Welcome To pfireStorm

Harnessing the power of the empowered consumer

by Steve Symes, CEO, Genasys Technologies
Published: August 8th, 2012

Not so long ago, companies were built around centralized processing facilities and the focus was on getting operational efficiencies through automation within the office environment and knowledge workers. Systems were largely standalone, and Client Server systems were considered state-of-the-art. The web was useful for posting information and advertising.

With the pervasive nature of the Internet, customers and staff have become used to the concept of self-service and instant gratification. Some industries have adopted the Internet and online transacting and this has become the norm. Remember the days when you had to go to a travel agent to book your flights or go to a bank branch to transfer money…

Look critically at the insurance industry: how many websites are geared towards online self-service and facilitating the individual being his own financial planner by his being able to select from an array of products? Television and radio advertisements shout about providing comparative quotations. Now look again: how many of these are truly self-service versus front-ends for call centers using the web as a lead generator, and recapturing this into their back-end systems?

This is going to change – your consumers are going to demand access to information, ability to make choices and conduct their insurance online in their own time. They want to track their claims online, approve purchases, sign off on acceptance of loss, and so on. Automated straight through processing is becoming a business imperative.

This opportunity is either to be embraced or really to be feared. Your attitude will largely be a factor of how quickly you can embrace the technology and how willing you are to accept that change is a constant and that it is going to happen faster.

Another reality for the insurance industry is the need for co-operative computing. Business-to-business is a given, both from an efficiency perspective and as a legislative requirement. Brokers are the channel for many insurers and they are mutually dependent. Binder regulation changes, liquidity requirements and legislative requirements for underwriters to know their clients will provide both new opportunities and new threats to existing business practices.

A further reality is that your employees are used to using their mobile devices and will bring them into the corporate environment. Company management will need to decide if and how they embrace this paradigm, knowing these devices are carried around in supermarkets, at braais with friends, used to access Facebook and multiple other online environments. This poses a threat to security, but, at the same time, opens massive opportunity to access customers on an entirely different level. There is no reason why a client can’t insure his car from his iPad as he takes ownership of the vehicle, or compare his insurance cover with his mates while turning the steaks over the coals.

Kids nowadays are growing up with these devices, are fully conversant with them and are way ahead of the adoption curve. They expect instant connectivity, instant gratification and cheap/free service in an online world. Guess what … these kids are soon going to be your customers and staff.

It is therefore both a technology question and, more importantly, a business question. The technology is available. The business model is different and requires a mind-shift. Systems need to be intelligent and apply business rules and drive consumers through a process in a domain that is probably not familiar to them.

The challenge that faces the CIO is how to engage the new breed of consumer and use their capacity for learning and self-reliance to the company’s advantage. Enable your customer to do your work.

Your Administration is a key enabler or disabler for your business. Does it allow you to adapt to changes in the business environment and new technologies, new markets and new methods? Or do you have to front-end your platform with extra process and people to make it work?

A prime example of a new entrant making big waves based in a technological solution can be seen in the banking environment. The big banks were caught napping with a new bank taking strong position in the unsecured loan area, and, what started out as being entry-level banking, has rapidly found favour with clients from all walks of life who want self-service, turnaround and simplicity. This did not happen by mistake, but a conscious decision to invest in technology and change the business model.

So, it may be a challenge to change our thinking, but empowered and independent clients and business partners can be a great asset in the insurance industry. It is up to us to have the right technology and processes in place to help them conduct business in the easiest way possible.

This article was sourced from www.cover.co.za at the following URL:


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Contact Details

company: pfireStorm
address: 21 Alexander Drive
Winston Park, Gillits
tel: +27 87 474 2200
fax: +27 31 764 4090
website: https://www.pfire.co.za


BRANCH: Head Office
Cindy Buxton
Central Hub Manager
Daphne Lombard
Social Responsibility Manager
Mike Lombard
Financial Manager
DIVISION: Operations
DEPARTMENT: Operations
Gareth Hopkins
Operations Manager
DIVISION: Sales and marketing
DEPARTMENT: Distribution
Grant Hopkins
Sales & Distribution Manager

Company Profile


    Pfirestorm is an affordable internet based service that organisations are able to offer their clients that will result in the cementing of existing relationships and/or the establishment of new relationships between the clients and the organisation.

    This service is CLIENT-CENTRED and simultaneously provides the organisation with a platform that addresses fundamental business matters such as strategy and wealth creation, operations and practice management, compliance issues, day to day matters, vast Marketing opportunities, leveraging IT in a unique way, staff incentives and measurements and impact directly and indirectly on your income flows from day one.

    The purpose for this service is to enable organisations and clients to be able to reach out to one another in an environment that is transparent, promotes shared responsibility and facilitates relationships providing mutual benefit for the client and the organisation.

    It is no longer a matter of who you know! It is who knows YOU!

    It is time!


Pfirestorm’s unique collaborative technology will enable our clients to deliver a branded and unified sustainable experience to their customers at all levels of their organisation, through programmed alignment of internal procedures and processes with their Customer Value Proposition.

Our clients will experience the power of a programmed behavioral system designed to sustain, facilitate and deliver to their clients, a distinctive Customer Value Proposition resulting in increased new and retained customers that can be measured in terms of higher production outcomes, reduced operating costs, focused employee and customer activities, customer services that exceed expectations, business continuity, and ultimately good corporate governance aligned to a dynamic regulatory environment.