Walter Capozzolo has been CEO of BBT Software AG for three years. In this interview, he reveals what challenges he has faced, how he deals with change and where he wants to go.
By Caroline Cavin
BBT Software AG celebrated its 25th anniversary last year. You have been CEO of the company for three years. What do you remember about this time?
When I started, BBT Software AG (BBT) was already part of the Volaris Group and was run in the Anglo-Saxon style. Rolling forecasts and quarterly target achievement were new for me, as I had previously worked in Swiss companies. However, I was inspired by the fact that BBT operates in the Swiss insurance market and at the same time is integrated into an international environment. Networking with other software companies within Volaris is rewarding and allows the exchange of knowledge on an international level.
What are the most important milestones in the company’s 25-year history?
One was no doubt the request made to the company’s founders by a struggling health insurance company in Upper Valais. The founders were given the task of writing a «simple programme» for health insurance companies. This software solution marked the start of the company’s history in 1996. It was followed by the development of a claims management system for Zurich and Suva. With CSS and Suva, the company successfully entered the accident and daily sickness benefits insurance market, and with elipsLife, it entered the life insurance market. These developments were accompanied by a change in technology. The first software solution was based on Visual Basic. This was followed by the switch to .NET and now ongoing development within the framework of .NET.
What was your focus for the anniversary year 2021?
I intend to further increase awareness of BBT as a total solution provider in the insurance sector. Until now, we have been perceived as a solutions provider for health insurance companies. We have therefore adapted our communication strategy and are now positioning ourselves on the market as a total solution provider. As part of the Volaris Group, BBT is also in a position to respond even better to changing customer needs. Our efforts have had an impact and BBT is now perceived as a total solution provider in the market.
Digitalisation is changing the insurance landscape. How are you keeping up with this change and its challenges?
We have responded to the digital transformation and, on the one hand, introduced a customer portal with which insurance customers improve the efficiency of their administrative processes (self-service portals). On the other hand, we have developed an app with which insured persons can communicate with their insurance company regardless of location and time. For the future, it is important that BBT develops and implements a digitalisation strategy tailored to the insurance landscape.
Leadership in times of change – how do you motivate your employees?
By delegating responsibility with the corresponding authority. Within BBT, I have brought young talents into the management team and supported them until they were up to their tasks. This management style has proven itself, because the members of the management team are motivated and implement their ideas with us. In addition to a career in management, it is also important to enable specialist careers. Especially in an SME, there are not many management positions and not all employees aspire to such a career. Specialist career opportunities show employees how they can develop in a variety of directions at BBT. As CEO, I am responsible for the company, and it is important to find the right balance between responsibility and accountability.
How does BBT Software AG set itself apart from its competitors?
Through customer proximity. Especially when it comes to complex software solutions with specific benefits, we have to be very close to customers and know what they require. That’s why we advise our customers at eye level and with a deep understanding of their needs. We want to understand how they think. Only by being closer to our customers are we able to differentiate ourselves from our competitors and develop customised solutions.
In what direction is BBT Software AG heading in the next few years?
BBT is positioning itself as a total solution provider for health, accident and life insurance as well as claims management systems for companies. This means that we need to understand how our customers work and what their processes look like today and in the future. Within this value chain, we continue to develop our products and add to our portfolio through partnerships or acquisitions.
Where do you see the markets of the future?
With our software solutions and services for health and accident insurance, we are focusing on the Swiss market. These are tailored specifically to the corresponding market. The situation is different with solutions for life insurance, where we are constantly evaluating how we can position them internationally. Our solution is currently being used by an international customer and the aim is to continue to tap into new markets.
BBT Software AG has been part of the Volaris Group since 2017. What advantages does this bring for customers?
The resulting advantages are professionalism and know-how. Volaris focuses on strengthening acquired companies and supporting them in their growth. On the one hand, it increases performance and efficiency across all areas, such as corporate governance, sales and marketing, and operational excellence. On the other hand, it brings a lot of know-how of software solutions for vertical markets. This will ensure BBT’s future business success, and our customers will also benefit from this.
Due to the pandemic, you have postponed the anniversary celebration until this year. What activities are planned for it?
I don’t want to reveal too much about the activities. All I will say is that the whole celebration is planned and has been postponed until we can meet again in person. This means that the party will still be a surprise for employees.
About BBT Software AG
BBT Software AG offers modular core systems for health, accident and life insurers, as well as absence and claims management solutions for companies. Founded in 1996, BBT now employs around 60 members of staff at three locations: Root, Visp and Zermatt and has over 65 customers from the insurance sector. More than 14,000 companies use its claims management software. BBT has been part of the international Volaris Group since 2017.