FWD extends collab with AWS to push cloud further

FWD Group Holdings has entered into a five-year agreement for technology services with Amazon Web Services as part of FWD’s cloud-first strategy.

As FWD Group’s strategic cloud provider, AWS will continue to host core business applications, ranging from finance to customer and insurance agent interfaces. 

The extended collaboration with AWS will also provide FWD with greater agility, scalability, and resilience as FWD continues to progressively move away from operating its own onsite data centres.

Sandeep Pandey, group chief technology and operations officer of FWD, said cloud computing is a holistic business strategy, not just a priority for the technology function. 

“This digital-first mindset has delivered operational infrastructure and capabilities that are not only secure and cloud-based, but also fully integrated across business functions and with valued partners like AWS,” said Pandey.

“With these foundations in place, we can now further scale our generative artificial intelligence deployment in an efficient, effective and responsible way, in line with our vision of changing the way people feel about insurance,” he added.

Cloud technology has positively impacted FWD’s software development and deployment, expediting time-to-market and enhancing customer experiences. 

At the end of 2023, 97% of FWD Group’s applications were migrated to the cloud – up from 27% as of the end of 2020 – with 93% of applications targeted for retirement decommissioned.

Francessca Vasquez, VP of Professional Services and Generative Artificial Intelligence Innovation Center at AWS, said they have been supporting companies in the financial and insurance industry around the world to better serve their customers with its cloud and AI technologies for more than a decade. 

“FWD Group’s ambition of harnessing the power of cloud and generative AI demonstrates their commitment to digital transformation and customer-centricity,” said Vasquez.

Examples of collaboration with AWS include Omne by FWD, which offers a customer-focused digital self-service and claims process that earned strong net promoter score ratings since its introduction in 2022. 

FWD was also supported by AWS in its development of a cloud-based centralised finance hub for collecting, validating, and processing financial, investment, and actuarial data in FWD.

Between 2021 and 2023, FWD saw significant growth in certificates awarded by cloud providers. This included AWS Skills Guild, a programme that builds cloud fluency across an organisation, which trained more than 600 FWD employees and contractors.

FWD’s digital cloud platform encompasses analytics, database management, and AI to enhance development efficiency and security. 

The group’s cloud-first strategy is the foundation for their generative AI deployment, which aims to enhance the customer experience and the company’s operations in areas like acquisition, marketing, channel and agent performance, underwriting, claims and customer service. 

FWD embarked on its AI journey in 2019 and now has almost 200 active AI models applied across its business, with over 600 use cases.