IMS Partnerswith Conversational AI Platform Provider SmarTek21

IMS chose to partner with SmarTek21 to integrate its SmartBotHub Conversational AI platform within Carrot, the U.K. direct-to-consumer digital insurance business owned by TGG.

(Image source: SmartBotHub webpage.)

IMS (Waterloo, Ontario), a subsidiary of Trak Global Group (TGG; Crewe, England) and provider of connected car data solutions to insurers, mobility operators and governments, has  announced a new partnership with SmarTek21, a Kirkland, Wash.-based company specializing in accelerating digital evolution and transformation for companies.

IMS says it chose to partner with SmarTek21 to integrate its SmartBotHub Conversational AI platform within Carrot, the U.K. direct-to-consumer digital insurance business owned by IMS’s parent company, TGG. In addition to adding self-service support to Carrot’s end-to-end digital customer experience, it also allows the chatbot technology to be tested live in market before IMS makes it available to insurers as a module within the Carrot UBI platform, launched earlier this year.

Andrew Brown-Allan, Chief Marketing Officer, TGG.

To further streamline the digital customer experience offered to its U.K. customers, Carrot has been increasing the provision of alternatives to voice-driven communications over the course of 2019. With this implementation, SmartBotHub was layered over Carrot’s existing webchat platform to ensure that 100 percent of all chats could be initially handled by a bot. However, early results from this deployment indicate that not just initial interactions are being handled by bots, as to date approximately 40 percent of customer query chats are managed by the bot from start to finish and the average chat time has decreased by approximately 2.5 minutes per chat, offering significant productivity gains and boosting customer satisfaction.

IMS notes that the roll-out of the SmartBotHub platform has proved to be timely, as many critical frontline workers insured by Carrot in the U.K. who needed to make COVID-19 related changes to their coverage (such as increased mileage allowance or addition of business use) were able to do so on a self-serve basis, quickly and conveniently.

Critical Success Factor

“We believe that delivering a high quality, end-to-end digital customer experience is a critical success factor for any connected auto insurance proposition,” comments Andrew Brown-Allan, Chief Marketing Officer, TGG. “The integration of Smartek21 as a digital delivery partner within the Carrot modular UBI platform is already returning significant benefits for our direct-to-consumer business in the U.K. It’s a great example of why Carrot is the perfect sandbox for experimentation around new technologies and methods of engagement—uniquely, we can identify what works, refine it, and then make it available to IMS’ existing customers and all other insurers to apply to their own programs, on a tried-and-tested basis.”

Jon Kirk, Insurance Industry Lead, SmarTek21.

Clients can deploy SmartBotHub on-premise or in the cloud to help customize and personalize customer experiences by bringing an even richer set of features for creating best-in-class digital conversation experiences and delivering value to market, according to IMS. SmarTek21’s conversational AI technology specializes in increasing efficacy and triaging of customer requests and reducing support costs with intuitive self-service tools. By increasing the availability of service options to 24x7x365, clients are realizing increases in both customer retention and customer satisfaction, according to IMS.

“We are seeing the onset of a technological revolution within the insurance sector, primed by conversational AI and other advances such as robotic process automation,” comments Jon Kirk, SmarTek21’s Insurance Industry lead. “The inclusion of SmartBotHub as an available module to IMS’s existing UBI customers, and other interested insurers, is the first step we are taking to develop more complex self-service opportunities and proactive communications linked via APIs to existing client software solutions. Early adopters within the insurer and broker community will have a significant competitive advantage as they benefit from both a service and efficiency perspective.”

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Anthony R. O’Donnell // Anthony O'Donnell is Executive Editor of Insurance Innovation Reporter. For nearly two decades, he has been an observer and commentator on the use of information technology in the insurance industry, following industry trends and writing about the use of IT across all sectors of the insurance industry. He can be reached at or (503) 936-2803.

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