A Note from the CEO
First, a look back…
We are coming up on 10 years since EZLynx was first released, and we are proud of what we have accomplished in this short period of time. Our focus for the first few years was to offer our agents a competitive real-time tool to fight the assault from direct writers and captives. This tool was the first of its kind and agents were quick to recognize its value. Within a year of its release EZLynx was the must-have tool for any agent serious about competing for new business in the market.
Noticing a shifting trend in consumer behavior, we next started focusing on consumer quoting through an agent’s website. Once again, like with real-time rating, the market felt there was no need for consumer-facing rating. Within a span of one year, as consumers started doing more commerce on the internet, it became obvious to our agents that having consumer-facing rating is not only a traffic driver, it was also saving them time. The consumer was entering their information themselves, so agents were spending less time playing phone tag to get the consumers information and less time on data entry.
The next logical step for us after helping make an agent’s website useful to their non-customers was to extend that functionality to their current customers to include policy servicing online. Our agents who are subscribed to the EZLynx Client Center can give their customers the ability to log in from their website, view their policy details, print ID cards, and request changes. All of our consumer-facing products have two goals – add convenience for the consumer and give independent agents the tools they need to compete with the online services being offered by direct writers.
In working with our agents, we were acutely aware of how dependent they are on their management systems. It became obvious to us that to make a lasting impact on this industry we needed to address this serious problem. While the rest of the world is talking about cloud computing on tablet devices, agents are still paying for old software products installed on an expensive office network that can only be accessed from a Desktop PC.
Beginning about 2 years ago, EZLynx began laying the foundation for what has become EZLynx Management System. We started selling the product in January 2012 and have already made a dramatic impact with our early adopters.
All of this leads to the big question – where are we going with our products and what is our immediate vision for 2013. Before the hustle and bustle of the holidays next month, we wanted to give you a high level overview of our vision for 2013.
Consumers and Mobile are like two peas in a pod. It’s hard to separate one from the other. Our next version of EZLynx Client Center, due for release in early January 2013, will be a full featured client servicing center with support for printing policy documents, requesting policy changes, and more. We are focused on enabling all of our consumer-facing products for mobile in 2013, including our Consumer Quoting, so that when consumers visit your website on their mobile device, they can easily complete the quoting process. Our data shows that consumers are already starting to do this.
Agency in a Box may sound cliché, but with EZLynx it really summarizes what we are trying to accomplish. We have been working hard over the past few years to put together an all-encompassing suite of products and solutions that give our agents the tools they need to be competitive and keep costs down. Agents will be able to manage the full customer lifecycle from beginning to end with EZLynx Agency Websites, Consumer Quoting, Rating Engine, Management System, Marketing Campaigns, and Client Center. Truly an agency in a box!
Third party applications will be featured prominently in 2013. EZLynx Marketplace will enable some important third party vendors to become part of our platform to add key features to our product. Some of these apps that are already in the works include lead management, specialized email marketing tools, e-signature vendors, and more. EZLynx Marketplace, when fully implemented, will allow agents to start with EZLynx as the core platform and add other products a la carte to meet their unique agency needs or add a suite of products in discounted packages. If you own a mobile device, it’s a concept you’re already familiar with.
Agency Management for the digital age is what we are trying to build with our product. EZLynx Management System has been cloud-based from day one, and it’s tablet-friendly for anytime, anywhere access. It already has full download support for all lines of business, both personal and commercial. 2013 will see EZLynx Management System continue to grow into a product that can meet the needs of our agents in this digital, mobile world.
2013 and beyond…
We are confident that the next 10 years are going to be better than the first 10, and we are excited to continue this journey with all of you. The problems – and the opportunities – our industry is facing are huge. We will continue to push the boundaries from our end and hope to have your support as we work together to build a product that meets the needs of both agents and consumers alike.