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Atos to Leverage New Aegon Contract to Challenge for U.K. Life & Pensions Closed Books

 

In 2016, Atos was awarded a 13-year life & pensions BPO contract by Aegon, taking over from the incumbent Serco and involving the transfer of ~300 people in a center in Lytham St Annes.

The services provided by Atos within this contract include managing end-to-end operations, from initial underwriting through to claims processing, for Aegon's individual protection offering, which comprises life assurance, critical illness, disability, and income protection products (and for which Aegon has 500k customers).

Alongside this deal, Aegon was separately evaluating the options for its closed book life & pensions activity and subsequently went to market to outsource its U.K. closed book business covering 1.4m customers across a range of group and individual policy types. The result was an additional 15-year deal with Atos, signed recently.

Three elements were important factors in the award of this new contract to Atos:

  • Transfer of the existing Aegon personnel
  • Ability to replatform the policies
  • Implementation of customer-centric operational excellence.

Leveraging Edinburgh-Based Delivery to Offer Onshore L&P BPS Service

The transfer of the existing Aegon personnel and maintaining their presence in Edinburgh was of high importance to Aegon, the union, and the Scottish government. The circa 800 transferred personnel will continue to be housed at the existing site when transfer takes place in summer 2019, with Atos sub-leasing part of Aegon’s premises. This is possible for Atos since it is the company’s first life closed block contract and the company is looking to win additional deals in this space over the next few years (and will be going to market with an onshore rather than offshore-based proposition).

Partnering with Sapiens to Offer Platform-Based Service

While (unlike some other providers of L&P BPS services) Atos does not own its own life platform, the company does recognize that platform-based services are the future of closed book L&P BPS. Accordingly, the company has partnered with Sapiens, and the Sapiens insurance platform will be used as a common platform and integrated with Pega BPM across both Aegon’s protection and closed book policies.

Atos has undertaken to transfer all of the closed block policies from Aegon’s two existing insurance platforms to Sapiens, and these will be transferred over the 24-month period following service transfer. The new Sapiens-based system will be hosted and maintained by Atos.

Aiming for Customer-Centric Operational Excellence

The third consideration is a commitment by Atos to implement customer-centric operational excellence. While Aegon had already begun to measure customer NPS and assess ways of improving the service, Atos has now begun to employ further the customer journey mapping techniques deployed in its Lytham center to identify customer effort and pain points. Use of the Sapiens platform will enable customer self-service and omni-channel service, while this and further automation will be used to facilitate the role of the agent and enhance the number of policies handled per FTE.

The contract is priced using the fairly traditional pricing mechanisms of a transition and conversion charge (£130m over a 3-year period) followed by a price per policy, with Atos aiming for efficiency savings of up to £30m per annum across the policy book.

Atos perceives that this service will become the foundation for a growing closed block L&P BPS business, with Atos challenging the incumbents such as TCS Diligenta, Capita, and HCL. Edinburgh will become Atos’ center of excellence for closed book L&P BPS, with Atos looking to differentiate from existing service providers by offering an onshore-based alternative with the digital platform and infrastructure developed as part of the Aegon relationship, offered on a multi-client basis. Accordingly, Atos will be increasingly targeting life & pensions companies, both first-time outsourcers and those with contracts coming up for renewal, as it seeks to build its U.K. closed book L&P BPS business.

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