Mobile technology had its virtual fingerprints on almost everything at the NetVU Conference of Vertafore users’ groups last week in Anaheim, Calif. From the NetVU mobile app developed for the event to the exhibitors at the trade show to the many breakout sessions, mobile apps and products – and how Vertafore’s more than 20,000 agency, carrier and MGA users can leverage them for marketing, sales and customer service – were among the hottest topic of discussion.
In the words of Vertafore President and CEO Euan Menzies in his opening address: “Mobile apps will be as impactful as the original move to the Web.”
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Looking back over the technological advances of the past two decades and how they affected insurance agents, Menzies observed that 2001 and 2002 represented an “Internet hangover,” when initially high expectations for the Web failed to immediately materialize, although the Internet helped drive business changes. Around 2007 and 2008, there was more growth and productivity related to technology, especially with the advance of real-time rating and social networking. Today, on the verge of Web 3.0, the industry is undergoing more rapid, revolutionary change, with mobility, collaboration and insight driving the transformation, Menzies said.
With more than 20,000 users and upward of 32 million real-time transactions, Vertafore products are a major factor in user success, said Mark Craig, Vertafore senior vice president, product management. According to recent estimates by users, Vertafore products:
- Increased user productivity and efficiency by 40 percent
- Increased certificate handling by Vertafore’s top ten account assistants by 32 percent
- Reduced time spent on multiple reports by 90 percent
- Increased account managers’ capacity by spending less than 20 percent of time retrieving documents electronically
- Saved $55,000 immediately in reduced overtime expenses
- Reduced submissions completion time from 3 to 4 days to half a day
- Increased workflow capacity by 25 percent
- Reduced time to sort mail, match to client and put into workflow to within 2 minutes.
A little over two-thirds of smartphone users in the U.S. access the mobile Internet every day while more than 4,000 Vertafore agencies are using online agency management systems—the best way to reap the benefits of mobility, Craig said. Responding to the increased demand for mobility, Vertafore is using HTML 5 to build mobile compatibility into its existing products such as the Pipeline Manager sales management software and WorkSmart Engage, a cloud-based collaboration workspace, Craig said.
Much of this product enhancement is based on input from the NetVU board of directors and users, who are asking for improved screen modeling and increased reporting capabilities, Craig said. And once product upgrades are in place, online access is making it easier to roll out updates and reach out to the user base to promote, he added.
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Vertafore's second-half 2012 releases include:
WorkSmart Online – A hosted version of Vertafore’s agency process improvement solution, WorkSmart, providing the ability to deploy content management in a data center, at a third-party location or in Vertafore’s secure data center.
AMS360 v 6.5 – Featuring the new next generation experience of insurance agency management system AMS360 announced in February, version 6.5 makes the system accessible through mobile device.
In addition, Vertafore announced the general availability of the following solutions:
Pipeline Manager v2.3 - Key enhancements in Vertafore’s insurance sales management solution offer mobility features including the ability to add or update prospect information from a mobile device such as an iPad or smartphone.
ReferenceConnect v6.0 - A new version of Vertafore's online knowledge solution, featuring navigation enhancements and design features to improve ease of access.
Because these mobile functions are fueled by cloud-based systems, cyber security is an increasing concern. Vertafore’s security developers are building Verizon CyberTrust global security solutions into the platform, Craig said.
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