Non-stop innovation? How that works at ERGO!

One innovation after the next - how can this be established in everyday working life? Katrin Heppekausen, Dirk Erdmann and Simon Meier report on how they have succeeded in creating a lively culture of innovation in ERGO's "Agent Online Platforms Team". Because innovations are not left to chance here - they are an integral part of everyday working life.

The "hybrid customer" is at the centre of the ERGO Group's activities. Sales partners are therefore constantly dependent on new digital services in the sense of a "hybrid agency" in order to interact with customers in a contemporary way and offer them real added value.  The "Agent Online Platforms team" is responsible for developing and providing these services.

Network, knowledge transfer and focus

How can this be implemented in everyday working life? "By going about your day-to-day work with an open mind and an eye for opportunities to create something new together," says Dirk Erdmann, Group Head of Business Development in the Agent Online Platforms team. The right mindset is extremely important when it comes to innovation. His colleague Simon Meier adds that it is also particularly valuable to live the idea of networking, to shape things together and to utilise the expertise within the ERGO Group.

Customer and sales focus are essential, emphasises Katrin Heppekausen, Head of Agent Online Platforms: "That's why we always prioritise together as a team, track the progress of innovation projects in the innovation funnel and carry out pilots to see to what extent the innovations are developing in perspective."

ERGO's very own trend monitor

With pragmatism, the company has developed its own trend monitor that maps the sales-related and digital topics of today and tomorrow, says Simon Meier: "We want to constantly improve in operational terms, but at the same time we also want to see which major changes we need to take action on."

Four methods to succeed

To summarise, the department uses four methods to bring innovation to everyday working life:

  • Mindset – shaping together in a network and going about everyday work with an open mind
  • Trendmonitor – a department's own monitor to see the topics of tomorrow
  • Customer and sales focus – being in dialogue with the sales department and using the opportunities offered by customer surveys
  • Innovations-Funnel – prioritising and piloting together as a team

Thanks in part to the innovative spirit in the Agent Online Platforms department and the many innovations, ERGO agencies are among the easiest to find on the Internet.

Concrete examples of innovations

Two concrete examples of innovations from the team are the use of "Synthesia" and the extensive relaunch of the sales partner websites.

Synthesia is used to create an avatar of the sales partner, a digital image of their own face. This avatar speaks sentences that are given to it via the keyboard, and the videos can also be completely created with photos, additional information, music or animations on the PC with a click. We have already reported on this in detail on //next.

Examples of applications include standard information on insurance products. Sales partner Benjamin Lüftner is already using the software and is very satisfied. He used to send a lot of standard information to his customers by email. Now he uses his avatar for this, says Lüftner. All he has to do is type in the text and the video is ready, which is "super fast".

It is now no longer even necessary to provide Synthesia with a complete text - the topic is enough. The software then writes the video texts itself - linked to a large language model - and can translate finished videos completely into 32 languages at the click of a mouse.

New websites for sales partners

A much larger innovation project recently involved moving all sales partner websites to a new, more powerful technical platform - including new functionalities and a new, appealing design. "This puts us in an excellent position on the market and enables our sales partners to be even more successful digitally. We look forward to shaping this further," says Katrin Heppekausen.

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