When seaborne trade was booming in the 14th century, insurance sprang up along the Italian coast in the form of oral contracts to hedge against the risk of shipping. In 1384, the world’s first policy was signed at a port of Pisa, which symbolized the foundation of modern insurance system. Following the rise of Britain as the hub of seaborne trade in the 17th century, London became the world’s insurance center, and life insurance, annuity insurance, and reinsurance emerged in addition to marine insurance.
Having kept abreast of the economy and society over centuries, the insurance industry proactively responds to the trend of the times.
CITIC-Prudential Life Insurance: Riding the Wave of Success
Nowadays, from Italian docks to the UK’s Lombard Street, the modern insurance industry reaches every corner of the globe, nurturing countless types of insurances, products and new ventures.
This was when CITIC-Prudential Life Insurance came into being. The solid CITIC Group and the long-standing Prudential Group teamed up to set up CITIC-Prudential Life Insurance, in light of the opening-up of the industry in 2000. The company took only 22 years to blossom into a leading insurance company with total assets of RMB 209.2 billion, 23 subsidiaries and more than 220 branches in 99 cities. Besides, the company has over 1.6 million active individual customers and more than 16,000 corporate clients, and its products encompass life, health and accident insurance, and wealth management services and more.
The insurance industry has matured in terms of business models and types of business over the past six centuries. While in the 21st century, CITIC-Prudential Life Insurance has witnessed and been a part of the industrial transformation driven by advanced technologies.
Technology: Empowering High-speed Development
Thanks to the unremitting efforts over the last two decades, CITIC-Prudential Life Insurance, now a benchmark for joint-venture life insurance companies in China, has recorded sustained growth in business scale and diversification of business segments. In the meantime, it has made a significant step up from manual work to digitalization and intelligentization to enhance business development, and has become an innovator and leader in certain areas, according to an interview with the company.
From paper-based tasks to industry-leading micro-services systems, from selling face-to-face to working with VR-based innovations, from traditionally complex and bulky IT infrastructure to highly flexible application systems, CITIC-Prudential Life Insurance’s Innovation Team introduces the latest technologies and incorporates the proven experiences of both shareholders to blaze new trails, harnessing the power of technology to energize business development with a well-designed, stable and digitalized infrastructure that secures business operations comprehensively.
China Entercom: Offering Reliable Protection
CITIC-Prudential Life Insurance is conscious of the essence of insurance—to guarantee customers’ rights, and that is why its quality of services is recognized by the customers. Even on its journey of digitalization, the company managed to offer “Reliable Protection” and “High-Quality Services”.
Given the ever-expanding business scale and increasing digitalized applications, the network infrastructure of CITIC-Prudential Life Insurance was under severe pressure in 2014, thus, a network deployment should be carried out on a national scale as the company owned numerous branches across China. Based on multi-dimensional assessments, China Entercom, which is also a member of the CITIC Group and offers national coverage of backbone networks and unified ICT solutions with registered licenses, stepped into the spotlight.
The backbone network and MPLS private network technology of China Entercom enabled CITIC-Prudential Life Insurance to establish a nationwide ring network for smooth business connectivity with its partners. The network was not only efficient and standardized, but also realized a private line connecting to the private network of the CITIC Group seamlessly.
In 2016, CITIC-Prudential Life Insurance was seeking an IDC service provider possessing high reliability and business continuity capabilities, as well as capable to incorporate interconnections with different carriers, to provide colocation services for disaster recovery. Once again, China Entercom stood out for its excellence, providing the company with a data center in Wuhan alongside operation and maintenance services.
Supported by the high reliability and professional operation and maintenance capabilities of China Entercom’s cloud-network converged data center, there has been no failure in the services nor problems in daily operation and maintenance ever since the deployment of IDC in 2016. Even during the COVID-19 situation from late 2019 to early 2020, the data center in Wuhan had demonstrated uninterrupted operations and guaranteed service quality. Mr. Layton Lok, Chief Vice President of China Entercom, explained, “All of these were made possible by our 99.99% highly available backbone network that guarantees stable connection, the 7x24x365 intelligent system for network monitoring, and operation and maintenance, coupled with our experienced on-site and off-site multi-tier experts, as well as regular follow-ups and proactive responses to impromptu adjustments.”
Digital Transformation: Embracing Intelligent Future
Though setting sail along the unchanging Italian shores, the modern insurance industry has evolved and progressed over the past six centuries. After years of rapid expansion, the life insurance industry has embarked on in-depth transformation since the second half of 2019, leading to massive staff attrition, supply-demand mismatch, seriously homogeneous products and deviation in values. Now comes the time for change, and one of the keys to this industry’s dilemma is undoubtedly digital transformation.
In response, CITIC-Prudential Life Insurance entered its third phase of transformation back in 2019 for more comprehensive and profound digitalization and intelligentization. Various applications have also shown desired results, including VR meeting rooms, VR policy owner services, VR Intelligent dual-recording systems, big data risk control intelligent platforms, as well as robotic follow-up services and AI underwriting robots launched in 2021.
The importance of transformation within the industry was also highlighted in the “Guidance on Digital Transformation of Banking and Insurance Industry” issued by China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission in January 2022. The issuance aims to facilitate digital transformation of personal financial services, introduce technologies to enrich marketing and services, and build an operational management system for online customers, promoting digitization and intelligentization in marketing, transactions, services and risk control. With China Entercom as its trusted partner, CITIC-Prudential Life Insurance is in line with the policies, embracing the future on the right path.
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