Confessions of a Hubio Veteran
By Sunejaa Sugunananthan, Director of Professional Services
Two decades of growth
When I first joined Hubio in 2004, the word “Insurtech” did not yet exist, and the market was in a very different place than it is today. I was a young Computer Science graduate who had witnessed the Dot Com Crash during my freshman year. Disillusioned with the IT sector, I explored other career options and was lucky enough to become a Technical Consultant.
Over the next 17 years, I had a front row seat to the insurance industry’s evolution. Hubio (then Iter8) was creating new software solutions for Canada’s Property and Casualty insurers, helping them reduce risk and inefficiencies. Given my technical background, I was put on the front lines for those implementations. I had the right programming skillset to tailor the solutions to our clients’ needs, and I was eager to learn. So, with the support of my managers, including current CEO Phil Henville, I grew in every direction – learning the business, potential bottlenecks and how automation could fix them.
Later on, Phil encouraged me to deepen my insurance knowledge through educational courses, and this taught me a lot. I eventually earned my Certified Insurance Professional (CIP) designation to keep abreast of industry developments, given that my role was evolving beyond technology.
Having gained the industry-specific knowledge to address our clients’ strategic challenges, I was able to transition from being a pure technology consultant to a full-fledged business advisor. My unique value was my ability to speak both languages, translating the high-level business objectives into technical terms, and vice versa. That’s where I liked to be: in the middle, guiding all sides to the right solution.
Wearing multiple hats
Some people find it strange that I’ve remained at Hubio for 18 years. They often ask me: Why have you stayed for so long? How do you not get tired of the doing the same thing? What they fail to appreciate is that consulting is a business of constant change. We’re always forging new relationships, leading innovative projects and untangling complex problems that are unique to a company’s situation. It’s exciting and ever-changing, which is precisely why I love it.
I have also interned at a global IT consulting firm earlier in my career, where programmers and business consultants were held in silos. Despite wanting to assist with QA, product testing and consulting, my role was confined to one task: coding. There was little room to branch out. It was only after joining Hubio that I was able to wear multiple hats, because the truth is, smaller companies are often open to that type of flexibility.
Even in my current role as Director of Professional Services, each day is different from the last. It’s my job to ensure all projects are delivered on time, and according to our client’s specifications, which is a responsibility I take seriously. Add to this, my long tenure means that I have experience other colleagues can benefit from, and this wisdom can take on various forms. For instance, I wanted to engage the team at our weekly town hall, but I also wanted to entertain them. In the end, I decided to host my own version of Family Feud to motivate everyone and boost morale.
Same culture, better technology
This collegial atmosphere has been part of our culture from the beginning. That said, not everything has remained the same. The technology we use today is far more advanced than any proprietary language we were using in 2004. For example, each regul8 implementation required a full custom-build back then, and manual updates were required to keep up with regulatory changes. Fast forward to today: clients can now subscribe to a cloud-based solution for all their regulatory reporting needs.
Of course, we still tailor the software, but the end-to-end process is faster and more responsive than ever before. The shift to a software-as-a-service model has vastly improved our offering’s efficiency, and I’m excited to see where our next step will lead.