Ageas, a multinational insurance company co-headquartered in Brussels, Belgium, recently announced that Ageas Real Estate, completed its 100th school infrastructure project. Remarkably, delivery of a brand new building for primary school De Horizon in West Flanders occurred just under four years after construction commenced on the very first “School of Tomorrow” in Belgium.
The ambitious project is a public-private partnership between the AG Group and the Flemish government. Ageas is Belgium’s largest insurer, employs over 40,000 people, and operates in 14 countries worldwide. While Ageas Real Estate is responsible for the operational side of the school construction projects, Ageas is covering the costs of design, including the building, financing, and maintenance of all school facilities for the first 30 years. At the end of the 30-year period, the infrastructure will become property of the school authorities.
In addition to the development and renovation of the first 100 projects, there are an additional 57 “Schools of Tomorrow” under construction, as well as another 25 schools in early design phase. The schools are all being equipped with the technology of the future including being outfitted with cutting-edge science and technology labs.
Hans van Wuijckhuijse Regional Director, Ageas believes that opening new insurance companies in other continents presents challenges that are similar to the building of a futuristic new school system. At the recent Insurance Innovation Event in San Francisco, he stated that insurance markets are likewise changing rapidly, so companies require the right technology.
“The difficulty in starting a new insurance company is that you need many IT components. How nice would it be if there was a box that contains everything that you need from day one, and you could plug it in and it works for you? Well that’s the main reason I got in touch with SAP.”
Wuijckhuijse believes that being equipped with the best available technology helped prepare Ageas for the launch of “an insurance company of the future” in the Philippines called Troo. The company plans on taking the best practices and business model they already have implemented in the Philippines and take them next to Vietnam to help kick-start things there by having a “business in a box” on the very first day of operations.
He also stated that while Asia offers a tremendous opportunity for company growth, Ageas also requires a technology partner that can not only offer support and the right solutions, but that is also capable of maintaining those solutions while continuing to develop them.
“We are building complete insurance companies. And to do that you need to build a backbone that can support development. We were looking for the complete set of software that you need to set up an insurance company. SAP offers virtually anything you need to run an insurance company, from front-end solutions to back-end solutions – to administration, underwriting, claims, collections and disbursements – it’s the whole product engine that you need for quotation and product maintenance.”
The SAP Best Practices for Insurance package provided Ageas with everything they needed for their new insurance companies. Additionally, Wuijckhuijse believes that having an experienced partner like SAP will provide Ageas with a big technological advantage in the future as they open new businesses around the world.
Whether it’s building new insurance companies or constructing futuristic schools, it’s clear that Ageas has a vision. Their determined and ongoing role within education means that children will continue to have easier access to the best technology.
By driving the “Schools of Tomorrow” project, Ageas is helping students better prepare for their own exciting futures in life and in the digital age.