For a relatively young and relatively small company (currently at 37 team members but growing quickly!), it may be unusual to have a team focused solely on innovation. However, for an organization like Joyn, delivering on our mission of tackling the problems that have lingered within the insurance industry for a long time means that innovation is critical.
From the first day we started discussing our new company, there was no question that we would need a team to design a business that would create innovative ways to transform commercial underwriting. And once we built the tech ecosystem and processes that are making brokers’ lives easier every day, our innovation team continues to push into new frontiers to stay ahead of the curve and continue delivering on our core value propositions.
For Joyn, however, innovation goes far beyond inventing new methodologies ourselves or integrating innovative vendor technologies. Our innovation team had to—and continues to—think through the nuances of data structures, data architecture, and technology, building the parts of our platform that don’t just solve the problems of today, but are scalable for the future. In other words, we want to make sure that we aren’t just building microservices and modules that we can immediately use to write business, but that we are building them in such a way that they will power our future needs—with state-of-the-art analytics of course being front of mind as a key strategy for fueling future profitable growth.
An important question that we faced from the outset, as an innovation team, was how to strike the right balance between integrating existing technologies versus building our own to create a holistic and intuitive tech ecosystem. A common misconception when discussing tech innovation is assuming that innovation solely refers to building new things that didn’t previously exist. However, a key role of innovation teams also involves integrating existing solutions in new and exciting ways.
Ultimately, we are always faced with a strategic choice—can the solutions available in the market get us far enough to deliver on our core value propositions? With our own skill sets in mind, we focus our efforts on the technology gaps for which our innovations add the most value and serve Joyn’s mission best. While that often means creating our own proprietary solutions, in many cases it can also mean thinking through the nuances of integrating other solutions in a more effective and efficient way than has been accomplished before.
A good example of this is Joyn’s intake process and use of third-party data. While we use vendor solutions for digitizing and extracting content from certain documents, we also built our own microservice “wrapper” as well as proprietary modules to make the intake process even quicker and easier for ourselves and our broker partners. The third-party data microservice then seamlessly integrates into 50+ vendor endpoints to automatically supplement submissions for our underwriters with a wealth of information.
We consider these microservices one of our differentiators, as our innovative technologies normalize and standardize the data so that our ecosystem is effectively shielded from the idiosyncrasies of individual vendor solutions. As a result, data can flow freely though our system and is more readily available for downstream analytics, reporting, and proprietary technologies yet to be built.
When brokers sign up with Joyn, they won’t see the workings of the machinery to which our innovation team has contributed critical components to provide a technology-driven, joyful insurance experience. But they will see the outcomes of it—a process that provides brokers with unparalleled speed, efficiency, accuracy, and transparency. If you haven’t sent us a submission to see for yourself, we invite you to give us a try. Send your submission to [email protected] and see how our innovation team’s work can enhance your business.