AMS Services has announced the general availability of AMS 360v2.0--an agency management system that "seamlessly bridges agencyinformation, business relationships and management tools," theprovider of insurance software solutions contends.

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According to Bothell, Wash.-based AMS, the new version of AMS360, built on an advanced technology platform, features multipleproduct advances that provide agencies greater productivity,streamlined information access and tighter carrier connectivity.AMS 360 currently has more than 12,000 users, the companynoted.

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Installation is accomplished by simply downloading the 10MBapplication file, said a representative for AMS. In terms oftraining, online help within the product, monthly Webinars,self-directed Web classes and instructor-led classes are allavailable for any version, the firm added.

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Use depends on how much training the customer desires, withimplementation typically completed within 60 days.

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The newest features of AMS 360 v2.0 increase efficiency andproductivity by automating everyday tasks and streamlining workflowso agents can spend more time writing new business, the companysaid. Key advances include:

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o Import/export of data schedules

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Agencies can import or "drag and drop" data lists directly intothe system, AMS noted, thus saving time by making it easier toupdate schedules while reducing errors and omissions. The systemautomatically compares schedules, making it easy to reconcilechanges, and will even alert users to endorse policy changes.

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o Scheduled reports

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Agents can schedule reports to be automatically generated atnight when it won't affect system performance, the company said.Users can also schedule reports to be delivered through the systemor e-mail.

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o Vendor payables

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Agencies can effectively manage cash flow by scheduling vendorpayments during a time that best meets budgetary needs, said AMS.Once an invoice is entered in the system, agencies can track byinvoice number and date and allocate expenses across divisions orlocations.

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o Enhanced security

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Managers can easily supervise employee access to specific data.For example, security parameters can be set so users only haveaccess to their specific customers or accounts. Additionally,agencies can restrict access to high-profile customers so onlyspecific employees can view them, the company said.

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In addition, AMS said its enhanced system tackles one of themajor obstacles facing agencies--the incredible paper loadassociated with the insurance industry. According to AMS, 30percent of the workday is spent searching for correct documents,taking valuable time away from growing the business.

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One of the features of the new version--Document360--is afully-integrated document management system that helps agenciesincrease efficiency by managing electronic documents with quick andsimple indexing, tracking, retrieval and storage, according toAMS.

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"Advanced search capabilities eliminate time wasted searchingfor documents and reduce the risk of important information beingmisfiled or associated with the wrong account," the companystated.

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"Independent agents are continually looking for ways to be moreefficient and productive, which means not leaving their agencymanagement system to interface with carriers," AMS continued. "AMS360 lets users sign in once to the management system and interactwith carriers for access to real-time rating, claims, billing andpolicy information, endorsements and new business submissions."

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In addition, automated password management provides for singlesign on, further simplifying the process, according to the company.The latest version of AMS 360 delivers pervasive access to carrierswithin the application, while it also provides easy access to otherAMS Services' solutions and third-party systems.

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"AMS Services is committed to providing a technology platformthat will grow with its customers," the company added. "AMS 360v2.0 is a modern architecture that is Web-based and built onMicrosoft's .NET platform."

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According to AMS, Microsoft .NET offers a rich user interfaceand provides easy integration with other solutions.

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AMS 360 v2.0 also uses Microsoft's SQL Server, "providing morereliable storage, enhanced scalability and excellent security," thecompany stated. The result is that agents are able to build theirbusiness quickly to gain a competitive advantage.

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For agents using the previous version of AMS 360, AMS Servicesrolls the data center to the current version on a schedule set bycustomer service, the company noted.

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Typically, hosted customers are always on the latest versionwithin three months, AMS said. For in-house agents, the firm added,"we support the current version and one back. This gives them sometime to get ready to upgrade on their timetable, but most upgradewithin three-to-four months."

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AMS 360 v2.0 is available immediately. The company declined toprovide pricing details. More information is available atwww.amsservices.com.

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