Coming Soon: Send Postal Mail Directly from EZLynx

In the next few months we will open up beta testing of a new postal mail integration in EZLynx, but until then we wanted to give you a sneak peak of what we have planned! With EZLynx Postal Mail, you can select any PDF or ACORD form from your applicant’s document library in EZLynx and have those documents printed and mailed to the applicant in only a few simple clicks.

EZLynx Postal Mail - Step 1

Simply select (or upload) your documents, verify the mailing and return address, choose your printing options (#10 Envelope, Flat Envelope, Black and White or Color Printing), choose your postage type (First Class or Certified Mail), and we’ll take care of the rest!

EZLynx Postal Mail - Step 2

Like our Bulk Campaigns feature, you only pay for what you use. Rates are determined by the number of pages, printing options, and the postage type.

While this first version will be limited to sending single mailings to individual applicants, we are excited to start getting your feedback as we explore opportunities for bulk mailings and other mailing types like folded cards, post cards, and more.

Benefits of using EZLynx Postal Mail

  • Focus on your customer relationships – don’t waste time stuffing envelopes.
  • Save money and get closer to becoming a paperless office – no more printers, paper, envelopes, and stamps.
  • Save a trip to the post office for those certified letters! You’ll be able to send official certified letters with EZLynx Postal Mail and receive digital confirmation of signature and delivery from within EZLynx.
  • Better record keeping for E&O – all of your mailings are logged and saved forever. Even regular first class letters can be tracked to their final post office destination prior to delivery.

If you would be interesting in participating in our beta program for this new feature, please let us know by filling out the form below or email us directly at [email protected].


Is Your Agency Management System Secure?

If you’re an independent insurance agent, your consumer data may be at risk. Data security has changed, and agencies utilizing in-house management systems have become increasingly exposed to exploitation, information loss, and damages. Physical, on-location information storage and hosting methods are placing agents at risk, and your stored information, while seemingly protected, is less secure than you may think.

The State of Data Security

Data security has become a critical problem for many companies. Between 2005 and 2015, over 800 million records have been stolen as a result of a data breach according to the Identify Theft Resource Center. Current reports reveal that 2016 again shattered all previous records for individual data breach incidents—exposing vital corporate and user information on an epic scale. All indications point to 2017 being another record-breaking year as well.

Modern independent insurance agents are particularly at risk. Think about all the consumer information that you have in your system. Insurance agents store names, addresses, birth dates, social security numbers, email addresses, credit card numbers, and more.

While large insurance carriers and agencies have the budgets to maintain comprehensive protection, smaller independent agents are at the greatest risk because they often lack the resources to adequately secure the data that they maintain. A single data breach can damage a well-established insurance agency, harming your valued customers and your reputation in the process. Unfortunately, most insurance agents lack the technical expertise needed to fully prepare for every possible contingency, not to mention the financial resources required to adequately respond to a breach.

Protecting the Home Front

Power outages, fire, vandalism, flooding, and mishandled information all compromise data. User exploitation and malicious activity knows no bounds, leaving a small business’s data at risk. Consider this: Your servers are stolen. You’ve located malware. An employee has corrupted vital data. How will you respond? More importantly, how will you answer irreversible damages?

Companies guarding data must hop through numerous hoops to ensure competent protection. The work involved includes internet monitoring, access allowances, firewalls, encryption, anti-malware services, hacking prevention seminars, staff training, data security enforcement, premises security monitoring, risk assessment, and more. Do you do these things? Cloud-based providers like EZLynx do, and we are planning to roll out even more stringent security measures this year.

Modern Security and Cloud Storage

Cloud-based agency management systems minimize many of your operational risks by offloading your critical infrastructure, removing physical storage needs, and enhancing security. Sensitive information is encrypted, and no mission-critical applications are installed on your local systems. You should protect your agency and customer data with your cyber insurance coverage and an agency management system that is working to proactively protect your data.

Web-based agency management systems like EZLynx handle your data requirements and security needs, offering immediate agency data access across multiple locations, ensuring everything you need to run your business is available on One Platform™.

Independent agents that are relying on a self-hosted agency management system are extremely vulnerable. The fact that your business would come to a grinding stop in the event of data loss notwithstanding, is your agency prepared for the legal and financial burdens of notifying your entire database in the event of a breach? The laws vary from state to state, but one thing remains constant: If you have unencrypted sensitive consumer information on your systems that has been compromised, you have a legal responsibility to notify each and every one those clients and prospects whose personal information is now out in the open. And make no mistake, they won’t be your clients for long after that!

EZLynx Management System, with our pain-free data migration service, has helped agents move their data from these old, costly systems. You can’t risk waiting.


Discover EZLynx for Amazon Alexa

EZLynx Releases Amazon Alexa SkillAlexa is Amazon’s Artificial Intelligence Personal Assistant, which can be expanded by teaching your “Alexa” a variety of new “Skills” from a library accessed from the Alexa app or website.

With Amazon’s latest update, you can now use Alexa directly from your mobile device through the Amazon shopping app, or you can continue to use Alexa through one of Amazon’s supported devices.

The EZLynx Skill provides agency owners with access to their Agency Pulse report with a simple voice command. You can also get the daily download status and the number of outstanding tasks, along with their status.

The EZLynx Alexa skill also provides a Business Health Report containing the following information:

  • Book of Business
  • Total Active Policies
  • Total Active Customers
  • Top Producer for Auto
  • Top Producer for Home

Using the power of voice, these reports can be requested for a particular month and year and can go as far back as your Agency Pulse reports go. You can also ask for these reports individually for a specific month and year if you don’t want to hear the entire summary.

The EZLynx Alexa skill also provides a Daily News report that includes the Overnight Download Status, along with its matched and unmatched status. The Daily News section provides the total tasks assigned to the user and includes how many tasks are overdue.

How Do I Get It?

Alex - All SkillsYou will need an alexa-capable device, which currently includes the Amazon Echo, Amazon Tap, and Amazon Dot. Alternatively, Amazon has now enabled Alexa through their Amazon shopping app so that you can use these powerful features without purchasing one of their devices.

I have the Amazon Echo, Tap, or Dot. Now what?

The first step will be to install Amazon’s Alexa App from the Android or Apple app store.

Next, go to the skills section and search for EZLynx.  From here, you can click on the skill to view the details and enable it. You will need to provide your EZLynx account credentials on the next screen in order to complete the setup process.

I want to access the EZLynx skill on my own device.

You will need both the Amazon app and the Alexa app. First, go to the Alexa app and search for EZLynx in the skills section. Follow the instructions here to enable the skill and provide your EZLynx account credentials.

Now that you have configured the EZLynx skill, you can open the Amazon app and click the microphone icon in the top right. This will allow you use use Alexa directly from your mobile device.  Simply use the sample prompts below to get started.

Amazon App Amazon App Mic

What Can I Say?

This is only the beginning of where we want to take this integration, so we’d love to get your feedback. Here are a few sample phrases to get you started. Simply speak these phrases to your Alexa-enabled device. You can ask for any month and year as long as you have the data in EZLynx.

  • “Alexa, ask EZLynx for Daily News.”
  • “Alexa, ask EZLynx for Business Health Report for October 2016.”
  • “Alexa, ask EZLynx for Total Premium for October 2016.”
  • “Alexa, ask EZLynx for Total Active Policies for October 2016.”
  • “Alexa, ask Ezlynx for Total Active Customers for October 2016.”
  • “Alexa, ask EZLynx for Top Producer Personal Auto for October 2016.
  • “Alexa, Ask EZLynx for Top Producer Home for September 2016.”

We are closely watching the developments with artificial intelligence, and we believe there is huge potential in taking advantage of these new innovations to the betterment of the insurance industry and, specifically, the independent agency channel!


EZLynx Text Messaging Supports Multimedia Messages (MMS)

We are excited to announce that MMS support for our EZLynx Text Messaging product will be available in the coming weeks. Available as part of our EZLynx Communication Center bundle, with EZLynx Text Message your agency is provided with a unique local phone number that you can use to send and receive SMS and MMS text messages directly from EZLynx.

If you already have EZLynx Text Messaging, you should have received an email from us about some changes required to take advantage of this new feature. We will continue to stay in touch with you directly about this process. You can contact [email protected] directly if you have any questions about the migration process.

In addition to support for multimedia messages, we have added notification management and branch support features, allowing for number sharing and greater control over who receives alerts upon incoming messages. Let’s take a look!

Send and Receive Multimedia Messages (MMS)

When you receive a multimedia message, the message will be displayed in the Sent & Received log as usual. However, the message will also indicate that it contains a number of attachments.

EZLynx Text Message Attachments

Click to view the included media and you will be able to preview the attachments right there on the page.  Easily download or save the attachments to the applicant’s document library in EZLynx.

EZLynx Text Messaging Attachment Preview

Sending multimedia messages is extremely easy. You will notice new options on the ‘Send Text Message’ window that will allow you to either upload attachments or select from the applicant’s document library.

EZLynx Text Messaging Send Attachments

This first version includes support for the universally accepted multimedia message file types, which includes most images, videos, audio files.

Manage your Text Message Notification Preferences

This upcoming update will also add a new tab to the Text Messaging Settings area.  This settings page is already accessible to users with the appropriate permission by hovering over the Communication Center menu and selecting Settings under the Text Messaging section.  This page will soon include an additional tab called Notification Rules that will allow you to configure how your organization, or your branch organizations, will receive alerts for incoming text messages.

Text Messaging Notification Rules

For those with a single location, you can simply jump right in to configuring the notification preferences for your users. For agencies with branches, you can choose to configure notification rules for each of your locations.

Text Messaging Notification Options

For agencies with multiple locations, it will also be possible to share the EZLynx Text Messaging Number assigned to your primary location with your branch locations as well, allowing all text message communications to flow through a single number. Incoming messages will still be routed to matching applicants at the branch, while unmatched messages can be managed at the main office.

Text Messaging Number Sharing

What’s Next

We are very excited about the possibilities in store for our text messaging solution. We have more enhancements planned for later this year that will make it easier than ever to communicate effectively and efficiently with you prospects and clients from EZLynx.

If you would like to learn more about EZLynx Communication Center, Text Messaging, or about what new features we plan to add later this year, please do not hesitate to contact us below.


EZLynx Sales Center: Sales Pipeline Management in EZLynx

The Evolution of ONE PLATFORM™ and our Agency-In-A-Box Roadmap

It was only a few short years ago that EZLynx was known as simply a comparative rating platform. While our introduction of comparative rating changed the industry forever, we knew from our agents that they were facing significant challenges from direct carriers, captive carriers, and online agencies that hurt their bottom lines. Most agents were dealing with incompatible multi-vendor solutions that ended up creating silos of information with duplicate data.

Seven years ago we decided to solve this problem by defining a new EZLynx roadmap for the industry that would offer agents a one-stop solution. Since then, our underlying goal has consistently been to build a complete customer lifecycle solution that would not only help our agents achieve greater success, but would also redefine our industry—again. EZLynx Sales Center is our next step on that journey.

Announced at the 2016 AgentLynx User Conference, EZLynx Sales Center is focused on growing your business by streamlining your agency’s sales pipeline. Seamlessly integrated into the EZLynx ONE PLATFORM™, Sales Center helps you identify sales opportunities, manage sales tasks, track close ratios, and focus on generating new revenue.

But the customer lifecycle doesn’t begin with Sales Center…

EZLynx One Platform

Step 1 — EZLynx Agency Websites

Every day, millions of consumers are using their phones, tablets, and desktops to search for insurance. Optimized to help drive traffic to your digital presence, Agency Websites is your online storefront.

Step 1 - EZLynx Agency Websites

We felt it was important to apply our insurance and technical knowledge to help agents compete online.  The most important aspect of our website services is that we seamlessly integrate our consumer-facing lead capture and custom service portals, which has always been something that many agents struggle with.

Retain Leads — 50% of all insurance shoppers are on a mobile device. Our designs automatically adjust to fit all screen sizes.

Expand Your Reach — Get found in 50 local online business directories consumers use to find professionals like insurance agents.

Great First Impression — With 30+ website designs choices and customization to match your branding, you get a unique site.

Promote Inbound Marketing — Custom content writing for service pages and monthly blog articles on topics important to insurance shoppers.

Expert Digital Strategy — Quarterly meetings with a website analyst to assess your website’s health and local performance.

Professional Guidance — Website specialists walk you through the setup process, host your site, and monitor its performance.

Step 2 — EZLynx Consumer Quoting

As consumers find your website, they are funneled through our various lead capture forms.  We have made extensive updates to EZLynx Consumer Quoting over the past few years so that a single portal can now map leads into EZLynx for any line of business.

Step 2 - EZLynx Consumer QuotingYour home and auto leads can give the consumer the option to complete a full online quote, but that is an entirely optional process.  Meanwhile, your leads for other lines of businesses go directly into EZLynx without distracting or confusing the consumer with references to home and auto quotes.  Commercial leads even create commercial applicants in EZLynx automatically.

Capture Leads — Collect leads by providing consumers option to generate real-time comparative quotes on your website or provide their basic contact info.

Retain Mobile Leads — 30% of people seeking quotes are on mobile devices. Our system detects & optimizes their quoting experience.

Maximize Social Media Impact — Offer comparative quoting directly on your agency’s Facebook page to increase social media leads.

Improve Customer Service — Set automatic follow up emails for customers who exit a non-completed quote form.

Stay Organized — Consumer risk information and all quotes automatically populate in your EZLynx account for easy access.

Step 3 — EZLynx Sales Center

Our latest product is going to revolutionize the way you manage your sales process.  Best of all, it will keep you centered in EZLynx with Rating, Policy Management, and our suite of communication tools right at your fingertips.

Step 3 - EZLynx Sales CenterStreamline Your Agency’s Sales Pipeline

Have you ever quoted a lead you didn’t write or had trouble tracking X-Dates, close rates, or point of sale information in your agency? Sales Center is focused on growing your business by streamlining your sales pipeline. From identifying missed sales opportunities to servicing existing customers, the EZLynx ONE PLATFORM™ helps you manage the full customer lifecycle, round accounts, and increase new business!

Easily Access Data

With easy access to pipeline data and relevant information, your sales managers can access the success of their producers and workflows. Sales dashboards allow you to quickly see close ratios for producers, deal aging, and assess your entire sales process to make informed decisions for your agency. Whether you are using Sales Center for true new business or rounding accounts, everything you need to know about an account is in one place.

Step 3 - EZLynx Sales CenterForecast Sales

Quote information from EZLynx fills into sales center to provide you the estimated value of each deal. As it moves through the pipeline, the estimated value becomes more accurate. This allows you to forecast your sales for month’s end. Follow each producer to make sure they are on target to hit sales goals and maximize agency revenue!

Track & Manage Sales Task

Sales Center is part of the EZLynx one platform center, so all your data is in one place. Track and manage the sales tasks through the Agency Workspace. Sales managers can follow the progression of a customer through the entire process. This means that identifying opportunities, sales, quoting, customer management, and renewal management all happen in one system. No more need for cumbersome spreadsheets, multiple systems, or lost opportunities. All your data is managed from a single platform.

Focus on Generating Revenue

Each day, a producer comes to work knowing each opportunity to target and the next task to close the deal. This allows producers to focus on revenue-generating activities and maximize their time. Tasks can be assigned to anyone in the agency and managed through Sales Center. Everything is accessible from the customer’s main EZLynx account.

Step 4 — EZLynx Rating Engine

The days of entering consumer information individually into each carrier’s system is over. One-time data entry in EZLynx yields dozens of comparative quotes in just seconds. You can even log into your EZLynx account on your mobile device to access quotes on the go.

Step 4 - EZLynx Rating Engine

We spent our early days perfecting the game of real-time rating and in doing so created the leading rater in the industry. Our web-based technology allows you to get instantaneous quotes from over 169 carriers in 48 states. Comparative cross-carrier quoting has never been this easy, and best of all, it is a seamless part of EZLynx Sales Center, EZLynx Management System, and EZLynx Retention Center.

As you work new prospects through Sales Center, you’ll be able to seamlessly tap into EZLynx Rating Engine as you transition that lead into a new customer.

Carrier Access — Instantly link to your carriers. We offer support with over 169 carriers across the continental US.

Protects Customers — Quickly deliver premium & coverage options via email with a secure connection for customer safety.

Streamline Renewals — Customers can update risk information securely online prior to re-quoting to streamline renewals.

Increased Productivity — Pre-fill & save quote templates with common answers, producer codes, and underwriting information.

Effortless Data Entry — Save time during quoting by pulling driver and vehicle data from LexisNexis® Data Pre-fill.

Protects Agents — Cloud-based system records all user activities for custom reports and to avoid E&O claims.

Step 5 — EZLynx Management System

At the heart of EZLynx, our Management System, paired with Sales Center, now combines both your book of business and your CRM. As your agency grows, it becomes increasingly important that your data aids in your daily workflow rather than hinder it.

Step 5 - EZLynx Management SystemEZLynx Management System allows you to maximize your agency’s potential by increasing your ability to retain current customers while acquiring new business.

Find all of your customer’s quotes, policies, and documents in one organized place and easily remarket with up-to-date information that is synced from your daily policy downloads.

Keep Existing Data — Stop stressing. Data conversion experts will import existing management system information painlessly.

Reduce E&O Exposure — Record everything, automatically. All notes, documents, emails, and tasks are linked to your client’s file.

Improve Customer Service — Use sticky notes, tasks, and reminders to streamline your workflow and maximize productivity.

Grow the Business — Reduce time with pre-filled forms and synced carrier information so that you can focus on growing your business.

Track Profits — Insurance accounting tracks premiums and commissions so that you can understand your book and plan for the future.

Step 6 — EZLynx Client Center

Tapping into the vast stores of customer data in your system, EZLynx Client Center sits on top of your Agency Website so that your clients can quickly access their policy details, shared documents, and submit change requests and questions.

Step 6 - EZLynx Client CenterJust like you, insurance clients now expect some level of online access to their account.  More importantly, it saves you time to focus on revenue-generating activities by letting your clients perform the more basic customer service tasks like printing auto ID cards, to more complex service tasks like generating certificate holder for a commercial policy on their own.

We have exciting plans this year to further expand Client Center to make it even more useful to you and your clients.

Improve Customer Service — Customers can access policies on mobile devices & desktops from any Internet enabled device.

Exceed Expectations — keep your online shop open to customers 24/7/365 and give customers access to their own policies.

Decrease Response Time — Activity notifications are instantly sent to agents when customers electronically request changes.

Increase Productivity — Reducing general service requests frees up time for agents to focus on larger issues.

Reduce E&O Exposure — Client activities and communication is logged in EZLynx for quick access.

Step 7 — EZLynx Retention Center

Introduced 2 years ago, EZLynx Retention Center has redefined the renewal process at agencies using this solution.

Step 7 - EZLynx Retention CenterWith its patented technology, Retention Center can review and prioritize all daily renewals from high to low risk of attrition. This allows your employees to focus only on those renewals that are at greatest risk of a loss—all from a single screen in EZLynx.

Agents who implement Retention Center on average enjoy more than a 5 points increase in their retention.

Focused Strategy — Become proactive in your agency’s retention process to review every customer’s account at renewal.

Improved Customer Service — Communicate with every customer prior to the renewal to reinforce your agency’s value.

Greater Productivity — Utilize new technology to conduct and manage renewal process without increasing staff.

Expedite Remarketing — Utilize the policy sync feature to rapidly update a customer’s information and submit for quotes.

Expand Insight — Instant view into price and comparison of current policy and renewal to identify any changes.

Boost Revenue — Each additional point of retention corresponds to a specific dollar amount for each agency of increased profit.

Step 8 — EZLynx Communication Center

Encompassing all aspects of our product is EZLynx Communication Center.  The ability to effectively communicate with your prospects and customers is essential to running an effective agency and is seamlessly used by all pieces of our customer lifecycle suite.

Step 8 - EZLynx Communication CenterCommunication Center is a bundle of digital communication tools that allow to you to email and text message with consumers directly from EZLynx. From completing the sales process with an electronic signature, to keeping your Microsoft Outlook inbox organized and in sync with EZLynx, Communication Center is at the center of your day-to-day workflow.

Drive Sales & Grow your Book — Leverage the power of EZLynx Reporting to define targeted and timely cross-sell email campaigns to increase your policy-per-customer average.

Improve Retention — Pro-actively communicate with clients via Text Message or Email to increase retention and improve the overall customer service experience.

Build Loyalty — Show customers you care by setting date-sensitive delivery for holidays, birthdays, or policy terms.

Seeing the Bigger Picture

While we are certainly excited about the release of EZLynx Sales Center this year, hopefully you see that it is just another piece to a larger vision we have for our industry. Your success is our validation of the roadmap we have set for our company over the past decade, and it will continue to be our benchmark for the decade to come. Be sure to take a look at our 2017 Roadmap if you haven’t already!


EZLynx Accounting now has a Direct Interface to QuickBooks Online

Our interface between EZLynx Accounting and Intuit QuickBooks means you get the best of both worlds – a premium accounting system tuned to the specific needs of an insurance agency plus the world-leading, easy to use general ledger software used by more than four million businesses. EZLynx AccountingUntil now, that interface required manual steps to load transactions from EZLynx into QuickBooks. But the manual uploads and downloads are a thing of the past with our latest release that will streamline your link between EZLynx and QuickBooks.

EZLynx now supports a direct interface to QuickBooks Online through web services. With a single step to authorize the connection, your EZLynx transactions will flow automatically to QuickBooks, with no intervention necessary. This will speed up your day-end processes, facilitate check printing, and greatly improve accuracy by removing the human element.

We will continue to support file exports and imports for QuickBooks Desktop. But if you use QuickBooks Online and are ready to simplify your workflow, we’re ready for you.

How It Works

In the Systems Settings page of the Accounting Configuration module, you can authorize the direct connection to QuickBooks by logging in to QuickBooks Online and granting access. This authorization happens completely within the QuickBooks website, so you don’t have to worry about password security across websites.

EZLynx Accounting

Once the connection is authorized, transactions in EZLynx will flow automatically to QuickBooks, either in real-time or on demand (see options below). Both journal entries and checks are sent together, so you no longer need a bank clearing account to offset postings from two different exports. Journal entries are posted as standard double-entry postings, so there is no need for an import clearing account. Postings in QuickBooks are simple, just the way you expect.
Before sending any transaction, the EZLynx interface will first verify the pertinent GL account, Customer, and/or Vendor exists in QuickBooks. If they aren’t found, EZLynx will simply create it for you – no error, no need for you to intervene or reimport the transaction.

Options

There are a few ways you can configure the EZLynx QuickBooks interface, depending on how you run your business.

On Demand or Real Time

You can choose to send transactions to QuickBooks in real time as they happen, or in batches when you specify. In Real-Time mode, transactions appear in QuickBooks within seconds of posting in EZLynx. You never have to do anything – it’s true “set it and forget it.”

In On Demand mode, transactions are queued up until you click a button to send them in batch. This mode is useful if you want to control when transactions appear in QuickBooks, such as when balancing the books at month end.

Summary or Detail

You can also choose if you want to send transactions to QuickBooks at a summary or detail level. At the detail level, each individual transaction is sent separately: you’ll see separate postings for every invoice, every receipt, every commission statement detail, etc. At a summary level, transactions will be summed by date and GL account, so for example you’ll see a single posting to the Income account for each day, and a single posting to Accounts Receivable per day.

Detail level is useful if you want all your transactions in QuickBooks in order to leverage some of QuickBooks’ robust detail reporting functionality. Summary level is best if you will run your detailed premium accounting reports from EZLynx, and use QuickBooks for your higher level P&L.

Note that Summary-level transactions are not available when running in Real-Time mode.

Interested?

The direct interface is now available as a beta, and we anticipate making it available for general use in March. Please contact us if you would like to participate in the beta, and watch for detailed instructions on enabling the interface when it is launched globally.


EZLynx Roadmap for 2017

A Note from the CEO

Happy New Year! I hope you all had a fantastic 2016! Based on the results of our annual customer survey, it seems you did – and we’re ready to help make 2017 even better.

The biggest highlight of 2016 for EZLynx came in October when we hosted our first AgentLynx User Conference in Dallas. Thank You to everyone that was able to attend! We had good participation from our agents and all our product sessions were extremely well attended. For me personally it was great to meet our customers face-to-face and listen to their feedback about our products. We are looking forward to the next AgentLynx User Conference to be held in San Diego sometime in March/April of 2018. Please be sure to register as soon as we make our announcement because we will be limiting the number of attendees.

EZLynx continues to make big strides in the industry. EZLynx was again acknowledged as the fastest growing management system vendor and is now the third biggest vendor behind Vertafore and Applied, according to the Big “I” and Future One 2016 Agency Universe study. More amazingly, our market share with EZLynx Rating Engine has continued to grow and is now a dominant number one in the market. I want to personally thank all our customers who chose EZLynx over other products and also enthusiastically responded to these industry surveys. I can assure you without your support EZLynx would not be the product it is today. Thanks once again from all of our employees.

We made some big new product announcements at AgentLynx 2016 – EZLynx Sales Center and an Amazon Alexa skill for agency owners. EZLynx Sales Center is an add-on product that lets agents manage their prospects and opportunities during the sales process. Similar to Retention Center, it is a highly optimized tool that helps keep all the information about your prospects at your fingertips. Sales Center has fantastic metrics with sales performance dashboards customized for each user. Sales Center will continue to evolve in 2017 with more features in the pipeline to include support for lead generator integration, EZLynx Consumer Quoting integration, custom fields, and more management reporting options. Please contact our sales team if you are interested in learning more about this innovative product.

Our Amazon Alexa skill started out as a playful experiment amongst our development team but soon turned out to be something bigger. We are fully committed to enhancing this app in the future based on your feedback. Alexa employs state of the art speech processing technology to parse your voice commands and provide meaningful responses. To be honest, Alexa is addictive and full of surprises once you start using it. I encourage our management system users to give our Alexa skill a try by searching for EZLynx from the Alexa app on your mobile device. Please note you do need to purchase an Alexa device from Amazon to be able to use this feature. Keep watching for more Alexa integrations in 2017!

I would like to quickly review what I outlined in my 2016 New Year’s article and update you on our progress. I made a promise to deliver a single platform customer lifecycle solution that can solve the challenges faced by our agents. Sales Center is an outstanding example of this. We realize how challenging the sales process can be, especially if you have multiple employees selling with different customer touch points. Sales Center centralizes all the activities under one screen and keeps all your employees on the same page. If you are an agency owner or a sales manager, it offers great reports and dashboards to monitor the performance of your team.

I also promised to make improvements to EZLynx Management System in 2016. We worked hard to build commercial features like manual policy data entry, quote proposals, applications, and ACORD® form support. We still have a few more commercial lines yet to support, but I expect to complete all lines by the end of 2017’s second quarter.

We made various other management system improvements with agency workspace, document management, and reporting that are too many to list.

EZLynx Accounting was seriously upgraded in 2016. We now have full support for branch accounting with integrated GL support for QuickBooks online.

If you are one of those rating customers waiting for our management system to fully mature, this may be the time. We have a solid data conversion team that will work with you to move your current policy data to EZLynx from more than 25 different management systems in less than 10 weeks. Please contact our sales team for more information. I can assure you that you will not regret your decision to move to EZLynx Management System!

I also promised to improve EZLynx Communication Center in 2016 with enhancements to Email Campaigns. You can now leverage our robust reporting feature by using your saved reports for bulk email blasts. Our reports allow you to create highly targeted upsell/cross-sell campaigns, and in turn, generate more leads from your existing customer data. We also added Custom Domains to help reduce spam blocking and to increase email open rate. Simply validate the domain that you use for email and our system will be able to send emails out on your behalf rather than under our own domain.

EZLynx Client Center was another product that I promised to improve in 2016. We have upgraded the user interface with a clean, modern look that is fully mobile responsive so that it behaves the same on any screen size. We also added support for commercial clients to add their own certificate holders and generate new certificates from within Client Center. This feature will let you offload some of this work to your customers while still allowing you to retain control over who gets access.

Looking Ahead…

Agency profitability, productivity, and serviceability have always been our focus areas. Beginning in 2017, agency automation is our new target area. We believe our users can experience significant gains in all levels of profitability, productivity, and serviceability by using system data to intelligently automate actions. We have exciting plans to make this happen with new EZLynx tools!

One goal of this type of automation is to allow you and your employees to focus more time on revenue-generating tasks. Through data analytics and business intelligence we feel confident that many of these processes can be automated without degrading the customer service experience. To the contrary, we believe this will actually improve the customer experience in the long run.

Our relentless focus on enhancing EZLynx Management System continues in 2017. We are already hard at work on enhancing commercial support, advanced accounting features, and much more. MAPs, or Market Access Providers, are another focus area for us in 2017. EZLynx Rating Engine is already the best rating product for this market with its built-in messaging and private carrier support. We plan to enhance some of these features to add support for policy management and policy servicing.

While I do not want to reveal the full scope of our Roadmap for competitive reasons, make no mistake that we have a vision for 2017 and beyond to make EZLynx the ultimate solution for independent agents.

I hope you have another prosperous year with EZLynx!


Updated Look & Feel for EZLynx Client Center

In the next few weeks we will roll out an update to Client Center to clean up and modernize the appearance. This cosmetic update is the first in a series of updates we have planned in the coming year to make Client Center a beautiful and useful tool for your customers and a time-saving tool for your agency!

This first update refreshes the general appearance to give it a more modern, neutral appearance. Our goal is to ensure that the appearance can easily be merged into your existing branding so that your clients can have a consistent experience from your website.

client-center-change-request-1

We have also taken steps to make sure the layout makes sense when fully embedded in an iFrame, since in this scenario you do not need the typical header and footer areas.

client-center-change-request-2

The new version is also mobile responsive. This means that the layout automatically adapts to the width of the screen size for each user, whether they’re on a 30″ Desktop Monitor or a 4″ Phone.  If you plan on embedding Client Center in an iFrame on your already responsive website, be sure to set the width of the iFrame to a fluid 100% so that it can automatically adjust along with the rest of your site.

client-center-change-request-mobile

Client Center saw some significant updates in 2016, with an easier login process, text message verification, multi-account support, and enhanced support for commercial clients with certificate holder self-generation. You will hear more in the coming months about our 2017 Roadmap, but suffice to say we have significant and game-changing plans for EZLynx Client Center in the year ahead!


Branch Support Comes to EZLynx Accounting

Handling branch interactions through EZLynx Accounting has been a highly requested feature. We are excited to announce that this round of enhancements expands upon the current EZLynx Accounting functionality and allows you to include branches in your accounting postings, transactions and accounting reports. For organizations with multiple branches, this functionality will greatly aid in the company’s accounting practices in EZLynx.

Some of the great new enhancements with the EZLynx Accounting 2.8 include the ability to apply branches to receipts, checks, and deposits. You also have the ability to assign specific bank accounts to individual branches, as well as the ability to do an interbranch payment between branches to aid in the clearing of accounts.

Highlights

  • New Permissions and Settings
  • Branch support for Receivables
  • Branch support for Payables
  • Branch support for General Ledger postings
  • Branch support for Reporting

Let’s See What’s New…

New Permissions and Settings

With the addition of branch support to EZLynx accounting, you are able to determine which users can have access to the various accounting functions at their respected branch or even at other branches. This allows for branch-to-branch interactions. The assignment of these permissions can be easily handled through the newly designed Users tab in the configuration section in accounting.

branch-accounting-1

We have also redesigned the System Settings tab by adding an ‘Agency’ tab (for the main branch to set system settings for all of their branches) and a ‘Branch’ tab for the individual branches in the organization to set their specific settings. On the ‘Agency’ tab, users at the Main Branch can set the overall settings for the organization.

branch-accounting-2

On the ‘Branch’ tab, the user is able to set the setting specific to the individual branches, like their logo, company information (addresses), settings for invoice emails and invoice memos.

branch-accounting-3

Branch Support for Receivables

You are now able to select branches for adding receipts, creating deposits, and receivable write-offs. For those in the organization with access to all branches, they will be able to select from all the branches in the organization. However, those in the organization who are limited to one branch, they will only see that branch in the dropdown. The same applies for the creation of receipts.

branch-accounting-4

We have also redesigned the Receipt and Deposit overview screen to allow you to filter the pages by branches to better organize your organizations transactions and postings.

branch-accounting-5

Branch Support for Payables

Branches have been integrated to our payable features in EZLynx and you are now able to select branches for AutoPay and adding of Checks. On the AutoPay screen, you are now able to filter the payable items by branches.

branch-accounting-6

When adding a check, you now have the ability to select which branch the check is being generated from and the branch bank account. If you have permission to view all branches, you will be able to select any of the branches in the organization. If your permission is limited to one branch, then you will only be able to select your specific branch.

branch-accounting-7

We have also added a branch column on the Check screen to make it easier for you to sort the organizations checks by branches. If you have access to all branches in your organization, then you will be able to view all the checks created in the organizations. If you are limited to one branch, then only checks for that particular branch will appear.

branch-accounting-8

Branch Support for General Ledger Postings

With this round of enhancements, you are also able to view branches on the GL posting screen in order to better organize the organizations branch postings. This also includes the addition of branch information on the GL exports in order for you to be able to integrate your branch configuration with QuickBooks. You are also able to create a journal entry for a single branch or you can create a journal entry for two branches to create clearing postings for interbranch payments.

branch-accounting-9

Branch Support for Reporting

No business would be complete without accurate reports. Accurate reports enable you to better manage and predict your organizations position in the market. With the addition of Branch Support for EZLynx Accounting, we have overhauled our reports in accounting to include branch filter. You are able to group posting in the reports by branches and even exclude some branches from reports in order to limit the data outputs. These enhancements will let you track productivity across your organization and gain a better insight as to how each of your locations are performing. The below reports now support Branch data:

  • Aged Receivables Report
  • Cash Receipts Report
  • Check Register Report
  • Deposit Summery Report
  • Direct Bill Cash Report
  • GL Postings Detail Report
  • Invoice Summery Report
  • Line Item Detail Report
  • Payables Worklist Report
  • Premium Trust Report
  • Production by Producer Report
  • Production by Writing Company Report
  • Trial Balance Report
  • Unapplied Cash Report
  • Undeposited Funds Report
  • User List Report

We are excited about what we have in store for EZLynx Accounting in the coming year.  As always, do not hesitate to give us your feedback!


EZLynx Says Goodbye to one of our own

Bijesh KIt is with heavy hearts that we announce the loss of a member of the EZLynx team. Bijesh Karuvarathodiyil passed away unexpectedly this week at home with his family.

Working tirelessly behind the scenes, Bijesh had a hand in every successful product release at EZLynx for almost 3 years as one of our project managers and security specialists. His quiet dedication directly contributed to our success as a company, and indirectly to the success our customers have had using our products. Prior to joining EZLynx, Bijesh worked for Cognizant, Cisco Systems, and IBM.

We are lucky to have had Bijesh at EZLynx, however briefly. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his wife, Jwelna, and his two sons, Adit and Aman. He will be dearly missed.

For those of you interested in helping the family during this time, a site for donations has been set up here.