Hello everyone, I'm David and I joined the OpenUnderwriter team in March this year as Strategy Director.
I was previously CEO of Insurecom who were an Insurance Technology company in Brighton before they were acquired by Applied Systems in Aug 2013. I'm passionate about the innovative use of technology to make business more efficient and I really think that the Insurance Industry can be better served.
I was introduced to the OpenUnderwriter team through a mutual friend and was instantly impressed with the set up and team. At the time I was looking for exciting technology companies to work with and they were looking for someone to help develop their strategy and start to grow the organisation.
The challenge they had was simple. They had built a great product over the years as a side project that was gaining a great reputation amongst technical communities. However amongst the business community the company was virtually unknown.
My objectives over the last 6 moths have been five fold.
- Spread the word and make sure that the relevant people within the industry are aware of the company.
- Re-articulate the value proposition in terms of business value rather than technical expertise.
- Align the product roadmap with market demand.
- Generate a sustainable revenue stream and build a full time team to develop the product further.
- Identify collaboration opportunities.
So what has been achieved in the last 6 months?
Well first of all there has been a major rebranding of the company and a complete refresh of the website.
Secondly, we are now articulating our value in business language rather than technically. A lot of people are wary of open source software and have the view that if people are giving it away then it can't be any good. The truth is completely the opposite and recent studies have shown that open source is superior on many levels to closed source software. However, this should be a secondary discussion in relation to how OpenUnderwriter can add value to Insurance businesses. All our materials now reflect this change of approach. We have great software that can help streamline your business processes, drive growth through new distribution channels and allow you to innovate. The fact that there is no license fee is just an added bonus.
In terms of the product roadmap, through talking to potential customers we understand that OpenPolicy is a priority for many people. This reflects the fact that most of the policy management systems in use today have been around for many years and for a lot of companies are stifling innovation. This is why we are now focusing our development efforts and OpenUnderwriter 2.1 sees the release of the first elements of OpenPolicy.
As for growing the team, we are on course to double our size in early 2015, which will significantly increase the speed of our developments. We are also talking with a number of high profile companies about integrating OpenUnderwriter into their businesses.
Being an open source product, we are always on the look out for opportunities to collaborate. We are talking to a number of partners, predominantly in the open source community about how we can work together to bring enhanced functionality into the product quickly. We are also talking to organisations and individuals who have specific requirements and want to contribute to the code base.
So, in summary, it's been a very exciting first six months and I'm extremely pleased with the progress we are making. 2015 is going to be a very busy year with the first major release of OpenPolicy, the growing of the team, the announcement of a number of collaborations and hopefully several new customers!
About the Author
David joined the OpenUnderwriter team in March 2014 and has 25 years’ experience delivering complex technology solutions to a range of organisations in both the financial services and retail sectors. He was previously the CEO of Insurecom and led the successful acquisition by Applied Systems Inc. He has also previously held senior positions at BT and Sainsbury’s. David is responsible for the overall business strategy of OpenUnderwriter. David sits as a non-executive director for other innovative, fast growth technology firms.