Insights from Aon and Onguard
In April 2023, Aon and Onguard held a strategic session. This was an opportunity for Aon PolicyManager Product Leader Els van Leeuwen and Onguard Managing Director Adriaan Kom to reflect on client digital solutions of today and tomorrow, as well as their personal experiences engaging with clients. They each had 3 specific questions for each other.
“Great to be here at your superb office Adriaan, thanks for having us. Aon and Onguard have worked together for a considerable amount of time, starting with developing and distributing PolicyManager within the Netherlands and now expanding internationally. How does this partnership fit into the broader Onguard business strategy?”
“Great to have you here with the team Els. Visma delivers software that simplifies the work of entrepreneurs, businesses and societies as a whole. Onguard, which is a part of Visma, helps customers become and stay financially healthy. Our software is designed primarily for finance and risk departments from large global enterprise companies in Europe. We believe in collaborating with key players in the market, such as Aon, who share our values, entrepreneurial mindset and professionalism. To meet the growing demand for flexible, efficient and cloud-based solutions, we are expanding into new markets while continuing growth in our existing markets.”
“Onguard was acquired by Visma in 2020. How did joining the Visma group change the way that you develop technology and engage with clients in your marketplace?”
“Visma is a house of brands that gives leeway to their portfolio companies to grow both autonomously and as part of the group. This keeps the entrepreneurial mindset alive. Being backed by a trustworthy, leading European software company also gives trust to our customers and partners.
Being part of Visma gives us access to global competence centres, world-class peers, and the latest technologies and best practices. This accelerates our software development capacity to serve our customers in the best possible way. By participating in the Visma Security Programme for instance, we ensure that our customers and their data are protected to the latest and most stringent standards in this dynamic and volatile world.
Since becoming part of Visma, we’ve become more data-driven than ever, namely by measuring our product net promoter score (pNPS), customer engagement and employee engagement. We are continuously improving our customer focus and strengthening all of our partnerships, but especially with Visma.”
“Our joint digital solution PolicyManager and Onguard’s own flagship software CreditManager focus on process automation, which has seen rapidly increasing interest recently. Which specific trends do you expect to see from a technological and client requirement point in the near future?”
“There are several technological and client requirements trends that will shape the market. One such trend is an increased focus on data privacy and security. That’s crucial for serving our customers and adhering to the high standards set by Visma. We expect advancements in AI (artificial intelligence) and ML (machine learning) to also play a key role. These technologies have the potential to not only automate repetitive tasks but also add intelligence to our solutions, ultimately improving their effectiveness.
There is also a growing appetite for risk management, driven by the high volatility of the market and new regulations impacting customer chains. The market for credit management software is expected to grow as awareness of the benefits of automation and specialised solutions increases. Another important trend is the disappearance of individual actions.
This is really a welcomed change, as previously isolated finance processes are now seamlessly connected and integrated through technology and automation in (near) real-time. This integration benefits the customer journey. Additionally, it empowers finance professionals to become an essential shackle in the organisational chain by providing an optimal customer experience. Overall, there is a lot of excitement to see how these trends will shape the future of process automation. We look forward to continuing to innovate to meet our customers’ evolving needs.
My turn to ask you some questions Els. Firstly, thank you and to the broader Aon teams for your great partnership so far. As the leader of PolicyManager in a business primarily focused on insurance broking, what are the main challenges you face and what do you find most enjoyable about your role?”
“Thanks a lot Adriaan. A key challenge is building software that is capable of handling complex trade credit insurance policy conditions of various insurers, without our users noticing the complexity that sometimes sits behind a certain feature (like DCL calculation, allocating payments to the oldest invoice and so on). The tool must be simple and intuitive for our users and effectively handle the complexities of finance and insurance.
By far, the best part about my role is meeting happy clients who are finally able to comfortably follow-up on all their policy terms and conditions, when these created frustration in the past. Now, without the effort that cost them a lot of time and effort previously. PolicyManager provides risk insights to management and day-to-day support for credit control. By leveraging technology, PolicyManager breaks down complex credit insurance policies, empowering end users and ensuring maximum utilisation of the policy.”
“We see an increasing number of players in the credit insurance policy automation market. What specific feature or aspect of the PolicyManager solution, developed collaboratively, makes you the proudest?”
“In my view, PolicyManager is the only digital solution in the market that fully understands credit insurance policies. It comprehends the intricacies of different countries, regions, and various contract types from major insurers (outstanding, turnover, top-up, etc.). The combination of the technical skills from Onguard and the functional skills of our more than 400 credit insurance experts who work within Aon’s Credit Solutions across the globe has proven to be very compelling. It’s exciting to be a pioneer in this segment. We are proud to help our clients to manage their daily challenges in this field.”
“We see an increasing client interest around the combination of the PolicyManager and CreditManager solutions. How do you articulate the value of this combination to clients?”
“PolicyManager focuses exclusively on credit insurance. However, many of our clients seek software that can support their credit management and dunning procedures as well. That’s exactly where the combination of PolicyManager and CreditManager has added value to our clients. Integrating insurers’ ratings into workflows and scorecards enables a comprehensive credit management approach.
In addition, when setting procedures within CreditManager, we can consider major policy events such as the Market Economic Party (MEP). These capabilities allow our clients to streamline their credit management process and optimise their risk management strategies. This ultimately contributes to their financial health and growth.”
The combination of PolicyManager and CreditManager empowers finance professionals with a digital solution, streamlines credit management processes and drives sustainable growth for businesses. Join us on our solutions pages to read more about the innovative joint offering, PolicyManager, and gain insights into how it seamlessly integrates with CreditManager.