premium M2M solutions enable insurance companies to use one standardized connectivity solution for multiple markets including an online service portal and APN/VPN.
TU: Which trends will impact the emerging Insurance telematics industry the most in the coming years and why? Challenges and Opportunities?
RD: In the short term, the focus is on creating and optimizing new offerings for increasing the installed customer base. Attracting and keeping the best drivers is the ultimate goal of insurers, and this always takes time. The challenge is really about the marketing and promotion of new offerings with a good price model. Accumulating experience through first customers, that’s what insurance companies are willing to do now. But while they experiment, time passes fast and other stakeholders are entering into this market. We have seen prosperous new examples in the past years.
Big insurance companies have a wide open opportunity right now to enter into this market or to wait for the mass-deployment of eCall-based system over 2015/2016 into all new type approved vehicles and then to buy from the car OEMs the required information for creating usage based insurance models.
Another interesting opportunity to look at is the merging of fleet management telematics solutions with the usage-based insurance for selling a bundle of services to enterprises with a commercial fleet or to the service companies providing fleet management services or cars for long term rental.
TU: How do you differentiate your offerings from your competitors? What according to you is your Unique Selling Point ( USP)?
RD: Our strongest differentiator is our proactive service awareness. At Telenor Connexion we believe that support should be an integral component of any business or life critical application, not something you add to your offer. A proactive service awareness, which by the way has to be operational 24/7, connotes a high level of customer service response through our service desk, account managers and sales force. It also entails providing customers with tools that allow for full control of status, location and performance of their connected devices, i.e. offering a world class service portal. I think this approach to M2M is unique within the industry.
TU: What key topics or issues you are looking at discussing with the industry at the Insurance Telematics Europe 2012 event?
RD: Our key topic for the upcoming event is how MNOs can tackle challenges in providing connectivity for insurance service model. To be discussed is:
- Finding best approach for mitigation of network evolution (2G/3G/4G) and roaming conditions.
- Considering public regulations (eCall) as an opportunity to extend more services, finding with MNOs flexibility and simplification for insuring success.
- Learning from key experience for differentiating from competition with innovative business models.
TU: Can you discuss the MNO impact on this market?
RD: The competition can be tough between local MNOs and big MNOs having real telematics experience and M2M knowledge. Few insurance companies understand the difference. Many consider telematics as a black box and the M2M connectivity as just a question of GPRS traffic. We are faced with a young market where consulting plays a big part.
TU: How important do you think this market will be for you and the telematics industry in 2012 and beyond? What do you foresee to be the most exciting?
RD: Telenor Connexion is acting on this market because of our traditional interest in and experience of multiple forms of car telematics. We consider Usage Based Insurance to be a very smart technology, which will contribute to making roads safer and it being more enjoyable to have connected cars.