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Debeka group customer story

Smarter modernizes insurance sales with light, flexible laptops

Debeka Group is a leading financial services company in Germany and one of the top-5 players in the insurance sector, serving more than 7 million customers and managing 21 million contracts. Headquartered in Koblenz, Germany, and with offices across the whole country, Debeka Group employs around 16,400 people.

Supporting a mobile workforce
Debeka Group’s business model heavily relies on mobile field sales staff visiting prospective and existing customers to provide personalized advice. The company employs over 8,000 field salespeople who travel around the country every day to help ensure customers receive the best possible service. These staff represent the company at the frontline.

To illustrate insurance and savings options to customers quickly and effectively, Debeka Group’s employees rely on digital tools, accessed via mobile devices.

As part of its wider workplace modernization strategy, Debeka Group aimed to reduce the weight of the equipment that staff carry around, while ensuring its people have everything they needed to facilitate productive conversations with customers and prospects. The company also wanted to reduce the need to print paperwork and contracts by expanding and simplifying its use of digital signatures.

To empower its mobile workforce to deliver personalized insurance advice and services to consumers across Germany, Debeka Group worked with partner Ratiodata AG to equip employees with high-performance, environmentally friendly Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Yoga laptops – helping to ensure the right digital tools are always at their fingertips.

Marcel Wirth, Team Lead Lifecycle Management for Client Devices at Debeka Group, says: “As part of our drive to shape the workplace of the future, we decided to equip our field sales staff with new, more flexible and powerful laptops. For our back-office teams, we wanted to promote greater collaboration by creating new office layouts: replacing traditional, rigid uses of space with the latest hot-desking and mobility principles.”

Streamlining devices for mobile sales staff
As a first step toward these goals, Debeka Group set out to standardize its mobile collaboration tools. After working with trusted business partner Ratiodata AG to evaluate options from several leading vendors, the company selected Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Yoga laptops.

“We looked for modern devices that combined laptop and touch features, enabling us to support multiple use cases across different departments and roles,” says Wirth. “We felt that Lenovo offered the best quality at an attractive price. Two of the features that made the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Yoga stand out were its integrated pen and superior battery performance. These capabilities are invaluable when managing thousands of mobile devices and help us to ensure that customers can always sign our digital contracts.”

Debeka Group has worked with Lenovo and Ratiodata for many years and has always been highly satisfied with the quality of the products and services. Wirth confirms: “What makes working with Lenovo special is that we are continuously working together towards a shared goal. Our relationship is characterized by constructive collaboration. Often, it feels like working with another department within the same company, rather than with an external partner. This trusted and honest relationship is exactly why we have been able to create success after success for over 10 years.”

Boosting productivity
Debeka Group deployed 15,500 Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Yoga Gen 4 laptops, replacing multiple existing models and separate signature pads with a single standard. The Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Yoga Gen 4 features a durable aluminum chassis, a touch display connected via a 360-degree hinge, and an integrated Lenovo ThinkPad Pen Pro.

The company also used its workstation refresh as an opportunity to streamline its processes for provisioning new devices and digital services for its users. Wirth comments: “We have optimized our provisioning process using Microsoft Autopilot, an automated cloud solution powered by Microsoft Azure. To my knowledge, we were one of the first companies with so many devices to adopt Microsoft Windows Autopilot in Germany, and once again Lenovo and Ratiodata have been a great help by enabling tight integration with our provisioning processes – saving us time and money.”

He continues: “The Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Yoga is the perfect fit for our business needs. Our field sales staff can use them like tablets to share content and present to customers, use them like laptops to perform detailed calculations, or use them like a virtual whiteboard to write notes and draw diagrams. Crucially, our customers can use Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Yoga devices to digitally sign contracts, helping our employees to close deals right then and there.”

Encouraged by the positive feedback from its employees, the company has already ordered an additional 1,000 Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Yoga Gen 5 laptops.

The global COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the company’s plans to enable more flexible workplaces. Debeka Group has recently brought forward the rollout of its enterprise-wide, single-device strategy, which will be based on Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Yoga laptops. To support specialized, high-performance requirements, the company’s IT team is also considering offering Lenovo ThinkPad P1 mobile workstations as an alternative option.

Backed by best-in-class services
The complete Lenovo solution covers the full lifecycle of the laptops. As part of the Lenovo Asset Recovery Services, a backend partner refurbishes and resells the previous laptop models, making the solution more sustainable and providing a safe, second use for many thousands of laptops.

The support and maintenance services provided by Lenovo also include Lenovo Accidental Damage Protection, Sealed Battery Warranty, Ready-to-Provision Series, Custom Image Services, Cloud Deploy, Custom BIOS and Warranty Upgrades.

Lenovo partner Ratiodata acts as the main point of contact for Debeka Group, handling all support tasks. Additionally, Debeka Group has agreed bespoke service levels with Ratiodata. As the laptops are mission-critical tools for field sales staff, employees can request replacement devices until 16:00 and receive a new device by 10:00 the next day, anywhere in Germany.

Adapting to face new challenges
The new laptops have boosted staff satisfaction at Debeka Group. The anti-reflection displays are perfectly suited for the wide range of tasks required of salespeople out in the field.

Wirth confirms: “The new Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Yoga laptops with sleek, branded, and lightweight sleeves together with USB sticks for documentation only weigh around 1 kg and support a complete and smooth sales experience, compared to an average weight of 7 kg in the past for all the necessary equipment including a bulky bag, signature pad, and printer – that is 85% lighter, which is a great benefit for employees out on sales calls all day.”

The reliable, flexible devices also support modern, flexible work patterns, and the high-quality IR and 720p camera with ThinkShutter and advanced 360-degree microphone make them ideally suited to remote working. “Today, as a result of the global COVID-19 pandemic, 90% of our employees are working from home,” says Wirth. “Thanks to the Lenovo laptops, we ensure sharp images and crystal-clear sound during video conferences, even without headsets – crucial at a time when it was almost impossible to procure enough headsets for everybody. The new laptops also allowed us to introduce the Snapview platform for remote sales meetings, helping us to provide personalized advice to our customers even during local lockdowns and social distancing restrictions.”

ThinkPad X1 Yoga

The ThinkPad X1 Yoga features the renowned 360-degree hinge to accommodate your style.

With an eye on sustainability, Debeka Group worked closely with Lenovo to cut the environmental impact of its packaging by 87%, using just a single cardboard box for eight devices. By delivering the laptops by train rather than airfreight, Lenovo also helped the company reduce the CO2 emissions of the shipping process by 94%.

What’s more, with Lenovo Accidental Damage Protection, Debeka Group reduces manual processing and has already saved more than EUR 9,000 in repair costs in the first month. In a joint effort to maximize the environmental and economic sustainability of the full-service solution, Debeka Group and Lenovo negotiated a bespoke service process that reduces common repair costs by up to 80% per device in collaboration with Ratiodata.

Wirth concludes: “The flexible, light Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Yoga laptops – complete with touchscreens and pens – are the ideal devices for our field sales staff. The fast performance speeds up many daily tasks and the robust hardware is perfectly suited for constant mobile use on the go.”

“Working with Lenovo and Ratiodata, we enjoy 360-degree customer service throughout the entire laptop lifecycle. On top of that, we are very proud that we have implemented a customized and very sustainable technology solution that reduces waste and helps to reduce our environmental impact.”
Marcel Wirth, Team Lead Lifecycle Management for Client Devices, Debeka Group
ThinkPad X1 Yoga