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Delivering a Valuable Experience for Customers IN ASSOCIATION WITH




Delivering a Valuable Experience for Customers t a l i ty . co. u k



Dave Priestley, Chief Digital Officer, explains why delivering value and a superlative customer experience remains Vitality’s core focus


n an insurance market beginning to take stock of the potential for digital transformation to improve the tradi-

tional business, Vitality is a shining example of a company approaching a centuries-old industry from a refreshing new angle. Founded in 2004, 04

the company’s enduring focus has been not only to provide first-class health and life cover but to actively improve the quality of its customers’ lives. Summarising this approach as “good for them, good for us, good for society”, Vitality has even set the ambitious target of encouraging 100mn people to get 20% more active by 2025. Helping to explain how the company is achieving this and so many other impressive developments, Dave Priestley, Chief Digital Officer, spoke with us on why driving value and a superior customer experience is so vital. Priestley started with Vitality early on as a Sales Director for a joint project launched between South African company Discovery Ltd and Prudential PLC, one of the UK’s most established insurance companies. Now in his 16th year at Vitality - taking on the role of CDO in 2017

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Dynatrace: unlocking the science of operational performance Dave Anderson, Brand and Digital Evangelist, describes how Dynatrace can optimise company performance in an increasingly complex IT landscape A specialist in accelerating digital transformation, Dynatrace is a software solutions provider founded in 2005 and headquartered in Massachusetts. “As cloud environments become more complex, the underlying software needs to work flawlessly,” says Dave Anderson, Brand and Digital Evangelist. “Dynatrace provides intelligence into the performance of a company’s operations and critically applies a layer of AI to enable DevOps teams to work more efficiently.” The company facilitates this by enabling the fast comprehension of where performance issues in an environment are, either automatically or through direct investigation. Recognising that digital transformation is no longer a choice but rather an inescapable and exponentially growing process, Anderson considers Dynatrace as essential providing its clients with “intelligence and confidence to ensure that these complex applications are working the way that they should.” One of its partners in particular, insurance company Vitality, understands the value of Dynatrace’s technology and is taking it in exciting new directions. “Vitality is a great client because it’s using our platform not just to understand their singular applications, but rather their entire digital experience.” After all, while insurance companies might be comparable in terms of products, it is by offering a superior customer experience that they

Dave Anderson @ Dynatrace

can truly differentiate and this is what Dynatrace helps them to achieve. Stating that Vitality’s emphasis on insurance fused with incentive-based health and wellness resonates strongly with him personally, Anderson compliments the company for “really understanding how the performance of every system, API connection and call” factors into its success. It is by working closely with clients like Vitality that Dynatrace is able to determine how best to improve its own services, “Our culture is predicated on not settling for the status quo and continuing to innovate,” Anderson continues. “Dynatrace thrives on exactly the same transformation that our customers are undergoing.” With a platform based on AI (artificial intelligence), one of the fastest growing enterprise technologies in the market, both in terms of adoption and development, Dynatrace’s proven services are likely to evolve concurrently, “You’re not going to see an end to the improvement of AI and automation.” However, Anderson also acknowledges that an important portion of any digital transformation is actually strongly rooted in culture. “It’s not about tools or platforms,” he emphasises. “[Vitality] has a fantastic culture and that will allow them to continue to innovate. I’m really excited about what they’re going to do next.”


“When I joined the company it was clear right away that Vitality had a very different proposition for health insurance” — Dave Priestley, Chief Digital Officer, Vitality

- Priestley says that what inspired him about the organisation was its aspiration to do something fundamentally different within insurance. “The industry had remained relatively unchanged for a long time,” he recalls. “It was an uninspiring marketplace with very similar product offerings. When I joined the company it was clear right away that Vitality had a very different proposition for health insurance.” That proposition was integrating insurance with wellness, something which he remarks has


started to scale exponentially since 2004. “Now, almost all of the players in the market have some kind of wellness component in their proposition. However, at the time, I would say we were amongst the first to introduce it.” More recently, the evolution of technology is another key development that Priestley has observed, specifically the ability to monitor peoples’ health remotely, conduct video consultations, utilise AI-powered diagnosis tools, symptom checkers and more. Far from being simply restricted to a GP surgery or hospital, modern healthcare can be brought directly to people’s homes and the


Dave Priestley Title: Chief Digital Officer

Company: Vitality

Dave has worked within healthcare insurance for the last 24 years, where he has held a number of executive management positions with CIGNA Healthcare, PruHealth and now Vitality. Dave was a member of the executive management team which launched PruHealth in 2004. Over the last 14 years, Dave has played a key role in shaping the strategy from a start-up business to becoming established under the Vitality brand as the 4th largest player in the market with 10% market share. Dave began his career as a pricing underwriter before moving into sales and distribution and was the Sales Director at CIGNA healthcare where he helped to grow the client portfolio to in excess of £100M API and broaden the distribution strategy into new channels and markets such as sickness absence management and dental insurance. Dave joined PruHealth to help launch the business and establish the distribution strategy and operations. After driving rapid new business growth, he assumed overall responsibility for distribution at Vitality following the acquisition of Standard Life Healthcare. More recently, Dave has assumed executive responsibility for digital acquisition and customer retention and is now Vitality’s Chief Digital Officer with responsibility for digital strategy and product management as well as the wider change portfolio. t a l i ty . co. u k


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TCS is helping customers prepare for business 4.0 Vinay Singhvi, Business Unit Head of BFSI for the UK and Ireland, describes TCS’ commitment to helping clients navigate digital transformation

Vinay Singhvi @ TCS

TCS (Tata Consultancy Services) is a company that almost requires no introduction: one of the largest

started what has become more than a 10-year partnership with the brand, which now, according

and most innovative companies in India with a global reach and almost 450,000 employees, it is a true leader in IT and consulting services. “TCS is

to Singhvi, “has got one of the best brand recalls within the UK market.” Furthermore, their close integration goes beyond a simple supplier-client

one of the world’s largest and most recognised brands in its field. Our focus has always been to help customers drive their growth and transformation journeys,” states Vinay Singhvi, Business Unit Head of BFSI (banking, financial

relationship, as Singhvi describes, “We do not see ourselves as separate from Vitality. It’s about us working together to understand and implement their strategy and help them in achieving their purpose. Our teams that work as part of Vitality

services and insurance) for the UK and Ireland.

see themselves as more Vitality than TCS, that’s how deeply integrated they are.”

“The way we work is primarily about keeping customers at the centre and planning everything

A strong believer in preparing for the next

around them to ensure we are aligned to both their strategy and their business goals,” he explains.

generation of digitally-inflected business (business 4.0), TCS is prioritising a three pillar framework for

Fundamentally, TCS champions an approach that is cutting-edge without sacrificing the human touch, something that Singhvi considers will only become more important as technology keeps evolving. “It’s not about machines replacing

its customers to help them lead in the new normal based on ‘purpose-centricity’, ‘building resilience’ and ‘being adaptable.’” Singhvi also details the company’s ‘25 by 25’ vision: “25 by 25 illustrates that, in our view, by the year 2025, all our systems

humans; it’s about the augmentation that needs to happen and how hyperautomation and AI (artificial

and ways of working will be aligned, so that only 25% of TCS workforce will work out of TCS

intelligence) will enrich the entire human experience.”

facilities at any time. In this regard, we are very excited that TCS is taking a leadership position on new ways of working, not just in the UK but

Recognising early on that Vitality’s incentivebased health and wellness insurance platform held revolutionary potential for the industry, TCS



insurance industry has followed suit.

are consolidated into one easy-to-

The balance in incorporating these

manage platform for customers.

exciting new possibilities at Vitality,


Digital transformation has not been

he continues, lies in the unification

without its challenges; established five

of its digital and overall business

years before the ‘digital native’ era of

strategies. “It’s less about delivering a

businesses, Vitality initially began at

digital strategy in isolation and more

a disadvantage but quickly recovered:

about considering how the digital

“We were established on a more tra-

team can support the company in

ditional technology model with legacy

achieving its goals.” One of the sig-

systems in place,” Priestley states.

nificant journeys that this mindset has

“One of our most important challenges

led to is the creation of “one Vitality

has been reconciling our culture with

experience”, wherein health insur-

the digital world.” Investing time and

ance and life insurance investments

resources in building trust amongst its

Vitality - Digital Strategy CLICK TO WATCH



13 stakeholders by hiring teams of digital

implement relatively small changes

specialists to help accelerate trans-

in the experience,” he says.

formation, Vitality has succeeded in

One of Vitality’s core innovations

marrying tech advances with its core

is its member’s app. Available on both

purpose: making people healthier. The

iOS and Android, Priestley claims that

company’s new Advisor Hub, utilising

the app “really gets to the heart of

microservices instead of monolithic

what’s different about Vitality from tra-

alternatives, is a prime example of

ditional insurance products.” Serving

the new agility and efficiency being

as the company’s primary interface

unlocked. “Our strategy is aimed at

with its customers, policyholders are

breaking up those back end legacy

able to link their other health track-

systems into multiple components.

ing apps, Fitbits, Garmins, Apple

This allows us to iterate rapidly on the

Watches and other IoT (internet of

front end at lower cost by not needing

things) devices to it. The app then

to return to the back end in order to

converts physical activity data into t a l i ty . co. u k


“It’s less about delivering a digital strategy in isolation and more about considering how the digital team can support the company in achieving its goals” — Dave Priestley, Chief Digital Officer, Vitality

not have been able to implement such a rewarding programme without the help of its many suppliers and partners. One partner, TCS (Tata Consulting Services), has been instrumental in helping Vitality deliver its new services. Based in Mumbai, India, TCS is a multinational IT and consulting company with a truly global reach of 149 locations spread across 46 countries.


‘Vitality Points’ and provides access to

Regarding Vitality’s special relationship

incentive-based rewards when they

with TCS, Priestley had this to say: “We

achieve certain point-based targets.

don’t have the scale as a business to

“The app will show how your points are

be efficient at some of the technical

accumulating and what rewards you’ve unlocked. We’re increasingly building more and more reward fulfillment into that interface,” he explains. For example, if a customer earned a certain amount of ‘Vitality Points’ for working out a pre-set number of times per week, they would be entitled to a free coffee, movie download or more. “It also holds your policy information,” continues Priestley. “If for any reason you need to quickly access your policy details, renewal day or something else, it’s all in there.” Conceiving such an innovative way of encouraging people to stay healthy and active is impressive, but Vitality would

D I D Y O U K N O W?

Vitality has announced that Coronavirus (COVID-19) tests will be available to its health members as of 29 July 2020. The test will be able to accurately tell whether a patient has the virus currently or ever did in the past. All tests will be provided though its partnership with DocTap, a face-to-face GP provider. “DocTap are proud to be working with Vitality in the fight against COVID-19. Our ambition is to provide the most accurate, convenient, affordable and fastest COVID-19 tests on the market, backed up by our outstanding team of doctors,� said Dan Faber, founder of DocTap. t a l i ty . co. u k



Vitality - Challenges CLICK TO WATCH 4:48



“Philosophically, Vitality focuses on the outcome we’re looking for and then works out what technology solution would be best” — Dave Priestley, Chief Digital Officer, Vitality

delivery skills necessary; we’ve found it far easier to find a partner to supply those skills. TCS is a partner that really understands our business: Vitality’s fast and dynamic culture is different to other insurance companies. TCS realises this and that’s allowed it to embed within our teams; we don’t call on it simply when we’ve got a big project; TCS helps us to continually improve our customers’ experience across the board.” Vitality’s commitment to providing its customers with the stellar level of service it has become known for was thoroughly tested by the COVID-19 pandemic. “Our number one priority was the welfare of our staff,” Priestley declares, “but we also had to make sure that they could still deliver first-class service to our members.” Mobilising its IT operations department to quickly find a workable solution, he reports that the company managed to accommodate its full complement of staff (1,500) with remote working capabilities within a period of approximately 10 days, a significant logistical achievement. In parallel, Vitality rapidly innovated its customer proposition by adding a new category of benefits under the banner t a l i ty . co. u k



“If you just concentrate on trying to deliver value for your customers and creating an exceptional experience, more often than not, you’re going to do the right thing” — Dave Priestley, Chief Digital Officer, Vitality

users. “Philosophically, Vitality focuses on the outcome we’re looking for and then works out what technology solution would be best.” Not allowing the technology itself to guide his approach, Priestley says that the current applications of blockchain would not benefit the company’s customers at this time, although explorations of AI (artificial intelligence) and ML (machine learning) had revealed their potential for ‘proactive servicing’. “You can then


of ‘Vitality at home’. This involved nego-

reach out to customers and ask, ‘How

tiating commercial arrangements to

can we help?’ We’re also using ML

provide members with discounts linked

models to power personalisation in the

to physical activity and integrating with

experience, as well as RPA (robotic

these partners so that a fully digital end

process automation) to speed up

to end experience was up and running

admin and allow our staff to focus on

within three weeks of lockdown starting.

value-adding work instead.”

“That was a big success for us; we

Although 2020 has been a cata-

were still able to provide comprehen-

lyst year for change across so many

sive wellness benefits to our members

aspects of life globally, Vitality retains

by capitalising on our cultural assets.”

the same level of commitment to

In many ways the achievement encap-

making people healthier that it always

sulated the thoroughness of Vitality’s

has. There can be no mistake: the

strategy and demonstrated its adept

insurance industry is changing, with

digital skills. It also demonstrates

or without COVID-19, but the desire

Priestley’s insistence that any tech

for digital transformation which

innovation introduced has a functional

the pandemic’s restrictions have

purpose in delivering quality service to

introduced is here to stay. “Things

Vitality - AI + Robotics CLICK TO WATCH




will be different to how they were,”

to achieve their goals. That’s

says Priestley. “For Vitality, that’s a

what keeps Vitality so grounded.”

good thing because we’ve always

Ultimately, Vitality demonstrates

thrived on evolution.” When asked to

that an insurance company’s worth

summarise what has enabled him to

is derived from its ability to improve

spearhead such a successful digital-

the quality of its customers’ lives and

business strategy, he emphasises

devoting itself wholeheartedly to

that customer-centricity is always at

that goal. “If you just concentrate on

the forefront of his mind and always

trying to deliver value for your cus-

yields the best results. “People

tomers and creating an exceptional

always show a lot of interest in talk-

experience, more often than not,

ing about particular technologies,

you’re going to do the right thing.”

but what’s more important is focusing on how to support customers t a l i ty . co. u k



Profile for Business Chief Europe

Vitality October 2020  

Vitality October 2020  

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