Smart Support for Sales Representatives

Logo Debeka Versicherung

“The new photo app brings enormous relief to our sales representatives and downstream departments. Thanks to their extensive know-how, the experts at Karakun have not only created an easy-to-use app, it has also been optimally integrated into our environment.” Marc Fiedler, Head of Department

2 people looking at smartphone

Would you want an insurance agent to keep photos of your private documents unencrypted on his smartphone? Probably not. Plus, while insurance companies are obliged to record copies of customer IDs when signing a contract, the GDPR prevents this procedure. How could a solution look like to simplify the work of sales representatives?

The German insurance company Debeka Versicherung asked themselves exactly that question. A key element of its corporate strategy is the individual consultancy of its members and prospects. Therefore, the company employs dedicated field staff. However, the work of these experts is becoming increasingly complex due to new EU regulations. And the requirements for the necessary documentation when concluding contracts have increased enormously. Wouldn’t it be nice to use the tool most of us always have within reach, the smartphone?

Taking photos of documents such as IDs with a smartphone is extremely handy but legally impossible in sales and consulting situations. Applicable data protection guidelines (GDPR) disallow processing of sensitive customer data on an end device that is not for the intended purpose, maybe is poorly protected or is also used privately and synchronized with cloud services. And the quality can also significantly vary depending on the environment (different light effects, shadows, shooting angle, etc.). Last but not least, the correct photo needs to reach the contract department in compliance with data protection regulations. Maybe the use of the smartphone is not as clever as we thought?

Processing times in the backend are much faster with the new photo app. Our customers do also benefit from this. E.g., the processing of a financial product today is almost two times faster.

Sebastian Bauer
Business Analyst

How to integrate smartphones into everyday work

However, Debeka decided to enable the use of smartphones in the everyday work of their sales reps to ensure optimum support and speed up processes. After the initial contact with Karakun, they commissioned us to examine the current and elaborate a target state. Our specialists then worked out the required architecture considering all surrounding systems, interfaces, and components involved. We proposed the following processes to Debeka:

The sales software installed on the notebooks of the sales force opens a business transaction to which documents have to be assigned. The transaction triggers the generation of a QR code within the application that contains the essential parameters for the required documents, such as the number of pages, title, etc. The QR code, in turn, triggers the following workflow: the sales rep scans the QR Code via a new app on the smartphone to start the “copy process” for documents. Thus, the assignment to the business transaction and processing of the image data can be fully automated using the data from the QR code.

One aspect is still unsolved: data protection. The app saves the generated images in an encrypted container within the app. The encryption is asynchronous, so decoding is only possible with a private key. This key remains on the servers in Debeka’s backend. As soon as the photos are transmitted to the backend servers, they are deleted from the smartphone. That saves memory and ensures GDPR compliance.

Our recommendation convinced those responsible at Debeka, who commissioned Karakun to develop a smartphone app for Android and iOS and the associated services to implement the registration and activation processes and secure data transmission.

The integration of the photo app into our existing processes brings a high level of acceptance among our sales representatives. Their work is made much easier and our customers enjoy faster processing of their applications. Debeka benefits enormously from this lightweight approach with low process costs.

Norman Böttcher
Group Leader

In addition to the smartphone app, we developed two supplemental services for processing the generated documents and integrating them into the workflow in Debeka’s systems.

The first service is visible on the public internet and accepts the uploads from the app. The second service is located in Debeka’s infrastructure and connects to the first via a VPN. The transmission of the encrypted documents takes place via this connection. The private key required to decrypt the documents is only available on the second service. At this point, the images are being decoded and converted into the PDF/A format for archiving. Afterwards, the files are transferred to Debeka’s internal systems and automatically further processed in the workflows of the respective business process. The second service also offers an interface for querying the processing state. Upon successful processing, the sales software on the notebook of the sales rep releases the business transaction.

The Debeka photo app is very well accepted by the employees and received a lot of positive feedback. Numerous new functions have already been added, thus making it usable for other Debeka user groups. Today, more than 5,000 employees actively use the app. Further development steps are already in the pipeline to provide the best possible support for users.

The field staff and downstream departments now enjoy simplified and largely automated workflows. Our profound understanding of the insurance industry, our comprehensive know-how in developing mobile apps, and their integration into existing processes gave Debeka a decisive advantage in its digitalization strategy.

Karakun has developed a high-quality app that is easy to use and runs very stable. That is very important, especially considering its usage at our members’ and prospects’ sites.

Matthias Kary
Subject Specialist
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