XL Catlin unlocks freedom to explore disruptive technology

Business Situation

What’s the first thing that comes to mind when you think of augmented reality (AR)?

If you said, “video games” or “movies,” you probably aren’t alone.

XL Catlin – one of the world’s largest insurance companies – is likely to come up with a few other, less traditional answers: risk assessments, flood prevention, amazing customer service.

Just ask Gemma Watson, team leader at XL Catlin’s incredibly named AR/VR/MR, Drones & IoT division. In the last year, Watson and Avanade have worked together to explore how emerging technologies, such as AR, might be used to change the way XL Catlin serves customers and competes on the global stage.

“What we are doing is not just innovation for the sake of innovation — it’s really about a new way to do business today.”

Gemma Watson Team Leader of XL Catlin’s AR/VR/MR, Drones & IoT Division


XL Catlin opted to work with Avanade’s Advisory Services team, thanks to our human-centric solutions, agile and design thinking methods, and a deep understanding of modern workplace technologies.

Our work together began with a clear definition of the business value, use cases and the real-life experiences of end users. After initial brainstorming, we decided to build a use case around risk assessments, an extremely time-consuming and manual process.

From there, we applied agile methods and worked collaboratively with XL Catlin’s product owner from our Digital Studios in London, bringing together cross-functional capabilities and stakeholders under one roof, to explore, build and test — at speed.


After just seven weeks, XL Catlin had a finished product in hand — one that could speed the time it takes to create a risk assessment report to a few days, from up to four weeks.

Leveraging voice dictation, hand gestures, and the camera and screen on a 3D headset to automate and enrich a time-consuming process — and ultimately mitigate risks (and costs) — XL Catlin’s trial AR use case was a stand-out success.

The value it offered was far more than just a revolutionary way to deliver risk assessments. It underscored a new way that enterprises must act in the face of unabated disruption. By teaming up with a partner like Avanade, XL Catlin was able to reach insights, test ideas and explore the new, without spending too much time stretching internal resources too thin.

Learn more about Avanade Advisory Services.

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