Esurance Turns to Microsoft's Software-Plus-Services Strategy to Deliver Key Services to Mobile Channel
Esurance quickly migrated Web applications to mobile devices, using the Microsoft platform.
ORLANDO, Fla., May 18 -- Esurance Inc., the direct-to-consumer personal auto insurance company, has turned to Microsoft Corp. to roll out a software-plus-services implementation that delivers its popular online insurance services to mobile devices.
Esurance has been offering auto insurance policies online since 1999. Today, the majority of its customers purchase policies from the company's user-friendly Web site. Esurance needed to find a way to quickly migrate its Web-based applications to a mobile platform and to integrate third-party services that would add value. The insurer turned to Microsoft and its software-plus-services strategy -- essentially, a technology approach that allows companies to run applications locally, in the cloud or through a combination of the two.
Through this implementation model, Esurance was able to utilize the Microsoft .NET Framework to migrate applications to the Windows Mobile 6.1 operating system. It also integrated two additional services: a text-messaging gateway and AutoWatch, which customers can use to view photos of their car being repaired at an auto body shop. By porting its applications to run in a mobile environment, Esurance is able to anticipate its tech-savvy customer needs, which will help boost customer acquisition and retention.
"We define ourselves in terms of the convenience of real-time, on-demand customer service; part of that is offering customers a choice about how and when they access our products," said Deepak Srinivasan, director of systems engineering, Esurance. "The Microsoft software-plus-services approach is perfect for Esurance's mobile platform because it allows another convenient way for customers to access our services and products."
As part of the rollout, Esurance will make many of its critical Web applications available on mobile phones, including claims-related functionality, quoting, policy management and billing services. By embracing the software-plus-services approach, Esurance gives customers the flexibility and choice of services that span the Web, PC, phone and mobile device.
"Insurance firms want to cut costs now and innovate for the future. Microsoft's software-plus-services approach allows companies to accomplish both. Insurers such as Esurance can save money by migrating services to the cloud and continue to innovate by choosing to deploy new applications and services via the Web, PC, mobile device or some combination of all three," said Bill Hartnett, industry solutions director, U.S. Insurance Group, Microsoft. "This flexibility helps insurers maximize their IT investments and ultimately provide better customer service."