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!


Empowering your Agency – 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!