Protecting Personal Data is as Important as Protecting Hardware

This risk has delivered to insurers a significant opportunity to improve brand loyalty, increase customer satisfaction and even gain a new revenue stream by giving customers a means to safeguard their digital assets as well as their physical ones.

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Consumers today have come to understand the importance of insuring their mobile phones, high-end computers and other electronic devices against total loss. Laptops are easily stolen at airports. Home computers are permanently damaged during fires and floods. Mobile phones are left behind in taxis and shattered when dropped. Insurers have been smart to capitalize on these concerns, as reflected in the marketplace. The value of just one segment—mobile phone insurance for accidental damage, loss and mechanical breakdown—is expected to be valued at more than $32 billion by 2025.

What we often fail to consider is that the value of the data stored on a device is often more valuable to the owner than the device itself. Our desktop PCs, laptops, tablets and mobile phones often hold our only records of vital information associated with financial investments, employment, purchases and more. These devices also are where we store our most-precious memories, whether they be photos from a family vacation or videos of a baby’s first step. If we don’t take action to back up that content, we risk losing all of it if those electronic devices are lost, stolen or damaged beyond repair.

This risk has delivered to insurers a significant opportunity to improve brand loyalty, increase customer satisfaction and even gain a new revenue stream. How? By giving their customers a means to safeguard their digital assets as well as their physical ones. The time has come to expand the traditional premium insurance bundle to include a personal cloud option that protects all content—photos, videos, contacts, music, documents and more – that resides on all our mobile devices and personal computers.

Personal Cloud Done Three Ways

Adding value to customer relationships is key to reducing churn and increasing renewals. Fortunately, you have options when it comes to launching a personal cloud solution:

Option 1: Basic backup and restore allows customers to safeguard their data and content by keeping copies of it online in an insurer’s personal cloud. If a device is lost, stolen or damaged, the data can be easily restored to a new device. This service can be offered as a value-add for all customers or make it optional for a small monthly fee.

Option 2: This option leverages a branded app and/or a web portal that gives customers the ability to actively interact with content that’s backed up and protected in your personal cloud. Engagement features such as flashbacks, slideshows, tag and search, and sharing extensions are highly valued by consumers and—like option 1—have the potential to maintain or increase revenue depending upon how the offering is rolled out.

Option 3: Another option is partnering with a network provider to launch a co-branded personal cloud offering. It, too, leverages a standalone app that can be used to generate new revenue streams. You and your network provider partner could, for instance, develop cross promotional campaigns or use targeted communications to promote additional revenue-generating insurance services, including those focused on device insurance.

Implementation Made Easy

Do not be dissuaded by the required technology required to put in place total device protection that covers both devices and content. Yes, you could build a custom cloud solution from the ground up; however, this method tends to be complex and expensive. We’re talking hardware and software requirements. And don’t forget about the expense of hiring highly proficient cloud specialists for the design and build as well as ongoing management. This requires skill sets most insurance organizations do not have in house.

An alternative is to make use of a white-label Software as a Service (SaaS) personal cloud platform. Basic backup and restore, for example, can be accomplished via a software development kit (SDK) that provides all the tools needed to integrate your company systems into a secure cloud platform that is managed, supported and maintained by the platform’s experts. A managed cloud provider also gives you the ability to step up to a more feature-rich cloud offering that allows customers to actively engage with their content once it’s protected in the cloud.

Remember, a SaaS personal cloud platform solution is not only more cost-effective than a custom build, but it also allows you to get the project off the ground in weeks rather than months and to quickly add additional value-add features as desired. A managed cloud also makes it easy to accommodate different operating systems (iOS and Android for mobile devices; Windows and Mac for laptops and desktops) and multiple users.

The Time is Right

As customers increasingly rely on their mobile devices and computers as depositories of their most treasured and important digital content, they will turn to those in which they have the most confidence to help protect those files from a catastrophic loss. Insurance providers already have established themselves as trusted guardians of physical possessions. Adding digital data protection is, quite simply, a logical evolution of their current role.

Using personal cloud to close protection gaps and improve engagement throughout the entire service lifecycle, whether included as a value-added benefit or offered as part of a premium bundle, also has the potential to serve as a competitive differentiator, improve brand loyalty, and drive price and revenue increases.

The time has come to provide all your customers with a simple-to-manage, all-in-one insurance plan that protects their homes, autos and electronics as well as irreplaceable digital content. The trust foundation for a successful insurer personal cloud offering already is already in place. Now is the time to complete the package.

Personal Cloud: Protecting the Entire Customer Relationship

Chris Hill // Chris Hill  has spent over 25 years working in sales, marketing, product management and business development with leading global software and technology companies.  At Synchronoss, Hill has global responsibility for all sales and business development. He also serves as the company’s Chief Product Officer directing strategic product vision and portfolio investments. Prior to joining Synchronoss, Hill was the President of an applied enterprise Virtual and Augment Reality software and solutions company. He also spent 16 years with AT&T where he last served as the Senior Vice President of Advanced Solutions, a new business unit he founded and grew to over $1B in annual revenue during his tenure.

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