Business and IT advisory Sollers Consulting launches office in Japan

31 October 2018 Authored by Consultancy.asia

Sollers Consulting, a Warsaw-based business and IT advisory with a focus on the financial sector, has launched an office in Japan – its first outside of Europe.

Founded in Poland at the turn of the century by operational consulting and IT experts, the financial sector consulting specialists Sollers Consulting has since grown to a headcount of 500 with activities across Europe, the Asia Pacific, Middle East, Africa and Americas and a clientele which includes banking and insurance giants such as ING, BNP Paribas, Crédit Agricole, Allianz and Zurich.

With primary office in Warsaw, Poznan, and Lublin in Poland and Cologne in Germany, Sollers Consulting is continuing its international expansion with a newly launched outlet in Japan – noted by the firm as the third largest insurance market of the world, with a total premium of around $472 billion. According to Sollers, less than ten percent of insurance business in Japan is sold via digital channels, and as such the firm sees a significant opportunity in the local market.

“Insurance companies in Japan still have very many paper-based operations,” said founding team-member and Sollers managing partner Michal Trochimczuk, a former manager in the strategy division of Accenture predecessor Andersen Consulting. “Many Japanese insurers are looking for the latest digital technologies to improve productivity and business efficiency… I am grateful for our customers’ trust that allows us to build our business.”European business and IT advisory Sollers Consulting launches office in Japan

Already supporting a large international insurance group with digitising its Japanese business, the expansion comes at a time when the firm says premium income is under pressure in the country and Japanese insurers are in response looking to expand their business both internationally and to new customers locally, with a desire for a more modern and flexible IT infrastructure to prepare for new market entries.

“Insurers in Japan want to respond to changing customer behaviour and look for ways to market their products to digital natives,” says Grzegorz Ukleja, a manager with Sollers who oversees the firm’s Japanese business. “Creating digital customer contact points is one of the major goals of insurance companies… In many countries we are well recognised through our ability to deliver high quality services to the insurance industry. It is our goal to bring agility and international experience to the Japanese market.”

Specialising in digital solutions and implementations, Sollers leverages the technologies of its large network of partners – including Guidewire, Microsoft, Moody's Analytics and Oracle among others – as well as its own products developed in-house, such as its next-gen customer experience digital platform RIFE (Responsive Integrable Front End) for the insurance and finance sectors. The firm is also a strong proponent of the agile project management approach.

Agile approach

Speaking on agile implementations at a recent InsurTech event organised by Sollers in Cologne, the firm’s managing director Trochimczuk warned that competing departments are undermining the digital transformations of insurers. “Silo mentality, manual processes and legacy systems are making innovation more difficult,” Trochimczuk said, noting that while banks and insurers understood the benefits of agile working, many were failing to fully implement the approach.

A recent study by Big Four accounting and consulting firm Ernst & Young found that insurance firms in the largest economies of ASEAN and Hong Kong had achieved full digital implementation at a rate of less than 17 percent, compared to one third of their counterparts in wealth, fund and asset management, while over 45 percent of insurers had initiated projects.

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