Thomas Harmeyer, Executive Vice President of Tokio Marine HCC provides helpful insights from a global executive's perspective. Thomas covers a broad range of topics from the strategic objectives, goals and drivers to how he, within a short timeframe, saw the positive impact of using Atlas. Thomas also touches on the vetting and selection criteria, plus highlights the importance of ClearPeople's approach to deliver success services alongside Atlas.
In summary, this is a great interview with an experienced executive, who shares with us a clear vision for a central, digitalised ‘hub’ to drive communication, collaboration and knowledge sharing across the business.
Thomas began by highlighting that, with the company spread across the globe, it is crucial they implement a quick and effective communication system. Their previous legacy system often resulted in pockets of expertise that were ineffectively shared across the company.
With the restrictions on travel during 2020, it became even more important to accurately and rapidly share important information. The organisation had identified the increasing demand for new technologies to improve the provision of information as well as collaboration for their employees, globally.
Tokio Marine HCC is a leading specialty insurance group with offices in the United States, Mexico, the United Kingdom and continental Europe, transacting business in approximately 180 countries and underwriting more than 100 classes of specialty insurance.
The business operates a decentralised model, with pockets of expertise based across their global footprint. As an entity, Tokio Marine HCC has 4,000 staff across the United States, the United Kingdom and continental Europe, transacting business in approximately 180 countries and underwriting more than 100 classes of specialty insurance.
The Atlas Digital Workspace includes out-of-the-box communications, collaboration and knowledge capabilities for end-users, management and IT. Atlas defines a new digital workspace platform category known as a "Knowledge Productivity Platform".
Atlas is installed within the customer's Microsoft 365 (Office 365) tenant and Azure infrastructure, leveraging existing Microsoft 365 licenses, security/compliance settings, Active Directory and more.
The platform fully supports Microsoft Teams, Yammer, SharePoint Online, Microsoft Groups, Planner, OneNote, Power Apps, Power BI and much more.
Thomas emphasised one of the main challenges with the company’s federated business model is lots of specialised knowledge being owned and utilised independently. With their diverse and unique expertise across the business, it is essential that this can be shared and benefitted from on a global platform.
He stated: “we need to ensure our employees on the frontline have all of the information they need to deliver a successful service.”
Pre-Atlas, Tokio Marine HCC relied on an outdated legacy system which only acted as an online folder structure for storage - it was not engaging and did not encourage communication or interaction. Thomas commented that there was a clear desire to better utilise technologies and company expertise to facilitate the organisation of the business as a whole.
Thomas added: “we’re operating on an international basis with the US, UK and continental Europe being big markets, so a core element in developing this new tool is to bring people together and tell the story of what they are doing in their different units across the globe.”
Here, in this 4 minute clip, Thomas provides insights into the initial outcomes and successes, and also speaks to the cultural impact and how it has impacted the ability for each individual to succeed in their work.
Thomas referred to Tokio Marine HCC’s vision of creating a company-wide platform where employees can engage with each other effortlessly, allowing the sharing of essential knowledge across the business that has previously been hidden in silos. This will allow all necessary information to be easily made accessible for everyone, crucially being regularly updated by relevant staff across separate business units.
It is also essential that all information shared internally is both safe and secure.
Thomas added: “we are an organisation that has a flat hierarchy and so decisions are made quickly at a relatively flat level. There’s not a long chain where things are going into the pipeline from one committee to another, and so immediate access to respective executives is critical to quickly react to marketplace opportunities.”
He continued: “we were looking for a communication hub and a gateway for employees, built by employees. It will be a key driver for us to connect people at all levels across all hierarchies through a fresh, new interactive platform which employees feel invigorated to use and add to.”
"It [Atlas] helps us to ensure our employees on the frontline have all of the information they need to deliver a successful service."
"a core element in [..] this new tool is to bring people together and tell the story of what they are doing in their different units across the globe"
"as a company, we had seen that ClearPeople delivered their product on time, and the team understood our business needs, which is really valuable to us and exactly what we’re looking for in a partner"
"With this platform [employees] will be better equipped to converse with agents, brokers and policy holders about the company, with the tools they need at hand."
Tokio Marine HCC had previous engagements with ClearPeople through their international team in London and with the feedback being incredibly positive the team looked to leverage this experience to roll-out a global tool.
Thomas mentioned: “as a company, we had seen that ClearPeople delivered their product on time, and the team understood our business needs, which is really valuable to us and exactly what we’re looking for in a partner.”
As a result, ClearPeople worked with Tokio Marine HCC to launch Atlas, which was branded as “The Port” - a centralised hub where employees can access all relevant data and information, whilst allowing the business to understand what insight and updates are engaged with. Previously, there was no way to monitor its impact but, with The Port, this can be tracked and monitored to deliver more tailored content.
Thomas commented on the Atlas implementation approach: “from the beginning, the [process] design was set up for success and ClearPeople were really clear in the planning process, with our interest right at heart. The platform is now a key piece for our internal and external communication strategy.”
Tokio Marine HCC has already started to see positive results at its very early stage. Members of its C-Suite are using The Port every morning to understand what is going on across the company: "It's where I start my day".
Here Thomas speaks about how people and expertise is being connected, and also dives into ClearPeople's approach to delivering success services with Atlas.
Rolling out the Atlas platform globally, with its offering of new and improved technology, is an important initiative for the company as part of their world-wide digital transformation.
Tokio Marine HCC is looking to deliver more content through the platform and onboard the organisation’s business units, knowledge and expertise into the hub. During a few months following the initial global launch the platform will be extended further with sector-specific landing pages, market information, corporate news, policies and more, with the platform acting as Tokio Marine HCC’s internal website.
Thomas added: “beyond that though, we look forward to better educated employees. With this platform they will be better equipped to [virtually] converse with agents, brokers and policy holders about the company, with the tools they need at hand.”
Atlas is Tokio Marine HCC's starting point for a wider tech and communications transformation initiative, and the platform is seen as a valuable asset to continue to implement new technology, crucial for the organisation’s worldwide operations.
Thomas talks to the strategic agenda and importance of a tool like Atlas, and why Atlas was selected as a stand-out choice in the vetting process.
Thomas covers the main drivers from a top level perspective when looking across a federated business structure. He touches on how Atlas has an impact on the many rather than just a division or a geography.
In this other "Atlas Case Study Series" episode, listen to the Vicky, Head of Digital Transformation at Osborne, talk about Atlas and her vision and digital transformation strategy.
Learn more about objectives and outcomes for Knowledge and Search in this "Atlas Case Study Series" episode with the Weightmans team, covering topics from the selection process to the initial success stories just days after going live.
Phelim Browne, Head of Marketing, for Tokio Marine HCC International is interviewed for the Atlas Case Study Series here.