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TAL and Microsoft Join Forces on Strategic Technology Deal

The new agreement will enable TAL to deliver faster, better experiences for customers, partners, and its people

NORTH SYDNEY - TAL has announced a new three-year strategic agreement with Microsoft, accelerating its commitment to using the latest technology to transform its service and operations to deliver faster, better experiences for customers and partners, and its people, according to the official website of Microsoft Australia News Center. 

The agreement builds on the two organizations’ longstanding partnership, expanding the life insurer’s access to new technologies including Azure OpenAI Service and supercharging its internal engineering capabilities.

Hinesh Chauhan sitting in a profile pictureHinesh Chauhan, Chief Information Officer at TAL said, “Our partnership with Microsoft is an investment in advanced technology to make the experience our customers, partners, and employees have with us, better.”

“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.”

Steven Worrall, Managing Director at Microsoft Australia and New Zealand, said, “Our continued collaboration with TAL highlights the incredible potential of AI, cloud computing and data to transform life insurance in Australia.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.”

Building differentiated solutions for employees and customers

The new agreement expands TAL’s ability to harness generative AI to enhance customer and employee experiences.

With the addition of Azure OpenAI, TAL’s engineering team is developing strong use cases across its business, where benefits to employees, customers and partners can be realized at scale and safely.

One use case is focused on streamlining insurance claims processing for customers and employees. Developed using Azure OpenAI Service, the ‘Claims Assist Knowledge Search’ is a search assistant for TAL’s Claims and Customer Service teams to tap into TAL’s knowledge bank, and help them respond to customer queries faster. The life insurer is also developing a solution which automates manual indexing of emails using a combination of AI and robotics to improve efficiency and accuracy.

Sajeewa Arachchillage, Head of Digital Engineering at TAL said, “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.”

Integrating Microsoft solutions across every TAL team

The agreement includes a significant uplift in employee access to several Microsoft Copilot solutions, making TAL one of the first organizations in Australia to deploy Copilot at scale.

An additional 2,000 licenses for Copilot for Microsoft 365 will be rolled out following strong results in time savings and operational efficiencies from TAL’s participation in the Early Access Program that kicked off in October 2023. The majority of TAL’s early access users found Copilot jump-starts the creative process and allows them to focus on more meaningful work[1]. On average, users are reporting saving 1–2 hours per week on routine tasks, with some users saving up to 5–6 hours a week.

TAL was also the first life insurer to sign up for Microsoft’s Copilot for Security Early Access Program to test the ability for generative AI to enhance its cyber security capabilities.

In addition, TAL engineers now have access to GitHub Copilot, using it to check their coding, enabling the development of solutions for customers and partners faster, safely. The broader Copilot roll-out will be underpinned by TAL’s adaptive framework for responsible and safe use of AI.
Investing in skills for the future

All TAL employees will have access to Microsoft’s Enterprise Skills Initiative, to support broad uptake and skills development in AI, as well as cloud computing and data management. This initiative will provide employees with access to a comprehensive suite of learning resources tailored to various company roles.

The program is designed to support ongoing training and skills development and foster a culture of continuous learning and adaptation. By investing in its people, TAL aims to maintain its position as a leader in digital innovation in Australia’s life insurance industry.