As my colleague Ted Schadler stated (and I agree), digital transformation is in a sorry state. The term “digital transformation” has been constantly mentioned over the past few years, even becoming some enterprises’ North Star. But digital transformation can be a puzzle for business and technology leaders.
When my colleague Meng Liu and I attended Ping An’s cloud summit last October, we found that Ping An has set such a good example for enterprises’ digital transformation that we decided to write a case study on it. As a leading traditional insurer, Ping An started its transformation journey by aiming to create a customer-obsessed culture and an AI-powered end-to-end offering. It has achieved remarkable results: increasing revenue by almost 250% and nearly tripling revenue between 2013 and 2017. During its digital transformation, Ping An employed three approaches:
- Creating efficient, relevant, and unified customer experiences. A customer-obsessed culture is one of the two key themes Ping An had when it started the transformation. The insurer has worked continuously to improve its claim settlement efficiency. Ping An Property & Casualty debuted its 510 Ultra-Speed On-Site City Inspection and One-Click Arrangement services, which enable insurance agents to reach an accident scene in 5 to 10 minutes for 95% of claims. Ping An also learned a lesson from China’s internet giants: Offer something free to acquire users and then convert them to customers who actually buy products. And as a firm with many products and services, Ping An launched a “magic gate” portal to let customers access products and services from different departments and subsidiaries, saving them the trouble of jumping from app to app. Ping An now boasts more than 510 million internet customers and 180 million retail finance customers.
- Achieving operational excellence with homegrown digital tech. An AI-powered end-to-end offering is the other key to Ping An’s digital transformation. In the past decade, Ping An has invested US$7 billion in R&D for AI, cloud computing, and blockchain and now expects to invest a further $15 billion in the coming 10 years. The firm now has seven research institutes, 25 research labs, and more than 24,000 R&D staff members, 1,000 of whom focus on emerging tech. It has invested in facial, voiceprint, and microexpression biometrics and deployed natural language processing and speech analytics. All of these technological capabilities allow Ping An to automate processes to improve business value and CX and give employees digital capabilities. The firm now uses Ping An Cloud, formerly its internal cloud platform, to increase application security and agility and serve thousands of customers in the finance and healthcare industries.
- Continuously innovating beyond existing business ecosystems. To provide better services and reach more customers, Ping An redirected customer journeys from its traditional insurance, banking, and asset management services to a broad range of lifestyle needs such as autos, housing, and health. OneConnect, Ping An’s fintech software-as-a-service, is now the world’s largest cloud platform for banking, insurance, and investment solutions, serving hundreds of banks. Ping An subsidiary Lufax, an online marketplace for originating and trading financial assets, is now a top-10 fintech player globally and China’s top peer-to-peer lender. Ping An’s Good Doctor provides healthcare services from online consultations (500,000 per day) to medicine order and delivery, linking 228 million users and 3,100 hospitals. To build an automobile ecosystem, Ping An acquired Autohome, now the largest online car-buying platform in China, which helped Ping An Bank become the leader in auto finance and Ping An Property & Casualty become the second-largest auto insurer in China by volume.
The story of Ping An’s transformation story is truly impressive. If you are interested in learning more, please take a look at our just-published case study: “Case Study: How Ping An Insurance Embraced Digital To Rewrite Its Business.” And if you’d like to share your company’s digital transformation practices, feel free to reach out.