EZLynx Employees Work Remotely, And So Can You

In the wake of the coronavirus outbreak, EZLynx employees were able to immediately work from home by leveraging the same technologies and principles that we have made available to agents through our managed IT and cloud virtualization service, EZLynx Virtual Office.

When it became clear that we needed to empty the EZLynx offices of most employees, very little structural changes were required. The reason for this is that we were already using cloud-based virtual environments for all our day to day operations – from an internet-based phone system (VOIP) to cloud-based desktop computing.

What is a Virtual Environment?

Normally, when you turn on your home or office computer, all your software and files are right there on that computer. If you have a document or a special program on your computer at the office, and you’re not in the office, you’re out of luck. Many users resort to emailing themselves documents or carrying flash drives around on their keychain. And worse still, if your PC or Laptop is damaged, lost, or stolen, you potentially lose everything, not to mention that you may have compromised the sensitive data of your agency and your customers.

EZLynx has already solved a lot of this with our cloud-based platform.  So, while you still need to be on your physical office computer to access your locally stored agency documents, your desktop icons, or your other software, you can at least access your EZLynx account from any computer, from anywhere.

However, what we do at EZLynx for each of our employees is to keep their entire ‘office computer’ in the cloud, as well as their phone too. This is what we mean by a cloud-based virtual environment.  Your physical computer, whether it’s in the office, at home, or a laptop that you take with you on the road, doesn’t have any software or documents on it.  It only has your Operating System (Microsoft Windows) and some special software that lets you securely connect to your cloud desktop. All you need is an internet connection, and you can connect to this virtual cloud PC and use it as though you were right there in the office. Likewise, to make and receive calls from your office number, all you need is a headset.

Welcome to your Virtual Office

EZLynx Virtual Office is a one-stop shop for Insurance Agency IT, providing agencies with full IT support, in a secure virtual environment, for one price per user, ensuring your agency can focus on what really matters.

​Our EZLynx Virtual Office solution provides IT Support, with Security and Business Continuity (like work from home or remote office). Whether it is a shelter at home order as a result of a global pandemic, a major weather disaster, or simply a CSR stuck at home with a broken pipe, your agency should be up and running. Be confident you have the technology in place for your staff to work and collaborate remotely, regardless of circumstances.

It takes a team of experts to tackle the challenges facing insurance agencies today:

  • Defending against phishing attempts and data breaches, where bad actors attempt to trick you into giving access to your systems or sensitive data.
  • Protecting against ransomware attacks, which can cripple your entire operations by holding all your data hostage.
  • Business continuation and data recovery, ensuring that even in the midst of a major event your business can continue operating without disruption.

Not to mention the technologies you may not be taking advantage of, including cloud computing and remote access to your agency, its workflows, and all your data.

EZLynx Virtual Office is like hiring a team of IT experts—all for much less than it would typically cost for even one dedicated resource.

  • Keep your business secure
  • Scale to keep pace with growth
  • Never purchase hardware again

Gain peace of mind knowing that your IT needs are being addressed by experts, so you can get back to running your insurance agency. Prepare for anything and get the most innovative solution for your agency with EZLynx ONE PLATFORM®.

You can learn more about EZLynx Virtual Office here.


EZLynx Expands Carrier Messaging to Include eDocs

EZLynx Carrier Messaging is expanding to include eDocuments (eDocs). This enhancement will go live in April to promote better and faster communication between agents, carriers and insureds. It will also streamline your carrier connections and provide your agency access to the most accurate policy documents throughout the insurance life cycle.

Carrier eDocs will automatically attach to your customers and Policies, making it easier for you to locate and share them with your insureds. Agencies will find this secure form of communication a welcome alternative to email, mail and faxes. No more manual routing, downloading, scanning, filing or shredding!

The eDocuments will include Declaration Pages, Policy Documents, Notices of Final Cancellation, Non-Payment Pending Cancellations, Non-Renewal Notices, Payments Overdue and Reinstatement Notices.

Carrier Messaging Example

 

Carrier Messaging Example

Faster, Secured Sharing via EZLynx Client Center

EZLynx Client Center facilitates fast, secure communication between agents and customers, and it serves as a perfect complement to this new Carrier eDocs capability. Share frequently requested documents such as Declaration Pages and ID Cards, or time sensitive documents like Non-Payment Cancellation Notices.

Carrier Messaging Example

Benefits of Automated eDocs in EZLynx

  • Improve Workflows: Documents and messages are automatically routed to the appropriate client/policy and CSR each day.
  • Save Time & Money: Automated eDocs eliminate the need to manually retrieve, open, scan, file, or shred.
  • Better Customer Service: Because your agency receives information before the client does, you can be proactive to everyone’s benefit.
  • Agency Efficiency: Once the system has been set up correctly, little manual intervention is required by your staff.

 EZLynx Carrier Messaging

EZLynx Carrier Messaging already includes critical notifications, such as Pending Cancellation Warnings, Billing Reinstatements, and Notices of Payments Received. When these messages arrive, EZLynx Workspace generates a notification to the agency, and the assigned user will be able to take action.

Carrier Messaging Example

Get Enabled for Carrier Messages and eDocs (IVANS)

If your agency is not already set up to receive eDocs and Messages, please reach out to carriers to enable this capability.  This new feature goes live in April, so you’ll want to be able to take advantage of it when it arrives.

Also This Month: Real-Time Messaging Now Includes Property Alerts

Earlier this month, EZLynx expanded the Real-Time Messaging integration with Travelers to include property alerts. These automated notifications arrive when a customer initiates mortgagee changes for property policies from the self-service portal. Travelers has been sending real time messages for Auto policies since April 2019. Assigned users for insureds can see these messages in the Notifications section.

Prior to Real-Time Messaging, independent agents would not be informed of policy changes initiated in the carrier’s self-service portal until after the change had been fully processed and the policy had downloaded into the agency management system. In the meantime, agents could find themselves in conversation with their clients, unaware of their most recent policy changes or what prompted them.

Carrier Messaging Example

EZLynx continuously promotes better transparency and communication between carriers, insureds and agents through messaging!


Enable Multi-Factor Authentication for Your Agency Today

With phishing and other password-theft scams on the rise, safeguarding your agency’s data has never been more important.

Of course, EZLynx continues to aggressively ensure that our system is secure. Cloud-based agency management systems minimize many of your operational risks by offloading your critical infrastructure, removing physical storage needs, and enhancing security.

But in the end, all it takes is a simple username and password for someone (hopefully you) to access all of your client data in our system.

That is why multi-factor authentication is so important, and we are encouraging you to enable this feature on your account, as it will soon be required for all EZLynx accounts.

What is multi-factor authentication?

You may have heard of this before, and you likely have already experienced it at your banking website. To put it simply, multi-factor (or two-factor, two-step, etc.) authentication ensures that just because someone has your password, they still cannot access your account until they complete another step to prove their identity.  They must also have access to a second means of authentication, usually in the form of your physical mobile phone, which most likely is never far away from your hand!

Enabling multi-factor authentication is easy.

If you’re an EZLynx Rating Engine or Management System customer, you already have multi-factor authentication available to you!  It just needs to be enabled.

EZLynx Multi-Factor Authentication supports sending a verification code to your email address or as a text message to your phone.  We recommend that you choose the Text Message option as the most secure and reliable method.

You can learn how to get started here.


The Next Evolution of the Agency Pulse Report

Agency Pulse is the monthly report that EZLynx sends to all subscribed Management System customers, highlighting key data and trends for their agency and its growth.

We unveiled a brand-new format this month, and the customer reaction has been amazing!  The new graphical interface is the first thing customers will notice, but it’s more than just a new format.  In addition to the Agency Pulse report having a new look, it also has a lot of new data.

Agency Pulse - New Look

New features include:

  • Agency Health “snapshot”
  • Peer Benchmarking
  • Ability to drill down into the data
  • Branch Support

Agency Health

View the health of your Book of Business at a glance. The new Agency Health section highlights key metrics agents rely on to gauge the growth of their business. Previous months comparisons will show how these metrics are trending.

Agency Pulse - Agency Health

Peer Benchmarking

How is your agency performing compared with agencies of a similar size? Peer Benchmarking highlights metrics with a direct impact on the growth and profitability of your agency and compares the results with those of peer agencies.

Agency Pulse - Peer Benchmarks

Drill Down on the Data

We now provide much more insight into what the data means.  On top of the details highlighted in the monthly Agency Pulse report, agents can go another step further… and leverage the new EZLynx Reporting & Analytics platform to drill down on specifics.

Branch Support

For multi-tiered organizations, the Agency Pulse report now offers branch support.  For Market Access Providers, this means that member agencies can now see all this new data separated out specifically for them.  It also means that agencies with multiple locations can now see their data extracted out in the same way.

We know the monthly Agency Pulse report is vital to our agents. Our goal is to supply you with the critical information you need to make important decisions about the health and profitability of your business. We provide essential data, empowering you to quickly define opportunities to improve the effectiveness of your agency and better serve clients.


EZLynx Roadmap for 2020

Happy New Year, and Happy New Decade! We made huge strides in enhancing and expanding our platform last year, and we’re thrilled about the upcoming year.

We remain focused on solving industry problems through technology, and we have many exciting product changes on our 2020 Roadmap. I am confident that we are well-positioned to help agencies excel in scalability, serviceability, productivity, and profitability with our products.

We also shared a special ROADMAP EDITION of EZLynx LIVE on January 30, 2020.  The Live stream has ended, but you can still watch the recording. We provided a closer look at our 2020 Roadmap. Be sure to watch it here.

AgentLynx was a Success

Thank you to everyone who attended AgentLynx 2019. Our team enjoyed meeting you and learning the nuances of how you use EZLynx to drive your agency. We appreciate the details you shared with our product team throughout the conference. Even though we cannot solve every industry problem right away, much of the credit for our success is due to the feedback we receive and the passion you bring. We know that your time is valuable and appreciate your collaboration. You are valuable partners.

Commercial Innovation

Last year, I promised features that solved business problems faced by commercial agents, and our team delivered! Solutions that worked for the industry and clientele of thirty years ago cannot continue to scale for the future. Client expectations change, so we want to provide tools that help agencies scale without losing their superior personalized service – before and after the sale. We delivered a series of features to help agents sell, service, and grow commercial business:

  • Application Bundling (New Feature)
    • This single, efficient workflow helps agencies avoid redundant data across applications, policies, and remarketing.
  • Schedule Imports & Exports (New Features)
    • EZLynx simplified the import workflow for drivers, vehicles, locations, and buildings. We also added a comprehensive export workflow to expedite the renewal process.
  • Forms Workflows (New Feature)
    • EZLynx now automatically preselects and prefills the ACORD forms needed for an accurate quote based on the line of business and the state. Adding additional forms, like loss runs, carrier supplementals, or financials, is very straightforward too.
  • Certificates (New Feature)
    • EZLynx redefined the creation, management, and distribution of certificates, streamlining the workflow and changing the way agencies think about the certificate process.

EZLynx Submission Center

We also launched EZLynx Submission Center – a product created to streamline the commercial submission process – last fall. Submission Center enables agents to manage submissions to multiple carriers by organizing the activities for the entire process. Built-in reports, dashboards, and carrier appetite guidance ensure the process scales efficiently as the agency brings in more commercial business. You can learn more about EZLynx Submission Center here. We will continue to build on this foundation during the year.

Drive for EZLynx 5

EZLynx 5 represents the next generation of our platform, and it is rolling out in the first half of 2020! We have completely streamlined the Rating Engine to improve quote generation speed and accuracy. I’m particularly excited about the productivity gains we’ve seen from two specific features during our beta testing: carrier prefill and the new quote results page.

The carrier prefill option allows agents to save time by answering common carrier questions up-front. When the agent wants to generate a quote, these answers automatically populate the appropriate fields, drastically reducing the time it takes to get that initial quote!

The new quote results page displays the carrier’s quotes in a simplified stacked bar graph. This completely takes the guesswork – and math – out of providing your customers a premium. This feature is exceptionally powerful when you’re rounding accounts and quoting both auto and homeowners.

With EZLynx 5, our Management System customers will see enhancements to core features they use daily, including a new account and policy page, and an improved EZLynx 5 version of Automation Center. Our goal is to drive an agency forward through automation and make it easier to sell, service, and grow, whether you’re an agency of 10 or 10,000!

EZLynx 5 represents a complete foundational change to our platform — and we’re just getting started!

Service that Scales

For several years, the EZLynx growth roadmap focused on increasing agency profitability and productivity. While these will continue to be focus areas for us, this year we are also focused on improving serviceability and scalability for your agency.

EZLynx MAP, a product designed to provide complex organizations with the information they need to service their agencies and grow past common plateaus, is a perfect example of this new company focus. We are excited to announce general availability in April 2020!

Last year we introduced our Real-Time Messaging expansion with Travelers. This integration notifies agents – in real-time — of policy changes the insured makes on the Travelers self-service portal. This enhancement improves transparency between agents and carriers to better support the omni-channel awareness this generation of consumers expects. Service activities are costly to agencies without providing a significant return. However, the integration has the potential to dramatically reduce time spent servicing these policies. We see this as an opportunity to provide new solutions that help your staff increase their service capacity, without sacrificing quality, in the coming year.

Connect to the Future

EZLynx has historically built its success on providing agents everything they need to grow a successful, manageable business. We developed our ONE PLATFORM customer lifecycle solution to address major challenges in renewal management, sales, customer service, and more—all in one easy-to-use location. However, 2020 will bring a slight directional shift in our strategy. Starting this year, EZLynx will focus on an Agency-in-the-Cloud strategy. Our goal is to help agencies scale through innovative hardware and software solutions.

To that end, we unveiled EZLynx Connect At AgentLynx 2019. EZLynx Connect is a marketplace for agents and vendors to exchange data securely. We designed this tool to address the core challenges of scalability, accessibility, and continuity that agencies face every day. EZLynx Connect will be a focus area for us throughout the upcoming year and beyond as we continue to build out third-party integrations with trusted vendor partners. But there’s more. We listened to your feedback and discovered that maintaining scalable hardware is a challenge many agents encounter as they grow. That’s why we’ve introduced EZLynx Virtual Office, a service that allows agencies to focus on their core competencies in the insurance space without worrying about managing their own hardware, software, or security. We will be providing more information about Virtual Office throughout the year.

We are here for you. If our software can help your agency scale better, increase your productivity, improve your customer service, and be more profitable, we both win. Thank you again for the opportunity to serve you. We look forward to continuing our partnership with all of you in 2020 and beyond!

Don’t forget to rewatch the special edition of EZLynx LIVE that aired earlier today, as we took a closer look at the 2020 Roadmap…


New EZLynx Reporting & Analytics Platform

We are excited to announce that the new EZLynx Reporting & Analytics platform is scheduled to go live to all users on October 4th.

Powered by Microsoft’s SQL Server Reporting Services (SSRS) with Power BI, the new platform will feature enhanced visualizations and noticeable speed improvements. Agents will be able to make more data-driven decisions and shape their businesses for unprecedented success.

Reporting tools will also be easier to learn, use, and master. Pixel-perfect reports will take the stress out of printing, sharing, and presenting KPIs. All-in-all, agencies will access accurate data faster and gain insights that were previously unattainable.

Features include:

  • Faster reports
  • Powerful export options (Excel, PDF, CSV and XML)
  • An intuitive, easy-to-use interface
  • “Pixel-Perfect” reporting
  • Simplified, graphical report menu

This cutting-edge reporting platform is only the beginning of what has been a significant, months-long development and investment. We are aware that some of the issues being experienced in our current reporting platform have caused a lot of frustration. Know that we see Reporting & Analytics as a core component of EZLynx and an essential driver of an agency’s success.

When the new EZLynx Reporting & Analytics goes live on October 4th, users should expect to see their reports continue to default to the current platform. This is by design.

To get to the new and improved reporting platform, simply navigate to the ‘All Reports’ area in the EZLynx Reporting menu and toggle the option at the top-right of the page.

From here you will see the new report menu. This menu will contain links to all the reports that have been developed in the new platform.

New EZLynx Reporting Platform

  1. Run a report by clicking on the appropriate card
  2. Set filters as needed

Again, the current (older) reporting menu will remain available for the time being. You will want to continue using it for report scheduling, saving and sharing. There will be no effect to currently scheduled, saved and shared reports at this time.

This is only the beginning. We will continue to build out additional reports and functionality in the coming months. Let us know if you have any questions or concerns. Happy Reporting!


Coming Soon: New EZLynx Reporting & Analytics Platform

It’s no secret that our reporting features in EZLynx have struggled to meet the growing needs of our users.  As our agents increasingly become data-driven decision makers, it is essential that we provide the tools necessary to make that happen.

That’s why we are excited to announce that a new EZLynx Reporting & Analytics platform powered by Microsoft’s SQL Server Reporting Services (SSRS) with Power BI will soon be available for early access. With enhanced visualizations and noticeable speed improvements, EZLynx Reporting & Analytics will provide ready-to-consume operational reporting for your agency.

The new platform will help your agency make data-driven decisions and shape your business for unprecedented success.

Reporting tools will also be easier to learn, use, and master. Agencies will save time and make better business decisions since pixel-perfect reports take the stress out of printing, sharing, and presenting KPIs. Agencies will access accurate data faster and gain insights that were previously unattainable.

Features include:

  • Faster queries
  • “Pixel-Perfect” reporting
  • Powerful export options (Excel, PDF, CSV and XML)
  • An intuitive, easy-to-use interface
  • Simplified, graphical report menu

This cutting-edge reporting platform is only the beginning of what has been a significant, months-long development and investment in our customers’ success. We are aware that some of the issues being experienced in our current reporting platform have caused a lot of frustration. We believe Reporting & Analytics is a core component of EZLynx and will be an essential driver of an agency’s success, which is why we want to start getting your feedback as soon as possible.

To be among the first agencies to experience the new EZLynx Reporting & Analytics platform, sign up for our beta program today.


New Certificate Master Enhancements

Certificate management can be one of the most time-consuming aspects of servicing commercial policies. Now, EZLynx has redefined how certificate masters are created and managed, streamlining the workflow and changing the way you think about getting them done.

If you are a commercial agent regularly servicing accounts and distributing certificates, this update is for you! The new Certificate Master Workflow (now in BETA) gives the CSR and Producer more time for higher priority tasks, while also reducing E&O exposure and improving the service and retention of commercial accounts.

Certificate Master Home Screen

The new Certificate Master Home Screen, available from the new Certificates tab on the account, provides direct access to an insured’s certificate masters. From the panel to the left of the screen, agents have a summary view of information, including type of certificate, expiration date and associated lines of business. Certificates are conveniently grouped by policy status to help users find information for the current policies first.

Certificate Master Home Screen

After selecting a Certificate Master, agents see a table with all the Certificate Holders. This searchable list allows agents to quickly find a specific holder and select an action to complete from a drop-down list. Similarly, agents can view Certificate Master options, including the option to add a certificate holder, create a distribution report, edit, export a holder report into a CSV, or preview the Certificate Master. These options allow agents to complete one-off tasks for holders quickly.

Certificate Master Workflow Enhancements

Several updates to the Certificate Master workflow increase agency productivity. All policies pre-fill into the selected Certificate Master type, and the new addition to add and save Master Level Remarks truly helps expedite this process. The remarks intelligently respond to the specific ACORD form, seamlessly notifying agents when remarks will automatically flow onto the ACORD 101 for convenience. In addition to the master level remarks, you now have the option to attach master level documents to all holders with a single click!

Certificate Master Workflow Example 1

Additional interest and assets (like vehicles) flow cleanly from the associated policies to populate the holder list on the new master. When reviewing and editing details of the certificate holders, agents may either manually create a new Certificate Holder or select the edit option from the actions drop down on an existing Certificate Holder. Agents are then able to review the Certificate Master level details and select a default distribution method.

Certificate Master Workflow Example 2

EZLynx knows technology can help agencies work more efficiently, granting them back the time they need to provide customers with truly extraordinary experiences. And 2019 is a big year for EZLynx and Commercial lines. If you are an agency aiming to grow your commercial book, EZLynx can help with significant gains in the areas of submission management, certificate distribution, and ongoing servicing.

The new Certificate Master Workflow is just another example of how EZLynx helps agents ACCOMPLISH MORE, FASTER.

If you are a commercial agent regularly servicing accounts and distributing certificates, this update is for you. To be among the first agencies to make use of this new, time-saving workflow → CLICK HERE.


Find Solutions with the Redesigned EZLynx Solution Center

EZLynx Support CenterIn the digital world, having the ability to find information is often more critical than actually knowing information. We created the Solution Center to serve as a digital library to provide agents with answers, allow agents to help other agents, and create a space for conversation between the agents and EZLynx.

The fastest way to find information 24/7/365 is by searching from the Solution Center homepage.

The Solution Center search bar searches through the Knowledge Base as well as the EZLynx Community Forums from the “home” page. Simply type in a keyword and select the best option from the drop down. Options are broken down into Knowledge Base articles and forum posts.

The Knowledge Base is a conveniently parceled out instruction manual. When you have a question about a product, you will find answers in the form of videos, step by step instructions and more, all provided by EZLynx.

Search the Solution CenterThe Knowledge Base articles are broken down by product and specific features of a product. This allows agents to find the right solutions, faster.

In the EZLynx Forums, agents can discuss products, find solutions to general insurance business operations, and provide feedback all within EZLynx. The EZLynx Community Forums are broken into four different forum sections: New Product Information, Wish List, Tips and Tricks, and Agency Operations Station.

Within the New Product Information forum, agents will find release schedule information and details about upcoming product releases under the Release Schedule and New Updates topics. We recommend that agents follow these two topics for updates.

Our Wish List provides agents with a place to ask for additional features or products and to find information about the status of the development of the product. By liking or commenting on a post, agents show EZLynx the needs that are the most pressing. As features or products move into development, their status is updated until it is implemented.

Solution Center Wish List

The Tips and Tricks forum and Agency Operations Station forum provide agents with a place to help each other. EZLynx is built for agencies to have the flexibility to fit EZLynx to their business needs. As daily users of EZLynx, agents often have unique ways of running reports or using workflows. The Tips and Tricks forum is a place to ask other agents for best practices, share tips with other agents, and review agent conversations about EZLynx products. For general business requests not related to EZLynx, agents can look no further than the Agency Operations Station.

When an agent needs help in our digital library, our support staff are highly resourceful EZLynx experts. Open a ticket to ask a specific question and communicate directly with an EZLynx support staff member.

The EZLynx Solution Center allows agents to have all the support they need, when they need it, in one convenient location. Whether finding instructions and information 24/7/365 with the Knowledge Base, helping another agent in the EZLynx Forums, or communicating with support staff—the newly redesigned Solution Center is here to provide agents with support on three levels. Visit the Solution Center to join the conversation and find solutions today.


Clearing a Path Toward Productivity with Commercial Schedule Imports & Exports

 

Accomplishing more, in a reduced amount of time, is crucial for commercial agents. It is not a simple task to quantify how changes to an agency’s workflow will improve overall productivity. To effectively make these changes requires a delicate understanding of a commercial agent’s needs. That’s why EZLynx is making extensive updates to the EZLynx import/export process, which will clear the way for agencies to accomplish more, faster.

Speed and accuracy are key in clearing a path to an agency’s ability to manage commercial accounts. Without one or the other, an agency is left with errors or stands unable to meet client needs in a timely manner. Importing information will aid agents in gathering and entering data into EZLynx quickly, with fewer entry mistakes. The next update will allow agents to import schedules for commercial line applications and policies, including vehicles, drivers, locations/buildings, named insureds, additional interests, and equipment.

Import Vehicles

This workflow allows agents to ‘Add New’ or ‘Replace All’ when remarketing or during any other major update. This feature will save agents time when working on applications or servicing a policy.

Append on Import

The ability for commercial clients to self-service their accounts is critical to an agency’s ability to exceed customer expectations. With the new update, agents will have the ability to export one or more schedules from applications and policies and automatically share those exports with an insured or a prospect. Then, the insured or the prospect will have the ability to make updates through EZLynx Client Center. This will help agents sell more by allowing the prospect to see the seamless and secure communication between Client Center and the agent. Existing clients will have additional options for communicating with their agents.

Share in Client Center

As laid out in the 2019 Roadmap, increasing innovation and productivity for commercial agencies is a major focus for EZLynx. Import capabilities are only the first step toward streamlining the workflow for commercial agents. Over the proceeding months, new product updates will continue to pave the way for commercial agencies to improve their overall productivity. Just another way EZLynx helps agents ACCOMPLISH MORE, FASTER.

To learn more about EZLynx or to find out how your agency can use EZLynx Management System with your Commercial Lines business, contact us below.