My First 100 Days at Guidewire
If you had told me six months ago that by November, I would be back working at a publicly listed ‘Corporate’ again, I’m not sure I would have believed you. I have been proudly waving the 'Insurtech’ flag in the start-up / scale-up space for the last three years. I’d overcome my initial skepticism of bean bags in the office, Google Workspace and I’d significantly cut back my tie collection.
However, I met with members of the EMEA leadership team in July and within 30 minutes, I was convinced that Guidewire was the place to be as the London Market adapts to the change emanating from the Lloyd’s of London market transformation program. More on that topic to come in future blogs…
I have been afforded a warm welcome and found Guidewire colleagues to be friendly, knowledgeable, and open to challenge. I have been peppered with offers of help and requests for input on topics that I have experience of navigating in the past. It’s clear to me that Guidewire truly lives its values of integrity, rationality, and collegiality; we work hard as a team to deliver on customer needs and seek to become a trusted advisor.
It’s hard to imagine a better time to have joined the team as the point person for such an important, strategic market for any software company. I joined on 3rd October and just twelve days later we were sitting in the iconic Lloyd’s library spelling out our vision for and commitment to the London Market. Over 130 market representatives came to hear what we had to say, and the feedback has been extremely positive. Guidewire’s claims offering is widely regarded as the leading proposition in London, by users and analysts alike, so enhancements to our policy offering are keenly welcomed.
The market is experiencing a period of unprecedented change – having just started to return to some sense of normalcy following COVID. What will the Lloyd’s mandated changes mean for the marketplace? Who will the changes impact most, brokers, or underwriters? How can my technology partners help me outpace my market peers to maintain my competitive edge? These are all questions that C-Suite executives will be asking themselves in 2023 and as a trusted advisor to significant market players, we will have to provide insightful answers.
My expectations regarding the richness of Guidewire’s product offering have been far exceeded. I knew Guidewire had a proven and credible core offering, but I knew little of the embedded analytics, configuration accelerators, and pre-integrated marketplace apps. The flexibility and breadth of capability is staggering. Now when I ask prospective customers what their strategic aims are, I know I can speak with confidence regarding Guidewire’s ability to deliver. I am just a few months in, so still on a learning curve, but I’m excited about the impact we can have in this historic market.
In late November I was incredibly fortunate to be invited to attend Guidewire’s annual customer conference, Connections, in Las Vegas. I left that event feeling 8ft tall and glowing. It was an incredible spectacle and truly the slickest event I’ve ever attended. The speakers were phenomenal, but what struck me the most was the openness and transparency of messaging to our customers and partners. Guidewire’s CEO, Mike Rosenbaum, spelled out a clear, but bold, vision for our cloud strategy and it was selfishly pleasing for me to see the London Market so prominently articulated as a key strategic area for growth.
In my first few months I have also had the pleasure of meeting so many of our System Integration (SI) partners. These partners play a critical role, not just implementing our software, but also advising customers as to the best way to derive value from their Guidewire deployment. Their advice is critical, and I strongly advise prospective customers to reach out to them as part of their requirements gathering process.
This is all for now and thank you for reading.