Guidewire’s annual conference, Guidewire Connections 2020, went ahead this year, albeit in a reimagined form. It was 2-day event, completely virtual and free to all.

The yearly event is typically an opportunity to hear the latest stories, innovations, and changes within the world of Guidewire, not to mention a great chance to network. Given the constraints imposed in a pandemic world – the event was still able to generate a high level of content and a lot of interesting announcements.

The main talking point taken away by us at Business Agility was Guidewire’s focus on Cloud and the impetus needed for adoption.

Other areas explored at Guidewire Connections 2020 were:

  • Guidewire Cloud and its latest release – Banff
  • Autopilot (a new automation approach to claims handling)
  • The CloudDirect program
  • InsuranceNow
  • Data and Analytics

Guidewire’s CEO, Mike Rosenbaum, keynote kicked off the event and he had interesting things to say regarding challenges that almost everyone has felt during 2020. In the face of such adversity, Mike made a note about the claims not made. Highlighting that insurers had passed back a record number of rebates ($14b in the US) – it’s a point that reflected the insurance industry as a community.

Mike’s session included:

  • Guidewire Cloud developments
  • Banff release
  • A new website for Guidewire Developers
  • CloudDirect
  • Autopilot

Guidewire Connections 2020: Guidewire Cloud

Mike had some interesting customer numbers regarding cloud adoption – as he also stated Guidewire’s position and acknowledged Cloud is a means, not an end.

  • Currently there are 62 Guidewire Cloud customers: 26 on InsuranceSuite and 36 on InsuranceNow
  • Mike noted 13 customers in production by end of January 2021 and 320 instances of non-production environments
  • For InsuranceNow there are 31 customers in production and 220 instances of non-production cloud environments.
  • With Aspen (Guidewire’s initial Guidewire Cloud release), there are 2 customers in production and 2 more schedule in the next 4 months

Guidewire Connections 2020: Banff

The big news on top of these numbers at Guidewire Connections 2020 is Guidewire’s commitment to a 6-month product release cycle. Which is where the next version of Guidewire Cloud came in – Banff.

Banff, Guidewire’s second bi-annual release, builds on Aspen to introduce a closed-loop analytics platform and providing insight.

Other Banff highlights include:

  • InsuranceSuite Cloud API—New API enabling insurers to easily connect with third-party systems and services, reducing integration costs and accelerating innovation.
  • Product Editions—An enhancement to Advanced Product Designer (APD) enabling product changes to be made based on effective dates, increasing insurers’ ability to respond to customer preferences and market dynamics.
  • Cloud-native services—Building on the cloud-native services introduced in Aspen for rating and business rules, new cloud-native services (including inbound payments and disbursements) increase business agility while simplifying IT operations.
  • Cyence risk insights—New features (including support for cyber risk assessment with Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP) Exposure Signal) plus technology preview of targeted ransomware event modeling, enabling insurers to deliver more profitable growth.

A new website for developers

Touched briefly on in his talk, Mike noted that Banff will include a new website, which he feels “will eventually become one of the most important components of their platform”. Called ‘developer.guidewire.com’.

guidewire connections reimagined 2020

This site is a new developer program that brings articles, blogs, videos, and more to the world-wide community of developers working on the Guidewire platform. The idea is to drive further innovation and to creatively address business objectives.

CloudDirect

It was acknowledged that the upgrade path for many Guidewire customers had appeared to be somewhat complex and with multiple stages. So, Guidewire have developed CloudDirect.

CloudDirect— a new program combining tools and upgrade services to enable self-managed Guidewire InsuranceSuite customers to upgrade directly to Guidewire Cloud, reduces upgrade costs and streamlining planning.

There were separate sessions on this later in the conference, so we’ll go into more detail on a later blog post.

Autopilot

This announcement is something with a lot of development behind it and one where many ClaimCenter customers will be wanting to know more about. Autopilot has been created to drive efficiency within the claims handling processes of insurers. This will be driven by automation intelligence. There was another session dedicated to this, which we’ll cover in a separate post.

All sessions are available on-demand to view for partners and customers – check them out here.