TAL enhances customer and employee experience with Microsoft deal

Collaboration features AI and cloud solutions

TAL enhances customer and employee experience with Microsoft deal


By Roxanne Libatique

TAL has entered a three-year strategic agreement with tech giant Microsoft to enhance its technology capabilities.

The new partnership aims to improve the insurer’s services for customers, partners, and employees.

TAL’s partnership with Microsoft

The agreement builds on the existing collaboration between TAL and Microsoft, granting the life insurer access to technologies such as Azure OpenAI Service and enhancing its engineering capacity.

TAL chief information officer Hinesh Chauhan (pictured, middle) said the partnership aligns with the company’s goal to invest in technology to enhance the experiences of its people, partners, and customers.

“This agreement demonstrates how TAL is adopting technology to lead on digital in the life insurance sector. The partnership approach allows us to benefit from Microsoft’s leading AI technologies like Copilot for Microsoft 365 while also collaborating closely to develop our own solutions for our customers, partners, and employees,” he said.

Steven Worrall, managing director at Microsoft Australia and New Zealand, said the ongoing collaboration with TAL highlights the potential of AI, cloud computing, and data in the Australian life insurance sector.

“The company has already gained a first mover advantage in generative AI adoption through our Copilot for Microsoft 365 Early Access Program, and we are excited to explore more ways to enhance customer engagement and enrich employee experiences,” he said.

How TAL’s partnership with Microsoft benefits customers and employees

The agreement will enable TAL to employ generative AI to enhance interactions for customers and employees. The inclusion of Azure OpenAI allows the insurer’s engineering team to create scalable and secure solutions across the business.

One application focuses on optimising insurance claims processing for customers and staff. Using Azure OpenAI Service, the “Claims Assist Knowledge Search” tool assists TAL’s claims and customer service teams by accessing the company’s knowledge repository to respond to inquiries more swiftly. Additionally, the insurer is developing a solution to automate email indexing through AI and robotics, aiming to boost efficiency and accuracy.

Sajeewa Arachchillage, head of digital engineering at TAL, said the company was committed to remaining competitive in the market by embedding intelligence and automation into its core operations.

“At TAL, we are committed to leading the life insurance sector by integrating intelligence and automation into our core business to drive meaningful insights from our data. We are streamlining our processes with innovative technology to better serve our customers and support our people with relevant skills and capabilities to get them ready for an exciting future,” he said.

TAL’s access to Microsoft Copilot solutions

The partnership will also expand employee access to various Microsoft Copilot solutions, making TAL one of the first Australian organisations to implement Copilot at scale.

Following positive results in the Early Access Program that began in October 2023, the insurer will roll out an additional 2,000 licenses for Copilot for Microsoft 365. Initial feedback indicated that Copilot helped users save one to two hours per week on routine tasks, with some reporting savings of up to five to six hours weekly.

TAL was the first life insurer to participate in Microsoft’s Copilot for Security Early Access Program, exploring the use of generative AI to enhance its cyber security measures. Furthermore, its engineers now use GitHub Copilot to improve coding accuracy and accelerate the development of customer and partner solutions.

All TAL employees are expected to benefit from Microsoft’s Enterprise Skills Initiative, promoting AI, cloud computing, and data management skill development. This initiative offers a comprehensive suite of learning resources tailored to various roles within the company, fostering a culture of continuous learning and adaptation.

The three-year agreement with Microsoft follows TAL’s partnership with superannuation fund AustralianSuper to launch a retirement income product.

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