EZLynx Roadmap for 2019

2018 was a year of growth for EZLynx and especially for our agencies! Agencies using EZLynx have on average enjoyed substantial year-over-year increases in customers, policies, and premiums. While agents saw growth in all areas, this trend was especially pronounced for commercial lines. We take pride as a partner in your success and want to continue to provide the tools you need to thrive and grow each year.

We all work towards Nag’s vision of a single platform customer lifecycle solution built on the pillars of productivity, serviceability, profitability and scalability for your agency. We believe that scalability is achieved by aligning the right people, processes, and technology to overcome plateaus that inhibit growth. We want to thank our customers who also believe in and support our vision as we strive to improve our industry.

We faced challenges with our own scalability this year, which is why we made the difficult decision to hold off on some important new features while we focused on the system architecture and stability of the platform. For many years, EZLynx was known in the industry for its reliability, so we look forward to earning back your trust in that area. To continue our growth, we’ve put the people, processes, and technology in place to continue delivering innovative solutions to support your business while we grow ours. The way we see it, working as a trusted technology partner with your best interest in mind is the only way we both win.

Looking Back at 2018

EZLynx introduced exciting products and a series of targeted features that significantly impact the amount of time agencies spend on non-revenue generating activities. Features such as bulk document enhancements, updates to EZLynx for Outlook, improved download matching, additional LOB support, eSignature custom fields, MSB residential pre-fill with reconstruction cost valuation, and a completely new commission import workflow are all updates that were aimed at reducing man-hours spent on these necessary activities. The team is testing several other productivity features including an updated forms workflow, which saves time generating the application documents and will be available for general release early 2019!

We officially introduced Automation Center this summer to set the foundation for the future of our platform. Automation Center helps agencies scale by handling many of the repetitive tasks that consume resources and keep you from focusing on high-value activities. This type of automation also encourages everyone to adhere to standard workflows and promotes best practices. It is the foundation for helping you increase productivity and serviceability without adding staff. We will continue to enhance the automation features in 2019 with support for multi-step and conditional workflows.

One of the most exciting products designed to help agencies scale while increasing profitability is our Agency Insights™ for Sales Center. This feature automatically generates potential prospects from your quote data and book of business, giving you the information needed to recapture, win, and cross-sell opportunities before the X-Date. This is the type of feature that pushes the boundaries on what a management system should do for an agency.

Looking Forward in 2019

We want to provide commercial lines sales and service the same innovation and productivity gains that EZLynx brought to personal lines. We’ve set an ambitious roadmap for 2019 with a few surprises along the way! The roadmap focuses on the business problems that commercial agents have faced for years in the areas of submission management, certificate distribution, and ongoing servicing.

At AgentLynx 2018, we showed off a sneak peek of EZLynx 5, the next generation of the EZLynx platform, and we are excited to announce that it will be available later this year! EZLynx 5 is designed to move us toward our vision of a smart Rating Engine and Agency Management System that helps drive an agency through automation and improved consistency, functionality, and usability.

Recently we’ve noticed an increase in the consolidation of independent agencies under MAPs, or Market Access Providers. In late 2018, we started building EZLynx for MAPs, a product designed to help these organizations overcome common plateaus, scale quickly, and increase the efficiency of their operations. Our initial roadmap addresses member management, carrier management, and commissions processing.

As a company, we push ourselves to never settle and look for opportunities to affect positive change in the insurance industry. Even as the leader in personal lines rating, we believe there is room for improvement. This year we are thrilled to show some love for the EZLynx Rating Engine with the goal of improving speed and accuracy to help you accomplish more, faster!

AgentLynx 2019

A special thank you to everyone who joined us for AgentLynx last year in San Diego. We truly enjoyed getting to meet everyone and sharing our passion for new technology. With every AgentLynx we hope to inspire attendees to leverage EZLynx to drive productivity, serviceability, scalability, and profitability in their own agencies.

Our user conference is a unique opportunity for you to learn how to maximize your potential with EZLynx and to influence the direction of the product for the future. Several of the product enhancements of 2018 were a direct result of feedback from the conference! We are already working toward new surprises for AgentLynx 2019. We look forward to seeing you all in Fort Worth, Texas on October 20-23rd.

We are excited for the new year and the opportunities it brings to continue our journey as your technology partner!


EZLynx Roadmap for 2018

A Note from the CEO

Happy New Year! It looks like 2018 is going to be another good year for our industry. It is our feeling that independent agents have been well positioned in the market for more than a decade now. Our industry’s business model of offering ‘choice of carrier’ to consumers is both internet and millennial friendly. We believe our industry will continue to gain market share because of this one single factor.

I want to thank our customers who have supported our products through the years and our many new customers who joined us in 2017. Outlining the roadmap at the beginning of the year is a tradition that we started many years ago, and it seems the competition has followed our lead – I have seen several other management and rating system vendor CEOs do the same. It is inspiring to see the impact that our vision and strategic thinking has had on our industry, especially with our competition!

2017 has been another banner year for us as we once again expanded our market share. We are looking forward to another great year. As long as we continue to work towards your best interests, we will all win.

Agency profitability, productivity, and serviceability were the key focus areas in 2017. In the spirit of productivity and serviceability we enhanced our management system product throughout the year. Many of these enhancements were in direct response to your feedback. We introduced several new and exciting features in 2017, including claim downloads, policy change requests, enhanced reporting & analytics, and postal mail integration.  Claim downloads and the policy change request feature directly affect how you service your customers. I am particularly proud of my team’s effort with the policy change request feature, which allows the agent to capture all the necessary information and submit it to the carrier for finalization in a single workflow. As part of this workflow you can highlight and submit only the parts of the policy that will be changed to avoid any mistakes. This feature is priceless when it comes to change management with commercial policies where any mistake can be costly.

Our new postal mail integration is another one of my favorite features released last year. Agents are already using it heavily to mail important policy documents, policy notifications, welcome letters, and other documents to their policy holders or prospects with a few clicks of a button. It’s a great productivity enhancing feature that can save time and money.

We made several big enhancements to other areas of our product including reporting, policy accounting, agency workspace, and more. You can view our past release notes for more details on these features.

One of the big promises I made in 2017 was to focus on agency automation. We delivered a beta version of this feature in the second half of 2017. EZLynx Automation Center lets you define rules to perform certain actions based on policy events. In its first iteration, we limited the support to a handful of pre-defined events with simple email and task related actions. We have received excellent feedback from our beta participants, and we are excited to unveil some exciting new enhancements at our AgentLynx User Conference in March. It is our intention to robustly expand this feature with support for more events, actions, and more complex, condition-based workflows. EZLynx Automation Center will soon become the glue that integrates all our products and features together and drastically improves your productivity in incredible ways.

Roadmap for 2018

Our AgentLynx User Conference will be in San Diego this year on March 12 – 14. I strongly urge all of our customers to attend this exciting event if you are serious about building your agency around EZLynx. I promise you this is not about sales or marketing, but about technology, insurance, and maximizing your potential as independent agents. We will be introducing several new and cool products this year that my team has been working on for months now. You will also be able to speak directly with our Executive Team, Product Managers, Business Analysts, and select staff from our Product Support and Training Teams. The conference is just a few months away, so don’t wait to reserve your spot!

As for the rest of the year, we have a busy schedule ahead of us. We will continue to enhance our policy management system to round out more of our commercial features. One feature that I am excited about is Policy Transaction Editing. As most of you know, the dataset that we get from carriers through the download is inconsistent and sometimes wrong. Using this feature, you can control how you manage these inconsistencies by using a set of ‘crowd’ or user defined rules. Our goal is to reduce errors and also to make the download processing and matching effortless.

This year we will also officially release Automation Center, as well as expand it to include integration with our products like Sales Center, Retention Center, Policy Accounting, and more. It is our goal to let agents automate the daily important, but mundane, tasks that a computer can easily perform.

We have several new “secret” features for 2018 that we are excited to reveal at our AgentLynx User Conference, including our plans to refresh the look and feel of EZLynx with a new, modern interface. I want to end this note leaving you with the same impression as I always do – that EZLynx is dedicated to making you successful. We are constantly working on your behalf and watching out for market changes to make sure you are covered. We’ve got your back.

Please do not hesitate to contact me with any questions or comments.

-Nag Rao, CEO


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!


EZLynx Roadmap for 2016

A Note from the CEO

Happy New Year! It is that time of the year when we take a look back at the previous year and make plans for this year. EZLynx made fantastic progress in 2015 on several fronts. EZLynx® Management System has made steady progress in the market, and we added a record number of agents. We also added several large agencies with $100M+ book size. This tells me that our product is being taken seriously and agents feel confident with our future strategy and roadmap.

Our strategy for 2016 remains unwavering – deliver a single platform customer lifecycle solution that relies on innovation to solve the challenges that independent agents face.

Retention Center

To that end, our biggest release last year was EZLynx Retention Center, which monitors all the upcoming renewals in an agency and provides a prioritized list for the day. This is both a product and a service that comes with on-going collaboration by our team to help each agency follow the best practices for renewal processing. With Retention Center, EZLynx has once again pushed the boundary of what a management system should do for an agency. Agents who have been using Retention Center and following our process have seen a consistent increase in their retention rate.

Reporting

I made a commitment to make it easier to extract agency performance numbers from our system. We have released a brand new reporting platform integrated into EZLynx, which allows agencies that use EZLynx Management System to extract complicated reports and charts. In addition, agents can define their own reports and make them available to other users within the agency. Coming this year, you will also be able to schedule your custom reports to run automatically and have the results emailed to you. We are also constantly improving our monthly Agency Pulse® report to include even more useful information to help agents with their day to day decisions. I strongly recommend agencies that do not use our management system take a close look at our reporting capabilities.

Workflow

Our Agency Workspace feature is a fantastic workflow tool that lets agents keep track of their tasks and notifications in one place. In addition to upcoming enhancements to Agency Workspace that will add support for team tasks, we also have exciting plans for taking our entire Workflow engine to the next level in 2016. Watch for more details in the coming months.

Mobile

As promised, we made good progress with mobile support for EZLynx in 2015. Our mobile-optimized version now support EZLynx Text Messaging, as well as our enhancements to Notes and Tasks. We plan to add additional mobile support throughout this year as well.

Looking Ahead…

Management System

EZLynx Management System will continue to be our focus in 2016. Our new reporting tool is just the start, and we will continue to add new features to help give you the insight you need to manage your agencies.

Email Campaigns

We have also released an update to our integrated insurance email marketing campaign tool to lay the foundation for the enhancements we plan to make throughout this year. In addition to over 50 email design and 200 email content samples, you can now create multi-step drip campaigns for both individual applicants and bulk segments of your EZLynx data. Over the coming months we will address many of the suggestions that we have received from our users as we work to turn this feature into a powerful and useful part of your daily workflow.

Client Center

EZLynx Client Center will receive quite a bit of our focus this year as we bring enhancements to make both you and your customer’s lives easier. In addition to a new login process, we will also be adding greater support and features for commercial customers, streamlined consumer communication features, improved mobile support, and more.

The EZLynx Way

Finally, I want to reiterate our philosophy at EZLynx. We approach every project with this same simple idea – how can we help agents be more productive in this increasingly competitive industry. Our goal is to build a system that will help your agency for the next 20 years. We try hard to offer the best customer service to our users; likewise, we want to empower our users to offer the best possible customer service to their own customers through the use of our tools and services.

As always, please do not hesitate to contact me below for any comment, question or suggestion you might have. Wishing you a prosperous 2016!


EZLynx Roadmap for 2015

A Note from the CEOGreetings to all EZLynx users! 2014 is coming to end soon, so it’s time to lay out our roadmap for the coming year as we continue to develop impactful tools to help grow your business. This year, we reached our 10 year anniversary! This is a huge milestone considering how we started and where we are today.

Another big highlight of 2014 is our market penetration ranking as per the 2014 Future One and Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of America’s Agency Universe Study. Thanks to our loyal customers, EZLynx Management System is now 3rd in the market with 6% market share, right behind Applied TAM and Vertafore 360. This is an incredible accomplishment considering our management system has only been on the market for two years and began with 1% market penetration at the end of 2012. Thanks again to all of those EZLynx Management System customers – I promise you have made the right decision!

A look back at 2014…

At this time last year I wrote a similar article and I highlighted the following features as priorities for 2014. Below is an update to all our users on the progress in these areas.

  1. Agency Analytics and Agency Metrics
  2. Agency Process Automation
  3. Commercial Support

Our monthly Agency Pulse report that is emailed automatically to all management system agencies has continued to improve with more useful metrics. I can tell how addicted our agents are to this report based on the frequent feedback we receive each month. Our emails and phones light up with questions and feedback as they anxiously await the report and after they receive it. We will continue to enhance this report in 2015 with a companion online portal which will include historical and trend analysis tools.

We made the most progress with Agency Process Automation in 2014 and we are not done yet. EZLynx 4.0 release was a milestone release with respect to agency workflow and agency process automation. EZLynx 4.0 uniquely combines notes, tasks and notifications under the banner of our ‘Agency Workspace’ to allow agents to efficiently manage their day-to-day agency activities. Without divulging a lot of details, suffice it to say that we have some fantastic things in the works for 2015 with regard to Agency Process Automation and Workflow.

EZLynx Management System has made tremendous progress with commercial features. EZLynx has always had good support for downloaded commercial LOB policies with full support for ACORD forms and certificate generation. However we felt that our support for manual commercial policy processing wasn’t as good as we wanted it to be for our agents, and it was set as a priority for 2014. We have made tremendous progress in this area in 2014. We now have a beta feature being tested by some of our agents that allows them to create manual commercial applications and policies with complete support for policy certificates and other policy document generation. Keep an eye out for more updates on this.

Other Enhancements this Year

EZLynx also released fully integrated SMS Text Messaging support in 2014. This is an extremely popular feature that has been adopted by our agents very rapidly. Using this feature an EZLynx user can send and receive short SMS text messages with their clients. We all know how difficult it is to reach consumers via email, especially when they are at their workplace. EZLynx Text Messaging makes this communication a breeze while also documenting everything for E&O purposes.

Looking ahead to 2015…

I am always amazed when I talk to agency owners about how difficult it is for them to extract important agency performance numbers from their current management systems before they come to EZLynx. I have made it our business goal to fix this problem with our management system. We want to build features that will provide all the Key Performance Indicators (KPI) for our agency owners with a few clicks of the mouse. We really believe that every agency owner should let their KPI drive the agency decisions.

We will continue to build out our workflow feature so agents can automate their day-to-day agency activities with ease. EZLynx 4.0 was just the first step towards automating this and we will continue to enhance this feature in 2015. Watch for more announcements in this space.

We have also decided to keep EZLynx Mobile in sync with our desktop version going forward. This means an EZLynx user can switch between the mobile and desktop versions without losing a lot of productivity. It is important to note that certain features like agent-facing quoting is just not mobile friendly and is not something that will be available. However, we will continue to enhance the mobile support of all of our consumer-facing products such as quoting and client center in 2015 as well.

Finally, I want to explain the underlying design philosophy with EZLynx Management System. We believe a smart agency management system should drive an agency and not the other way around like all the existing management systems out there. A smart agency management system should act like an employee of the agency and understand what is happening in an agency based on the information coming into the system in order to make automated decisions. Expect more of these kind of features from EZLynx in 2015.

Happy Holidays and Happy New Year!