RMS Adopts Open Platform Strategy for Risk Management SaaS, Unveils Commercial Partners

Patricio Robles
Jun. 23 2014, 03:20PM EDT

RMS, a global catastrophe risk modeling company, recently announced the first commercial partners that are building applications for its RMS(one) exposure and risk management platform.

SpatialKey, a provider of insurance intelligence, offers an app that enables decision-makers in the insurance and reinsurance industries to visualize and analyze exposure and risk data. Analyze Re, which has developed technology for risk pricing and optimization, provides an app designed to increase efficiency of capital deployment.

"A core concept built into the architecture and design of RMS(one) is that it’s not just a SaaS product but an open platform," RMS VP of developer relations Alex Barnett said in an interview. "We believe that we make RMS(one) vastly more compelling by letting our clients leverage third-party applications, services and models as well as building their own capabilities to use in conjunction with RMS peril models, data, analytics and apps."

The RMS(one) API is RESTful and can be used by a variety developers, such as RMS clients who want to customize the platform to meet their needs, data providers, public sector developers, and technology vendors like SpatialKey and Analyze Re that build apps that extend RMS(one)'s capabilities. To help developers build products that serve the insurance, reinsurance and related industries using the RMS(one) platform, RMS created a Developer Network that offers resources such as API documentation, SDKs and model development kits.

Platforms Become Sales Channels

For RMS, the decision to adopt a platform strategy was not a difficult one. "The ability for customers to leverage third-party capabilities on one integrated platform is essential to our clients’ ability to make RMS(one) right for them," Barnett explained. "This freedom of choice is a major consideration for most clients, if not all, when they decide to commit to using RMS(one) as a mission-critical, core system for their enterprises."

But building a vibrant ecosystem can be difficult, so RMS is one of a growing number of companies looking to attract developers by turning its platform into an attractive sales channel.

"Third-party developers who leverage the RMS(one) API are taking advantage of a powerful platform that is used by customers as their core system of record for exposure data and risk management, and as their cloud-based, high-performance modeling and analytics platform powered by a distributed compute architecture," Barnett said. "This creates huge opportunities for third-party developers to access not only the technology and platform, but also to build integrated innovative solutions that solve important problems for our mutual customers.

"Once those integrations and new applications are done, those developers can access the RMS customer base through marketing and sales programs that take advantage of the close relationships and partnerships RMS has with a market-leading reinsurance and insurance client base," he said.

Selling to the insurance and reinsurance industry can be a daunting task, so RMS(one)'s ability to serve as a sales channel is especially appealing to upstarts trying to bring new kinds of products to the market. "Working with RMS gives us the credibility as a startup that we wouldn’t have if we had not been a part of the RMS(one) ecosystem," Analyze Re CEO Adrian Bentley explained.

RMS's Barnett believes there are variety of opportunities for developers to take advantage of its platform. For instance, he sees opportunities for developers to build apps that allow individuals to access metrics and reports in real time from mobile devices, create services that overlay customer risk and exposure data with public and private hazard data sets, and integrate RMS(one)'s functionality with insurance and reinsurance company back ends, such as contract and policy management systems.

"We’re really looking forward to see what ideas developers come up with that solve interesting problems in ways they couldn’t do previously without [our platform]," Barnett said.

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