• Agency Management System

    by Gabriel on March 10, 2015 3:24pm
    Yes. I have used the search to look for which CRM system would be the best to use in terms of ease of use, lead management, etc. And all I could find were ancient posts (2010 and below). Since technology moves at the speed of light these days, I was wondering which Agency management system is out there and which one you guys recommend. Thank you ahead of time for the replies
  • Re: Agency Management System

    by LLB on March 11, 2015 2:54pm
    I worked with the AMS system for a few years, then the agency merged with one that was with TAM and they switched to EPIC. EPIC was and EPIC mess. They had over 6000 problems/issues that they did not bother to tell us about when they sold the system. They were selling a product that was not fully functional. We ran into problem after problem and you had to input codes and attach only to certain things, was not functional and had to search to find things you needed. (A nightmare) work was not getting done, the Agency did training for a year and kept changing how we did things to accommodate to the system, instead of the other way around. They lost many good Agents because of this MESS. I then left the Agency and now work with another Agency that works with AMS (Thank Goodness)!!! You cannot go wrong with AMS. It is user friendly, not a million codes to put in and work around from your elbow to your thumb. If you want happy CSR's and user friendly input without work getting piled up and get the necessary reports you need, then you need to go with AMS360. It is a dream to work with. Also they have two different views for the system the Classic view (which I'm used to) and the Next Generation view. The Next Generation View does not (In my opinion) give me all the 'front page' information I want, so therefore I stick with the Classic View. I don't know much about any of the other systems out there but by far this is my pick over TAM and EPIC. I have also spoken with others industry wide and AMS360 is the top one and the feedback from CSR's on the EPIC is not a good one. Good Luck in your search!
  • Re: Agency Management System

    by owsyrep on March 11, 2015 6:27pm
    Hi Gabriel Before I go on I will say I represent a startup called Owsy focused on building tools for small businesses. Our primary product is focused on MGA's and you can learn more about it here http://www.bindhq.com (retailer product coming soon). Some of the staff members on our team have worked at insurance companies (wholesalers, MGA's, retailers) for the past couple of years and based on their assessment I would recommend the following: If you're starting a large agency and have the resources to spend $$$, I suggest researching Vertafore's tools. The firm has gotten much better at focusing on their customers needs and is working hard at making sure their disparate solutions work well together. AMS360 is the standard within the industry for retailers and the combination of AIM/Imageright is the configuration we find most common on the MGA side. While all of these tools have aged a bit, they still "get the job done". The second most popular tool in the space is probably TAM, from what my personal experience I found the tool capable of managing prospects and serving a businesses normal day to day duties just fine. I found the experience clunky but the delivery options (cloud desktop, monthly fee etc. ) still make it an interesting option for small to mid size agencies that don't have the capital to spend on more robust solutions. There are some up and comers worth mentioning on the retail side that lack the features of the two listed above but offer interesting value propositions QQ Catalyst: has a strong user base in the southeast and seems pretty user friendly Ezlynx: has released an agency management system as well Hawksoft: has actually been around for a while and lets you install it on-site or in the cloud. As for us, we’re working on software based on where we feel this industry is headed, working from anywhere, deep email integration, reporting on every screen. If you’d like to learn more or talk to an exisitng user send a note via our website http://bindhq.com/contact.html
  • Re: Agency Management System

    by GCIA on March 25, 2015 12:13pm
    Hi there, we are looking into moving from AMS360 to Nexsure, I was searching for reviews on Nexsure but seems the only ones I found were from 2010, anyone that would like to share reviews on Nexsure? we would like to know the pros and cons on the system. Thanks in advance!
  • Re: Agency Management System

    by gforaker on March 26, 2015 2:38pm
    Since you are already talking to Nexsure, I think I would get names of 5 agencies in your state which are customers and ask several of them and go see the agency without the salesman along. Applied Systems Epic is the fasted growing system out there and in spite of a few people here who may not have all of the information, I would take a close look at them. I do not know of anyone unhappy with that purchase. They will not be the cheapest, though. The above negative poster has no other posts and is likely a troll.
  • Re: Agency Management System

    by jwcunni13 on April 1, 2015 10:48am
    Hi my name is Jeremy. I work for Advantage CRM. The soft ware that we have is called X2 and its a lot cheaper than salesforce and most other software but still has the capacity for cloud storage and total customization. Its great for small to medium sized businesses. There are a lot of horror stories with CRM software that is why I would like to invite you all to a webinar that will show you what it can do for you. Our next webinar is on April 2nd at 9am mountain time but we hold webinars frequently. Send me an email if you have questions or if you would like to attend. My email is jcunningham@accelas.net
  • Re: Agency Management System

    by KPIA on April 8, 2015 4:23pm
    I actually logged on to warn everyone about the system we just bought, but for now, I will piggyback on your thread if that's OK Our system (AMS Prime) is being discontinued by Vertafore so we let them demo and ultimately bought AMS360 and it is turning out to be one of my biggest regrets since opening my business 20 years ago. It is unfathomable some of the flaws in this program. Does it seem reasonable to anyone that this software cannot even calculate Annualized Premium on the Book of Business report? I mean, it can't even tell you the size of your book. Really? Also, download is a flat-out joke. Rather than suspend many transactions that download if they don't match up it'll either create a new policy (which cannot be merged with the correct policy, thereby creating permanently duplicated policies) OR it will delete the downloaded policy altogether leaving you completely unaware that the data on that policy is not correct unless you make it a routine procedure each morning to read the technical IVANS download jibberish reports. So far, there is nothing we have used in this new system that is not a step backwards in the managing of our business. Our workflow is harder, data transparency is horrific and we have dramatically LESS insight into our business than we had just two weeks ago. I am hearing that Hawksoft is the way to go and I now wish I had listened to those who recommended it to me.
  • Re: Agency Management System

    by OldIndyAgent on April 10, 2015 1:38pm
    Honestly, if you liked your previous system, you should have stayed with it. AMS has had customers stay on platforms 10+ years and just quit paying support. Not something they really talk about. They have customers on systems they haven't supported since 2000...you just don't get updates.
  • Re: Agency Management System

    by Gabriel on April 18, 2015 1:36pm
    Has anyone had any experience with RadiusBob? http://www.radiusbob.com/
  • Re: Agency Management System

    by kaniki on April 21, 2015 5:52pm
    I am using Instar and monthly fee is going up and up and now by the end of the year we have to change to another system. To keep using Instar I need someone to help me with the code that I received from Vertafore every quarter to keep the Instar going. what will happen at the end of the year when the support no more support us and do not send the code? I don't know. Can anyone help me ? or is anyone else having this same problems? Anyone know or suggest a management system that is easy to convert from Instar? How about Hawksoft? anyone experience going from Instar to Hawksoft? who is your contact at Hawksoft?
  • Re: Agency Management System

    by Feelgoodtre on April 22, 2015 7:13pm
    Man am I glad I hopped in here... Our agency is also in the "looking for a new management system." We to are on AMS Prime, and have been for 17 years now. Change is daunting, and I want to get it right. AMS Prime is being discontinued at the end of 2016, I'm looking now before that time so to avoid the crunch. I read the post from someone that said "if you like your system, just keep using it even after support ends..." That's well and good, but if support ends, does that not mean that I will NO longer be able to download policy/customer info from IVANS? And if that is the case, well then just continuing on with the same old system will not work. We have looked at the following: AMS360 - I think I like it, but am nervous about the issues people have stated, and the cost is outrageous. TAM - no way, not an option seems very old to me, and that was a year ago when we did the actual demo. QQ Solutions - seems like a very nice option, but I am concerned if our agency can grow with it Nexsure - for the cost, it seems like a great system, but I am concerned if our agency can grow with it EZ Lynx - not doing it, they literally will not do a demo, just provide a person with a name and password and ask you to run two systems to give it a shot. Who the heck has time to run two systems? So, nope, not going with them. Agency Matrix - nice system, but extremely limited as far as commercial lines management is concerned, so nope. EPIC - still waiting for Applied to get back to us to setup a demo, has been a week now... Out of those I favor: AMS360 - honestly the complete, 99%, data conversion from Prime is a HUGE plus, but not a deal maker. I know we can grow with it. I know it does personal and commercial lines well. But I also looking for something to help integrate our life and investments side. It seems cumbersome when it comes to that... QQ Solutions - I like this system, but am very nervous I will outgrow it very quickly. I'm nervous about what it really does and need some feedback from those that use it. Nexsure - I really like this system. Seems as though it manages both personal and commercial lines well. Seems as though it would integrate our life, health, and investments better than any other system. But, I am nervous because I just don't see it being used. Obviously, at least it seems to be the case, that 90% of agency's that use a system are on either an Applied or Vertafore system. So it's really difficult to get a good feel for QQ and Nexsure. We are a small agency, and currently only use a management system for the PC business, which I manage and am the only producer for with one FT CSR. We have about $1,600,000 in premium on the books, and that is split 65-70% personal, 30-35% commercial. We write a ton of life and investments, on an individual basis. I, without speaking to our agency owner, would value that book at around $4,000,000. There are two producers, neither who care about or really even use a computer, they rely on their assistants for that. For those two agents there are 3 CSRs. The 3 CSRs that assist the two life agents/financial advisors, would like to get onto an actual system. And if we did that, we would want to integrate them with the PC, obviously. I am also looking to bring on another PC producer in the next 6-9 months. My book has become the size that management takes a lot of time, and I am loosing out on new business because of it. So, my question to you is this. What do you believe is the best 5-10 user system out there for the money that can do PC, Life, Health, and investments. Sorry for the long post, but this is a HUGE decision I have to make, and I have to get it right!
  • Re: Agency Management System

    by OldIndyAgent on April 23, 2015 10:54am
    IVANS doesn't give a crapola about AMS. Call them. I bet they will continue to support ALL of these systems with download long after the vendors stop. Only thing, you will be not be paying $$$ a month. Was AMS really doing that much to earn it anyway?
  • Re: Agency Management System

    by Feelgoodtre on April 23, 2015 2:15pm
    Doesn't Vertafore own IVANS though?
  • Re: Agency Management System

    by TheInsKid on April 23, 2015 4:35pm
    Applied Systems purchased IVANS and there are other options for download that are available as well.
  • Re: Agency Management System

    by CLC on April 24, 2015 1:34pm
    Kaniki, not sure why you think InStar is not being supported past 12/31/15 because no end-of-service date has been announced. When a date is communicated, we will have at least 15 months of service, maybe longer.
  • Re: Agency Management System

    by kaniki on April 28, 2015 7:36pm
    Has anyone heard of the managerment system Quomation? Please let us know your thoughts
  • Agency Management System

    by Lookcloser on April 30, 2015 3:43pm
    I've spoken to several agencies that went with Quomation as a rater and added the agency mgmt system when it become available (solely because it was dirt cheap). There is no easy way to leave Quomation and next to impossible to get your data. The most recent agency said they have a 90 notice of cancellation - they will automatically charge 3 months support the day you call to cut service AND cut your service immediately. This agency has been trying to get their data since February (it is now almost May). No one returns their calls, reportedly the president would not take a call from the agency and on and on. After many attempts, the agency owner spoke with someone for over 2 hours and ended up with them agreeing to send the data if he paid $500. Plus he had to ship a hard drive to Quomation 3 x the size of their data. Further if the hard drive wasn't 3 x the data size it wouldn't be done. No they were not willing to tell their client the size of his data either. Time will tell if in fact Quomation returns the data, unencrypted and usable. Read the fine print and if it isn't stated just how termination works exactly, get it in writing or move to another vendor. There are lots of great choices out there. Good luck.
  • Re: Agency Management System

    by kaniki on May 4, 2015 1:54pm
    We have been looking into many management systems and realize it might be best to just keep Vertafore system. We currently on Instar and looking into going with their AMS 360 at about the same price for having additional user. Can anyone who is on AMS360 give us some advise to this move??
  • Re: Agency Management System

    by kaniki on May 11, 2015 2:26pm
    does anyone know anything about QQ Catalyst management system?
  • Re: Agency Management System

    by vla01001 on June 11, 2015 4:54pm
    We just moved from QQ. Primarily because of our commercial accounts. Personal lines is not a problem with QQ, but commercial is another story. Primarily because of coverages (non existing with QQ for commercial), also commissions. We are paid upfront commissions with some carriers. Where we withhold the commission from the down payment, then we return that commission if the policy cancelled or if coverage was reduced, vehicles and equipment was deleted, etc. But with some carriers we are paid commissions monthly as premium is earned. Well we had a really hard time finding a system that account for all of different ways of receiving commissions. Another issue was certificates. We issue about 150-200 of them each day. Its serious time concern. We definitely wanted to have the ability to all our insureds do their own certs and if we did them, then it needed to be quick and easy. AMS 360 has such option, but the time and clicks it took to send a cert was no different than us doing them by hand on simple Acord forms. Ridiculous actually. So many steps and so many clicks, so much wasted time. Anyway, we are trying out www.nowcerts.com We are on their 30 day free trial. So far its handling what we need it to do. It does not have accounting, but we use Quick Books anyway and theirs connects with our quick books account. I wish it integrated with more raters, we use Semcat, which is integrated, but if we wanted to use Ezy Linx rater we would not be able to integrate it. Which is not a huge concern as we dont plan on changing Semcat. I will update you on how our trial goes. So far so good, we will see.
  • Re: Agency Management System

    by gforaker on June 18, 2015 2:24pm
    All of the needs you are looking for can be handled by Applied Epic. Yes, it is expensive, but if you are doing that many Certs a day then you are already paying out the money in employee man hours. The accounting is much more flexible than QB which is really just for small agencies. If you really are doing that much business, then put on your big boy pants and visit a large Epic user who is doing a lot of certificates and watch their workflow. You can also set up so the customers can print their own certs within limits you choose. Small and poor agencies don't do 200 certs a day, so stop looking at small agency solutions.
  • Re: Agency Management System

    by ROI985 on June 30, 2015 4:58pm
    Just my opinion, but avoid Quomation. I speak from experience. We've been using them for 6 years.....5 years running it locally and 1 year on the cloud. The software, itself, is OK but the cloud version is terribly slow and is costing us valuable productivity. We're constantly getting "not responding" errors, getting logged off the system for no apparent reason (not just due to inactivity) and working with PDF's is agonizingly slow. Sometimes it will take literally minutes to open a simple PDF in a client's file.....something that should be as fast and simple as a mouse click. When you're paperless and need to access client files 50 or 100 times a day, the lost time adds up. Not to mention the frustration factor. It seems like they haven't kept up server capacity as they've added clients. We're a small agency are primarily using it as a data base....no commissions or accounting, so I can't speak about the system capabilities in that regard.
  • Re: Agency Management System

    by ROI985 on July 2, 2015 2:30pm
    [quote="Lookcloser"]I've spoken to several agencies that went with Quomation as a rater and added the agency mgmt system when it become available (solely because it was dirt cheap). There is no easy way to leave Quomation and next to impossible to get your data. The most recent agency said they have a 90 notice of cancellation - they will automatically charge 3 months support the day you call to cut service AND cut your service immediately. This agency has been trying to get their data since February (it is now almost May). No one returns their calls, reportedly the president would not take a call from the agency and on and on. After many attempts, the agency owner spoke with someone for over 2 hours and ended up with them agreeing to send the data if he paid $500. Plus he had to ship a hard drive to Quomation 3 x the size of their data. Further if the hard drive wasn't 3 x the data size it wouldn't be done. No they were not willing to tell their client the size of his data either. Time will tell if in fact Quomation returns the data, unencrypted and usable. Read the fine print and if it isn't stated just how termination works exactly, get it in writing or move to another vendor. There are lots of great choices out there. Good luck.[/quote] I can confirm from experience that all of the above is exactly correct. I've been with Quomation for 6 years and I've been trying for a month to get answers regarding getting my data. I've had EXACTLY the same experience as described above. The simply ignore phone calls and emails. Forget about reaching the owner(s)....whoever they may be. With absolute and constant persistence for a month on my part, I finally got them to send me the requirements to get my data. It's a $500 fee and you have to send them a hard drive...or they'll provide one for an additional $150....and they want you to sign an agreement that basically says that even if you pay the fee, etc. they still don't guarantee anything regarding the quality & suitability of the data. Quomation is a RIP OFF. They were fine when we started with them 6 years ago, but their customer service has become pathetic.
  • Re: Agency Management System

    by James Bond on September 22, 2015 5:39pm
    In another life, I worked with a company that was looking into developing an AMS system. IVANS charges those companies I pretty penny for access to their API. And their picky about it too. OldIndyAgent… from your other posts it seems like you know what you’re talking about but I just don’t see IVANS supporting a system like that. In fact, I’d really doubt that they even have that kind of tier 1 support. TheInsKid, from what I’ve seen there may be other options other than IVANS but the number of carriers you can download from is drastically reduced (for Independent Agents that just doesn’t work). Gforaker brought up a great point. Ask the vendor for a list of references in your area that you can go visit without a salesperson in tow. Then you can get the real story. Fellgoodtyre, I’d reconsider looking into EZLynks. If they don’t offer a demo, see if they’ll give you a reference to a current customer (as Gforaker suggested). I have heard some really good things about their system, although I have never used it personally. Personally, I hate Hawksoft. It’s been so long, I don’t even remember the specifics of what it was I really didn’t like about their system other than it just felt really cumbersome, but that’s just me.
  • Re: Agency Management System

    by resistencia13 on June 25, 2016 2:21pm
    I switched from Instar to AMS360 worst mistake ever. AMS360 is a worthless system. Anyone that thinks otherwise have never used a good system. I have demo many systems: Hawsoft, Nexsure, Techcanary and EZlynx all better choices than AMS360. I am currently looking to switch to either Nexsure or TechCanary, as they are the only system that have a feature that is a deal breaker for my agency. I have not and will not even consider any systems own by Vertafore, as they SOP is to buy good system and turn them into worthless junk.....Instar was a great system (needed improvement, but overall was good). I was sold on AMS360 because on the surface (if you do not pay close attention) it seems the greatest software ever, but once you start training and using, you will discover that it takes 2-3 times as long to complete any task. The salesperson told me it was like adding a new employee....my employee is a very lazy employee who has slowed down the entire office and now we are looking to fire it. My only advice to anyone looking into AMS360 is run for your life before is too late!!! Also I would appreciate any feedback from Nexsure and Techcanary users.
  • Re: Agency Management System

    by davidcanary on June 30, 2016 3:20pm
    Hey resistencia, David with TechCanary here. Appreciate the feedback, good to know we're at the top of your list. When was the last time you had a demonstration with us? The reason I ask is that if it was more than 1 year ago, might be worth a second look? If you're still reviewing system capabilities and need something that tracks close/conversion/retention ratios in a system that allows you to customize all automation in a mobile accessible platform, we are truly second to none when it comes to sales tracking in a cloud-based system, and if you have Salesforce already, even better. If you need references, no problem lmk; we work with medium-sized and enterprise level agencies/brokers/MGAs/carriers all across the country. The companies that see the most value with us have at least 2 locations and at least 1 in-house IT staff. We deal with the integration so you don't have to, any comparative rater of your choosing, thought I should throw that out there ;) Wishing everyone a great 4th of July weekend!
  • Re: Agency Management System

    by resistencia13 on July 8, 2016 7:53am
    David, I am currently demoing it again working with Kyle. Thanks for the reply and I would love to get some references.
  • Re: Agency Management System

    by kbitzer9 on July 12, 2016 3:21pm
    Hi, resistencia, My name is Karen Bitzer and RHSB has been a Nexsure agency since 2005. A few years ago we prepared an RFP and looked at all of the major systems that are in the agency management system marketplace to be sure that our Nexsure system was still the best choice for our agency. After many months of demos and proposal discussions, we made the decision to stay with Nexsure. The only area of Nexsure that we felt needed improved was the document management system. Instead of spending crazy amounts of money to transition to a new system that could not convert any of our data, monthly user licenses fees that were double what we were currently paying with Nexsure with a double-digit percentage increase expected every year and two years of disruption to our employees to make the change, we decided to partner with XDTI to make some changes to the document management system. We were able to do this very quickly (within months) with very positive results for our agency. With the introduction of Nexsure v3 a few months ago, I believe that Nexsure is the most technically advanced system in the marketplace. The things that I think sets this system apart from the rest of the pack include: Dashboard Interface with alerts One click access to actions, email inbox, expirations Web Requests access and management - certificate requests, quote requests, etc. Workload Analysis ImpactSuite - automated notifications to clients via a combination of email, text, voicemail or fax Pending cancellations, reinstatements Automatic creation and delivery of Lost Policy Release forms Birthday greetings New customer campaigns Document Management Suite Nexsure Attachment Manager - access to Nexsure documents from any computer with internet access Drag and drop attachments to clients, policies, certificates, action items Ability to scan directly to a Nexsure client or an employee inbox Integrated PDF editor - highlighting, bookmarking, page insertion, etc., without a full version of Acrobat Outlook Email Authentication Nexsure listens to my Outlook inbox for emails from clients/underwriters that may be client related Cloud based connection to my Exchange server Interactive Message Inbox with the ability to automatically attach email/attachments to Nexsure clients Other new features include: eSignature - Docusign integration Nexsure Client Access portal Lead Management System Every Nexsure user is on the same version of the product. While some agencies may be using some features of the product that other agencies are not using, all of the company's development and support team are focused on one set of challenges and enhancements. The monthly user license fees are very stable. We have not had to pay an increase in user licenses since we first contracted with Nexsure in 2005. We have purchased additional features, i.e, ImpactSuite and v3 Productivity Plus within the past 18 months and we still pay considerably less than we were quoted by any of the other systems. I believe Nexsure is probably the best kept secret in the agency management system arena. Let me know if you have any questions or if I can be of assistance. Good luck!
  • Re: Agency Management System

    by resistencia13 on July 12, 2016 3:53pm
    kbitzer9 Thanks for the feedback I really appreciated as I am seriously considering Nexsure along with Techcanary and want to make sure I make the right decision this time as last year I switched to AMS360 thinking it was going to make my agency productive and instead it has slowed down our productivity. I do have some questions on the following topics. 1. How is the certificate/evidence of insurance work flow? Is it easy to track certificates for multiple projects, certificate holders within one client? We work with lots of contractors and issue hundreds of certificate within a months for the same certificate holder and contractor and want to make sure I can easily locate certificates without having to open each certificate. 2. How do you handle emails sent to client. I notice when emails are sent you need to manually type the insured's name on the email subject as it does not auto populate the insured's name nor it has the ability to create email template, which contain insured's location within the template's text.
  • Re: Agency Management System

    by kbitzer9 on July 12, 2016 4:21pm
    We write large accounts with multiple certificates and many cert holders. Managing the information has not been a problem for us. Each certificate is assigned a specific ID and when you view the cert holders for a client, the certificate ID(s) are displayed for each holder. The search filter for certificates and certificate holders is also very good. We use email templates extensively in Nexsure. Many Nexsure fields are available to be pulled in to an email template, but I'm not sure a specific property location is one of the available fields. The address book in Nexsure contains all of the email addresses for that client. You can also view all of email addresses for the carriers that write policies for that client If you have populated Nexsure with the underwriter's email address. The template development is easy and can be copied and edited quite easily as well.
  • Re: Agency Management System

    by resistencia13 on July 12, 2016 4:41pm
    Thanks for the info. Have a great day!
  • Re: Agency Management System

    by runningw/thedolphins on October 23, 2016 2:43pm
    hi there ~ I am Interested how your final decision ended up ? We are looking at options for moving away from AMS360 as well ? Thanks
  • Re: Agency Management System

    by pageltd on October 28, 2016 10:46am
    There seems to be no consensus, no compelling reason to switch (my phone will be ringing with sales calls soon), all software programs are too expensive, nothing is really that secure, there is no silver bullet. We're still using an ancient piece of insurance software that gets the job done for our policy holders. That seems to be a compelling enough reason to sell me a new system. It's not. It costs nothing (and I really mean nothing) and does a whole lot. It does NOT 1) Make me coffee 2) Get the mail for me (yup, the USPS is still in business) 3) Scan the mail 4) Respond to my emails. It's free...and while free is NOT the most important thing. Stable, capable, persistent. Slow and steady win the race...just like the tortoise and the hare. What it does is this. When a client calls our office, we can pull up their information in seconds. We are usually able to solve the problem, answer the question, pay the bill, make the change, a few seconds later. The reality is that SEMCI was a dream, as is Real-Time (I know, the Real-Time hawks will disagree). Bottom line, I can can beat anyone in a race using my secure password manager, logging into a company site to make a change...against a CSR using Real-Time. Any day! That's IF the company website is up and running and the billing system does what it's supposed to do. I'm not faulting company IT. They have a monumental job and it's not easy to fit all the pieces of the puzzle together. BUT, the client does not care about that and it lands on our shoulders. Different topic, different thread. The Real-Time fanatics will probably argue that Real-Time documents everything...maybe, but we need crystal clear notes that tell a story and give me information, not just system notes that describe a function that just happened. Any E&O seminar will you that. It's insurance 101. Document, document, document! It's also part of relationship management. That, they will not argue with... We supplement the very capable free software that with a CRM (I dislike that term because I think it downplays the importance of people ). It manages contact, tasks, calendar, email and. It functions in a different way that our AMS, is super flexible and very cheap. While cheap is not the most important thing, it's a good thing. Maybe I'm totally wrong.
  • Re: Agency Management System

    by Shawna64 on October 31, 2016 3:15pm
    Love Love love my TAM. If you learn it you can make it do almost anything. Not going to EPIC for the reasons stated here, many friends in the business did and regret it.
  • Re: Agency Management System

    by resistencia13 on June 29, 2017 12:38am
    Hello all! I know some users here were shopping around for new management system. Has anyone recently switch from AMS360? If so are you happy with you new system? Which system is? I am desperate as I just switched to another system from AMS360. I will not say the system just yet as I am trying to work through it and see if I can stay, but so far it seems that as much as I hate AMS360, it makes financial sense to come back unless my new system can somehow accommodate my basic needs. As currently my staff is copy and pasting information just to send an email to client with basic information. I really do not get what goes through programmers/developers head when designing these system!!!! Is like the system are being design by people from another planet. I am in my 4th system in 10 years and honestly, all I can say is that so far the best system of all was Instar (before vertafore purchased and stop servicing it). If you are in Instar, my recommendation is do not switch until you can fully test drive the system you intend to purchase. Preferrably try to find someone that owns the system and go work/use the system for a full day or more on a real life scenario.....I tested my current system at least 5 times, asked every relevant question I thought of and requested to see how some features work and still did not get it right. My staff hate the system and I love some features and hate other...At this point, I am seriously considering hiring a developer to create a custom system for my agency. At this date in age, you would think that management system will understand the needs of agent and create a friendly/common sense system, but I have learned the hard way that common sense is not that common. For what is worth, note that AMS360 raped me on my way out.....They charged me almost 10K to give me my data back and obviously I have no choice, but to pay it as the alternative was to go live on my new system with no data. Also they expect you to notify them at least 90 days in advance to remove user because it takes effects. So if an employee quit or is fired, you cannot just remove the employee as they will not stop billing you for 90 days after the request is received. I will come back and update once I either get a resolution or switch back to AMS360 from my current system.....Yeah, I know it makes no sense to switch back after going through a conversion and over 20K later on associated cost, but at this point I have been with the new system for 60 days and productivity is down due to lack of specific feature, which no amount of training will be able to make up for it as you cannot make a rock bleed! So I either keep being less productive or go back to my old system as bad as it's it's more productive than my current system. If anyone out there switch from AMS360 and is happy with their new system please advice as I would like to explore other system before switching back to AMS360. Also there is any insurance software developer out there please contact me as I really want my own custom system so I can stop depending on people that know nothing about insurance make the decision on the way my system perform (although they all claims to be developed by an insurance agent, but after getting to know the software is hard to believe)....Sorry about the rant, but I am hoping for someone to save me from going back to AMS360.
  • Re: Agency Management System

    by pageltd on June 29, 2017 7:34am
    PM me. Let's talk.
  • Re: Agency Management System

    by RUinsured on June 30, 2017 12:32am
    Great info here. I'm in the same boat as a lot of you guys on the board. Tired of Vertafore AMS360 inefficiencies, constant annual increases, forcing you to upgrade to their new product as they make your existing system obsolete to charge you more, etc etc etc. I can literally go on. Looking at Agency Master, Now Certs, Nexsure, and TechCanary. Update to follow.
  • Re: Agency Management System

    by itc79 on July 5, 2017 2:23pm
    Used TAM, AMS360, and Nexsure. Here is our take, AMS and TAM are both owned by large companies who care very little about their customers. If you are very vanilla agency with no expectations of doing anything atypical for the insurance industry (integrations, data analytics, or anything that wasn't around in 2005), they are a fine choice. When a company boosts it's faxing capabilities, than you know where they are and intend to be. Nexsure - smaller company that is much more ahead of the time. Adopted new capabilities like APIs well before Applied or Vertafore did. The bad, they do a LOT of things, but NONE of them well. They remind of the Motorola Q smart phone from 2005. It was great on spec sheet, but if you owned one you would not have been happy with any of the features (MP3 player, email, calendar games, etc). I would say that while Nexsure goes to market as a more advanced solution it still has a lot of growing pains. Reporting for examples is absolutely terrible as its based on a Crystal Reporting platform from mid-nineties. Still way better than AMS and TAM, but I would recommend taking a longer look at all systems.
  • Re: Agency Management System

    by pageltd on July 5, 2017 2:57pm
    So basically we're back to the idea that there is a need for a new system that will do things well, but not try to do everything.
  • Re: Agency Management System

    by itc79 on July 6, 2017 4:43pm
    I think agencies should invest 3-6 months to make a proper selection. Require vendors to complete a formal RFP and provide references of companies that have recently went live with a similar set of functionality as you would be. This is a huge decision, don't take it lightly. I'd also warn against having one vendor do too much. Find something that has the ability to integrate so you can use other solutions outside of the AMS. Any yes - there is still a need for a better vendor that sticks to providing a product that does the core insurance processes well. Nexsure, Vertafore, and Applied and not there yet.
  • Re: Agency Management System

    by pageltd on July 6, 2017 5:05pm
    3-6 months to do what? You don't know anything about a software system unless you've had a chance to run it through it's paces in a real world scenario. Most software vendors will not let you access a working demo, and if they do the time period will not be adequate (and there will not be enough data to work with) to make an informed decision. If you're a big agency, I suppose you could demand an RFP, but a small agency not really. Any agency is making a leap of faith when they switch vendors. Data conversion is time consuming, and inconsistent from system to system. There is really no standard for the level/amount of data that can be transferred/converted. Sure, ACORD and Ivans have their standards, but as far as data that can be converted it's hit or miss with the vendors. These are the reason why it's hard for some to switch, even if they want to. The bigger companies have an absolute choke hold on the insurance software segment of the insurance industry.
  • Re: Agency Management System

    by pageltd on July 6, 2017 5:09pm
    I totally agree that you should have multiple tools to do business. For example, we use Docusign to obtain e-signatures. We also use RPost to send encrypted emails, with the Gmail plugin (we use GSuite which is business grade email). RPost offers a digital signature component but at this point we're used to Docussign, it's a solid service, and we're on a legacy program which allows for unlimited signatures.
  • Re: Agency Management System

    by resistencia13 on July 7, 2017 8:52am
    You are absolutely right when you said that some system have lots of functionality appears to be efficient, but when put to practice they are useless. As per 3-6 months investment, I disagree. I believe if know what you want and know your agency's need you can know if the system is right for you within 1-3 months. I did with AMS360, but could not go back to Instar as it was being discontinued. With my current system (Nexsure), I already know it's not going to work unless management makes some of the changes I requested, which by the way are not pretty basic. Nexsure has lots of potential, but like you said many features, but do not work well and lots of reports, but cannot get the information out without jumping through multiple hoops and/or having to export to excel and then manipulate excel using formulas. Like George say unfortunately switching system is a leap of faith as sometimes they look awesome until you actually start dealing with servicing, download, search property locations, sending emails, etc that is when you really see the issues. I was very through during my demo and still missed many things that are now hunting me. You mentioned there are other options out of there. What systems are you referring to? What system do you run now? [quote=itc79 post_id=28517 time=1499373807 user_id=24307] I think agencies should invest 3-6 months to make a proper selection. Require vendors to complete a formal RFP and provide references of companies that have recently went live with a similar set of functionality as you would be. This is a huge decision, don't take it lightly. I'd also warn against having one vendor do too much. Find something that has the ability to integrate so you can use other solutions outside of the AMS. Any yes - there is still a need for a better vendor that sticks to providing a product that does the core insurance processes well. Nexsure, Vertafore, and Applied and not there yet. [/quote]
  • Re: Agency Management System

    by pageltd on July 7, 2017 9:12am
    We need a secure open source solution with useful API's.
  • Re: Agency Management System

    by itc79 on July 7, 2017 9:56am
    Our Agency is using Nexsure now. Biggest issue is reports. They said there is a solution called their "Data Warehouse", but ran a demo on it and it was still a static reporting system that had to programed for each report and field you need. I stand by 3 to 6 months if you are switching. Make sure you include everyone from accounting to the CSRs. If a company won't provide a response to an RFP with references than move on. This is a decision that has haunted us for years and switching out costs more than when we switched. I don't have a recommendation for a new system, but when finally decide to move we will be exhaustive and possible hire a consultant to help.
  • Re: Agency Management System

    by pageltd on July 7, 2017 10:04am
    I stand by my belief that a new system needs to be built from the ground up, not tied to any other CRM program, with API's so that it can be linked to other programs in the back-end.
  • Re: Agency Management System

    by itc79 on July 7, 2017 3:08pm
    It would be great to have an AMS like Saleforce.com. The AMS does the core processes for insurance but does not into accounting, reports, and other areas where another company can do it better. That was my knock on Nexsure, they are not terrible for basic policy administration, but the reports will make you want to slit you wrists. No option to connect to Tableau or Pentaho. They claim to be a Microsoft company and don't connect to Office 365 Power BI. You are right APIs are key, but first these companies have to stop trying to do things they suck at. Nexsure offered us marketing automation like Mail Chimp for over $10K a year. Why not partner with them with a real time integration?
  • Re: Agency Management System

    by pageltd on July 7, 2017 3:45pm
    Not sure how I feel about Salesforce, but I know there are (2) programs that run in conjunction with Salesforce. One is Tech Canary and the other is Veruna. I know next to nothing about either of these. Problem is that Salesforce can be expensive. The other, at the risk of sounding like a luddite is that running completely in the cloud? I'm not totally convinced. There are companies that offer solutions that are not cloud-based, so I don't think it's necessarily the best thing. If it was so good for the end consumer, everyone would have done it already. It's slower than a program that is installed in house, on a server, and it is inherently riskier. I don't care where the data is being stored, it's riskier. Thieves are lurking in every corner of the earth trying to hack into Amazon servers, Google servers, wherever there is data...so for anybody to say that cloud based apps are safer than in-house is pure nonsense. They are smart and persistent hackers, for sure. That being said, it's hard to make a really educated decision about a system when companies will not let you demo a working version. Even if you could get a login and password, that is limited in giving you a true feel for a program. Let me bold and say that a small group of agents (NOT a users group of hundreds of users, or even an advisory group of 50 principals) sharing the same vision could come up with a blueprint for a system that would do everything an agency needs. It would be critical that CSR's be involved, so they could comment on the ease of processing transactions. Yes, reports are important, and sales are important, and email integration with MailChimp is important (because it's free up to 2,500 email addresses), and integration with Docusign OR RSign is important...but first it needs to do basic stuff like keep track of Contacts, Policies, Transactions, Correspondence, Documentation. More than anything it needs to keep track of everyday tasks very, very well. Nothing fancy. Then...you can dress it up with all the other features. Honestly, I think it should cost as little as possible...I think it should be modeled after ACORD, as someone else suggested. Here's a snippet from Wiki entry "Established in 1970 as a non-profit organization, ACORD was formed by insurance carriers and agents focused on [b]building efficiencies [/b]in the United States Property Casualty Insurance Market." This probably sounds simplistic to those working in the software industry, and I would not disagree...but I would say that it has to first be simple, straightforward, and intuitive. Building efficiencies, yes! There is enough inefficiency in the varied company interface systems. Interested in taking this conversation offline? Get in touch with me by email or phone. George Page (203) 453-5259 george@pageins.com
  • Re: Agency Management System

    by Paul Jones on July 9, 2017 9:03pm
    You could try reading this post to balance your choices, https://www.crmswitch.com/buying-crm/crm-ease-use-vs-crm-adoptability/ [URL="http://www.stlouiscitytowing.com"]Towing St Louis[/URL]
  • Re: Agency Management System

    by pageltd on July 10, 2017 7:50am
    That article was published in 2011, so it's a little dated. Plus, it's too general, referring to CRM software...not specifically Agency Management System. I think that highlights the difficulty for software developers and why there are (2) programs that are designed around Salesforce. Balancing general CRM needs and functionality with insurance-specific functionality.
  • Re: Agency Management System

    by pageltd on July 11, 2017 8:56pm
    And if that wasn't enough, there are a number of software programs (hosted, and in-house) that do not get enough attention. Here they are in no particular order: https://sisware.com/ http://www.jenesissoftware.com/ http://www.agencysoftware.com/ https://agencysystems.com/ https://www.hawksoft.com/ https://www.ezlynx.com/management-system.html https://www.g2crowd.com/categories/insurance-agency-management I would check them all out...there are probably a few more.
  • Re: Agency Management System

    by pageltd on July 12, 2017 8:34am
    A few more... https://agencyintel.com/ http://www.agencymatrix.com/ https://www.getitc.com/ http://www.qqsolutions.com/ Requires Saleforce http://www.veruna.com/ https://techcanary.com/ Salesforce pricing https://www.salesforce.com/solutions/small-business-solutions/pricing/ I particularly like when companies display their pricing. No BS, no games
  • Re: Agency Management System

    by pageltd on July 12, 2017 8:39am
    Not really agency management... https://www.nowcerts.com/ http://www.acords.com/pricing.html http://www.echosage.com/
  • Re: Agency Management System

    by pageltd on July 12, 2017 1:08pm
    Since Agency Management is an all-encompassing term, there are many facets and many different programs that run. As a result, there is no ONE solution. Some more resources here: ACORD Forms http://www.simply-easier-acord-forms.com/cap_dat_acord_agency_management/ Payment processing: https://www.simplyeasierpayments.com/ Intelligence: http://www.echosage.com/ I will be buildintg a website where all this information can be stored and a comparison tool, as well as rankings of the carious offerings. Stay tuned!
  • Re: Agency Management System

    by SteveAnderson on July 12, 2017 2:30pm
    A clarification: Veruna and Tech Canary are built on the Salesforce platform and the costs associated with Salesforce are included in their pricing. A separate subscription is not required.
  • Re: Agency Management System

    by pageltd on July 12, 2017 2:40pm
    [quote=SteveAnderson post_id=28539 time=1499884216 user_id=1012] A clarification: Veruna and Tech Canary are built on the Salesforce platform and the costs associated with Salesforce are included in their pricing. A separate subscription is not required. [/quote] Does either company and/or Salesforce encrypt your client data? If so, specifically how is that data encrypted? Who holds the encryption keys? Are they public or private keys? Does it comply with Best Practices and/or HIPPAA specs? Could ANYONE at either of these companies gain access on any level to your client data? Finally...what is the extra cost / effort associated with encryption?
  • Re: Agency Management System

    by pageltd on July 12, 2017 2:59pm
    You can disregard those questions, as I realized the questions presume to oversimplify the process and/or concept. It's complicated, as they say. But with that in mind, I think Zero Knowledge might be worthwhile if it could function with a working database. Because, no one else should ever have access to the information about our clients except the agency and company, and anyone who has permission (implicit or otherwise).
  • Re: Agency Management System

    by InsTech on July 13, 2017 12:28pm
    BIG I conducts a study each year and summarizes insights important to independent agents. Attached is link to report excerpt. This may help narrow down management system providers to consider. http://www.independentagent.com/Resources/AgencyManagement/ACT/Pages/efficient/Workflow/2016%20Agency%20Universe%20Study%20-%20Technology%20Summary.aspx Looking at how management system utilization is trending (up or down) can serve as guide to companies who are gaining in popularity (innovating) and delivering the goods (stuff works).
  • Re: Agency Management System

    by pageltd on July 13, 2017 12:52pm
    [quote=InsTech post_id=28543 time=1499963294 user_id=24322] BIG I conducts a study each year and summarizes insights important to independent agents. Attached is link to report excerpt. This may help narrow down management system providers to consider. http://www.independentagent.com/Resources/AgencyManagement/ACT/Pages/efficient/Workflow/2016%20Agency%20Universe%20Study%20-%20Technology%20Summary.aspx Looking at how management system utilization is trending (up or down) can serve as guide to companies who are gaining in popularity (innovating) and delivering the goods (stuff works). [/quote] I totally disagree. The report won't tell a decision maker anything except what are the most popular programs. There is no insight here, it's all high-level. Insight is defined as "the capacity to gain an accurate and deep intuitive understanding of a person or thing". The broad stroke of this summary does not meet that definition, at all...it's just a bunch of numbers.
  • Re: Agency Management System

    by RUinsured on July 13, 2017 2:47pm
    [quote=pageltd post_id=28544 time=1499964777 user_id=10254] [quote=InsTech post_id=28543 time=1499963294 user_id=24322] BIG I conducts a study each year and summarizes insights important to independent agents. Attached is link to report excerpt. This may help narrow down management system providers to consider. http://www.independentagent.com/Resources/AgencyManagement/ACT/Pages/efficient/Workflow/2016%20Agency%20Universe%20Study%20-%20Technology%20Summary.aspx Looking at how management system utilization is trending (up or down) can serve as guide to companies who are gaining in popularity (innovating) and delivering the goods (stuff works). [/quote] I totally disagree. The report won't tell a decision maker anything except what are the most popular programs. There is no insight here, it's all high-level. Insight is defined as "the capacity to gain an accurate and deep intuitive understanding of a person or thing". The broad stroke of this summary does not meet that definition, at all...it's just a bunch of numbers. [/quote] Thanks for the link. Great article and informative overall but I agree with PageLTD, there is no insight on Agency Management Systems and will not help making a selection when choosing a platform. I currently use AMS360 and the fact that I would be part of a statistic on agencies using AMS360 provides nothing but a number to those looking to find a good agency management system. I am very unhappy AMS360 as I mentioned in my previous post, so those number not really helpful for that matter.
  • Re: Agency Management System

    by RUinsured on July 13, 2017 2:55pm
    You also have to question how much of AMS360 market share came from all their acquisitions over the years of other platforms they've purchased and forcing those agencies to "upgrade" to AMS360 and they discontinue their "old" system.
  • Re: Agency Management System

    by jbrown on July 15, 2017 3:20pm
    We've been with Applied Systems (TAM) for about 20 years. I'm reluctant to switch because we know the system so well. However, every time we complete an acquisition it is delayed, they never compensate with decreased fees, and, in general, Applied seems incompetent to translate even a very simple database from their own software! Help! Should I be looking at AMS? EPIC? Any thoughts? Thank you!
  • Re: Agency Management System

    by InsTech on July 16, 2017 10:34am
    [quote=pageltd post_id=28544 time=1499964777 user_id=10254] [quote=InsTech post_id=28543 time=1499963294 user_id=24322] BIG I conducts a study each year and summarizes insights important to independent agents. Attached is link to report excerpt. This may help narrow down management system providers to consider. http://www.independentagent.com/Resources/AgencyManagement/ACT/Pages/efficient/Workflow/2016%20Agency%20Universe%20Study%20-%20Technology%20Summary.aspx Looking at how management system utilization is trending (up or down) can serve as guide to companies who are gaining in popularity (innovating) and delivering the goods (stuff works). [/quote] I totally disagree. The report won't tell a decision maker anything except what are the most popular programs. There is no insight here, it's all high-level. Insight is defined as "the capacity to gain an accurate and deep intuitive understanding of a person or thing". The broad stroke of this summary does not meet that definition, at all...it's just a bunch of numbers. [/quote] Felt information helpful as guide to what systems/providers an agency owner, looking to change, might consider. Sorry you didn't find it so. Obviously, the data won't tell someone what system to select.
  • Re: Agency Management System

    by pageltd on July 17, 2017 10:03am
    [quote=jbrown post_id=28554 time=1500146441 user_id=24559] We've been with Applied Systems (TAM) for about 20 years. I'm reluctant to switch because we know the system so well. However, every time we complete an acquisition it is delayed, they never compensate with decreased fees, and, in general, Applied seems incompetent to translate even a very simple database from their own software! Help! Should I be looking at AMS? EPIC? Any thoughts? Thank you! [/quote] Based on the reviews in this forum, neither would be an option, but I'm sure there are people that love both. Agency owners who claim that any of the major management system are going to be the solution are probably not using. In other words, they do not have to suffer through the deliberations of getting stuff done. At the end of the day, I would say that the AMS is part of the toolkit. I would not expect my AMS to do everything that they claim it can do, any more that a master craftsman would expect one tool to do everything. It's not an unfair comparison either. Think about all the things we have to do in a day. Managing policies, downloads, forms. Then there's marketing...whether email newsletters, social media, print newsletters, welcome kits. Add to that company interface, rating and gathering information for rating purposes. Now tell me that an AMS will be the magic elixir...that it will be able to handle and document all the things related to a particular customer/client/policy. Then think about a craftsman building a fine piece of furniture, or a remodeling contractor building a home, or even a painter painting a room. Each has a set of tools that they need to work with to get the job accomplished. No, they do not all fit together (or integrate). They are mostly separate tools, that are used for a very particular purpose. Sure there are all sorts of multi purpose tools...ones that you can put a different head on to meet the task...but they are no substitute for a high quality tool. We use many toold in the course of a dayto get our job done. No difference.
  • Re: Agency Management System

    by itc79 on July 18, 2017 1:47pm
    Stay away from Applied and Vertafore, this is time to get far away!
  • Re: Agency Management System

    by pageltd on July 18, 2017 2:04pm
    I just hit the send button on an email to a sales rep from one of the lesser software vendors. Basically the problem with the AMS industry is a model where they sell you software, allow you to install on your server (consider me a renegade when I say it's the only way I would run any software), then they put into read only mode if you stop paying support fees. Bad business, period.
  • Re: Agency Management System

    by bposey@Nexsure on July 25, 2017 9:55am
    Good morning, I wanted to take a moment and reply to some of the comments made about Nexsure. Nexsure is integrated with Microsoft Office products and tightly integrated with Office 365 exchange. As far as reporting, we provide standard reporting, data warehouse and we have a new reporting engine coming out 4th quarter this year. We also support Power BI and many other reporting platforms with our more advanced reporting offerings. If I can be of assistance, I would welcome a phone call at 714-213-9071 to discuss in more detail to assist anyone considering Nexsure, or that has general questions about what we offer in our platform to dismiss any doubt about the functionality of the Nexsure platform. All the best, Ben Posey EVP Sales Nexsure 714-213-9071 ben.posey@xdti.com
  • Re: Agency Management System

    by resistencia13 on August 7, 2017 1:29pm
    Be very careful with the system you picked. I have switched twice in the past 6 years and unfortunately when demoing the systems look great and it appears they will save time and make the agency more efficient, but so far I keep going from a bad system to a worst one. I have been in Instar (best system I had, but it was killed in action by Vertafore), AMS360 and now in Nexsure. Would not recommend neither system unless you like to retyped information over and over again, and you hate your accounting department. I am currently shopping around for another system (again). I demo EZlink and Hawsoft a few years ago, I like them, but did not sign up due to their contacts management. I will be contacting them soon to see if they have change the contact management. Best advice I can give you whatever system you demo, make sure you demo multiple times, perform all your tasks such sending an email to a client, cancelling, reinstating, renewing policies, run reports, reconcile trust account, pay agents commission, pay carriers premium, etc but do not assume anything....perform all tasks and see everything. This was my mistake when switching to Nexsure. I made many assumptions, which I now regret. I focused on the one feature I wanted and neglected many other feature the system lacks. Another thing do not switch hoping features will be come available or enhancements will be made as those can take months or may never come true. Like George said, some users like their system, because they do not know any better, some do not care about efficiency because they are hourly/salaried employees, etc. You need to demo and come to your own conclusion about any system you are considering. Good luck! and let me know what you end up buying and if you still like it after a few months. [quote=jbrown post_id=28554 time=1500146441 user_id=24559] We've been with Applied Systems (TAM) for about 20 years. I'm reluctant to switch because we know the system so well. However, every time we complete an acquisition it is delayed, they never compensate with decreased fees, and, in general, Applied seems incompetent to translate even a very simple database from their own software! Help! Should I be looking at AMS? EPIC? Any thoughts? Thank you! [/quote]
  • Re: Agency Management System

    by Einstein on August 10, 2017 12:32pm
    Here is what I do know, whatever you do I would stay away from Vertfore's AMS360. It used to be good until they changed it recently to their new "NextGen" version. What a mess. I have looked at moving to other systems but it is a daunting task so what I will do is purchase another agency that hopefully has a different system and then slowly transfer into that system and dump Vertafore.
  • Re: Agency Management System

    by resistencia13 on August 10, 2017 1:39pm
    I think we should help each other to avoid the mistakes of switching to a system based on a few demos....In my case I demo at least 3-4 times for 1-2 hours interval and still got it wrong. In my opinion to truly find out if a system works for your agency, you will have to use it for at least one day or more. This will be impossible as no system out there give you this type of access. So I suggest the following to agency owners actively looking to switch, but wish to test drive the system before buying. Get together with an agency that has the system you are planning switch to and spend a day working at that agency so you can truly see most of the functionality (good and bad) of the system. I know most agent will not want to allow another agent access to their clients or invest the time. However, the way I see it every time you switch management system you are allowing people access to your date and you are investing thousands of dollars in fees, time researching, learning the system, etc. I am willing to allow any agency owner this type of access, if they are willing to do the same for me and sign Non-competitive and non disclosure agreement. Any takers? I currently have access two AMS360 and Nexsure. I would love to test drive other systems and see if I can find one that works for my agency more specifically Hawksoft, EZlynks, Techcanary, Quomation, EPIC and any other software that offers the below features: 1. Ability to automatically add insured's name and policy number on the subject line when sending an email. 2. Ability to automatically add the insured location to email/letter when sending email to insured 3. Ability to search from addresses within the system. True location search based on accord forms not customer mailing address or any other method that require users double entries into the system. 4. Automatic Download invoicing for carriers that do not offer direct bill statement such Farmers of Salem, Amtrus, ETC. 5. Ability to be able to send emails from within the system with attachment from the PC without having to attach the document to the system and also to the email. 6. Ability to assign multiple commission rate to the same producer without having to do a manual entry each time. The above are just a few features. Please note that the above features are not a wish list. These are feature some system have. Unfortunatly, I have not found one system that has them all. I do not know why as these are basic feature all agent shall have or/and would want in their system. If there are any takers, please message me directly.
  • Re: Agency Management System

    by Farm Boy on August 22, 2017 2:35pm
    Resistacia13, which mgmt. system do you prefer? AMS 360 or NEXSURE? I'm just NOT SURE which AMS I should move to from NEWTON... I need Strong Accounting, Producer Commission Reconciliation, and Reports, the rest of the "stuff" would be a bonus... Thanks :D
  • Re: Agency Management System

    by resistencia13 on August 22, 2017 10:49pm
    I do not recommend neither system. However, if these were the only 2 systems available, I will pick AMS360 as it's the lesser of two evils. AMS360 accounting is less horrible than Nexsure as it requires less human input. All commission/invoices are created via download (Even when the company does not offer direct bill commission statement download). Nexsure only work with direct bill commission statement download. So all other companies need to be manually invoice and commission is a nightmare....My accounting department hates it as now they need to work twice as hard to pay producers, reconcile commissions and pay carriers. Reports are better in AMS360. As far as email features and letter format and location searching, AMS360 beats Nexsure hand down. AMS360 allows true location searching unlike Nexsure, which uses a redunat method that requires multiple manual steps as constant updates to location as it does not use the downloaded info from policies. Same with emails, Nexsure email delivery is mediocre at best, extremely limited. Email subject can only add the policy number, email content does not allow for locations to follow to letters, does not allow to send attachment unless they are in Nexsure (Which cause you to have to perform two steps to send an attachment via email.) Also AMS360 allows multiple screens so you can be in multiple customers at the same time or looking at a customer and a certificate creation. You can see policy number, client info, etc from almost anywhere in the system. In Nexsure you can only access one screen and due to the lack of information such policy number (Which can only be seen in a few screens), you have to keep bouncing from screens to obtain basic information. Customer service is better at Nexsure than AMS360. However, there is only so much they can do due to the system limitation. Both system look great while demoing, but in real life they both are redundant and slow users down due to the amount of clicks to perform any task. Hope this helps....Check out Hawsoft and EZLinks, I heard good things and what little I saw of them I like it with the exception of the way contacts are handled. This is the one good feature Nexsure has that I was not able to find in any other system. Everything else comparable to AMS360 or inferior.
  • Re: Agency Management System

    by MrD on August 23, 2017 3:11pm
    No system is perfect in all aspects. However, take a look at Strategic Insurance Software Partner XE. We recently moved from AMS Prime and looked at multiple systems, including but not limited to, AM360, Applied Epic, EZLynx, Nexsure and a host of others. We found SIS Partner XE to do what we needed at a very affordable price and their service has been excellent. They are very quick to respond. They do download in personal lines and commercial lines with 95% of our carriers; they integrate with Outlook,;they are cloud based; they have a full accounting system (insurance accounting and general ledger) which even I can use (I hate accounting) and they do direct bill commission download. It cost nothing but some time to look.
  • Re: Agency Management System

    by pageltd on August 23, 2017 3:20pm
    [quote=MrD post_id=28614 time=1503515466 user_id=23099] No system is perfect in all aspects. However, take a look at Strategic Insurance Software Partner XE. We recently moved from AMS Prime and looked at multiple systems, including but not limited to, AM360, Applied Epic, EZLynx, Nexsure and a host of others. We found SIS Partner XE to do what we needed at a very affordable price and their service has been excellent. They are very quick to respond. They do download in personal lines and commercial lines with 95% of our carriers; they integrate with Outlook,;they are cloud based; they have a full accounting system (insurance accounting and general ledger) which even I can use (I hate accounting) and they do direct bill commission download. It cost nothing but some time to look. [/quote] They have an excellent resource available on their website: https://sisware.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/10/9-Things-to-Look-for-in-an-Agency-Management-System-Strategic-Insurance-Software.pdf
  • Re: Agency Management System

    by resistencia13 on August 24, 2017 10:14am
    Mr.D, Can you please provide the contact information for their sales team? I would like to find out more about the system and possible schedule a demo. Also how long have you been in the system? How is their invoicing/commission capabilities for download companies that do not offer commission statement download? How is the contact and email handling? [quote=MrD post_id=28614 time=1503515466 user_id=23099] No system is perfect in all aspects. However, take a look at Strategic Insurance Software Partner XE. We recently moved from AMS Prime and looked at multiple systems, including but not limited to, AM360, Applied Epic, EZLynx, Nexsure and a host of others. We found SIS Partner XE to do what we needed at a very affordable price and their service has been excellent. They are very quick to respond. They do download in personal lines and commercial lines with 95% of our carriers; they integrate with Outlook,;they are cloud based; they have a full accounting system (insurance accounting and general ledger) which even I can use (I hate accounting) and they do direct bill commission download. It cost nothing but some time to look. [/quote]
  • Re: Agency Management System

    by RUinsured on August 29, 2017 2:35pm
    Whatever you do RUN from AMS360 / Vertafore. - Annual increases every year after the "honeymoon stage". As you can imagine this will get very expensive very quickly as every year that goes by it becomes harder to leave and they know that so they hit you with annual increase. My reduced user count of 6, yes 6 users, bill is currently $1,500 a month and will be $1,600 + by January. Needless to say, I'm finally making the move. - Every new feature or technology that comes along will always be an option. Of course you'll have to pay them an additional down payment to add the feature and your monthly subscription will increase as well. - You can add users all you want any day of the week, but when it comes to reducing your user count, they don't allow it until your renewal date. - When you finally decide you had enough of being taking advantage of, AMS360 / Vertafore will be charge you an Arm & Leg to get your Data from them. It will also take months to get it. My advice, other than run far away from AMS360 / Vertafore, is that any company you decide to go with make sure you fully understand the exit plan and their procedure upfront. You'll notice some of these company sales reps will be very vague of the details of data backup cost, user delete, cancellation process, etc.
  • Re: Agency Management System

    by MrD on August 30, 2017 2:58pm
    Resistencia13 - Sorry for the delayed response - I'm in Houston, TX and if you've been watching the news you know what I'm dealing with. Strategic Software PartnerXE product = www.sisware.com Mr. Tony Gantt 614-219-6555 ext 309 It may be worth a look. It integrates with Outlook, we do commission download and it reconciles very well with their internal full accounting program. We do a lot of surplus business and account current reconciliation is very easy. Just take a look; ask the questions and go from there. Good hunting!
  • Re: Agency Management System

    by resistencia13 on August 31, 2017 8:26am
    Hope you and yours are safe! I do have a few questions (whenever you get chance, I am sure you have a handful): 1. Did you demo Ams360 and Nexsure? 2. How does this system match up to the above systems in your opinion?
  • Re: Agency Management System

    by MrD on September 1, 2017 3:31pm
    It will be short answers: Yes, we did demos on AM360 and Nexsure We found XE to do the major things that insurance agents need: good datebase, outlook integration, download for almost all of our carriers (personal & commercial), commission download and reconciliation and a very good accounting system (insurance accounting AND general ledger) AM360 was simply too much for an agency our size Nexsure spent most of the demo showing me how good they were at social media and texting our client when their bill was due or it was their birthday. They never could present a good presentation of the "nuts & bolts" of their management system as needed by all agencies. Hope that helps.
  • Re: Agency Management System

    by resistencia13 on September 1, 2017 5:56pm
    Thanks for the reply. Well, it looks you are a better judge for agency management system than me. I have about 3 demoes and still missing some "nuts and bolts". Also I was promised enhancements and then after 2 months in I was told the enhancements were not being done. I learned my lesson though, as now I am paying for my mistakes. I spent most of my date clicking my mouse and re-entering information already in the system that shall flow to certificates, but it does not.
  • Re: Agency Management System

    by gstsoftware on September 26, 2017 8:57am
    Have you looked at Exlynx? There's a lot out there about how it's light on the commercial side but what's it's miles ahead on is the ability to actually "manage" your book. We bumped our retention 2% in our first year because it's ease of use and it's superior ability to track cancellations and more importantly allow you to contact your customers quickly and reliably about billing issues, texting is now as common for us as emails, and they track back to the customers file. None of the Agency Management systems no matter how much they cost help you much in the way of actually creating(and more importantly MANAGE!)commercial applications for all the broker and E&S business, our office has all the major carriers but no matter how hard we try the brokerage and E&S book's growth always outpaces the direct writers business. We went outside our agency management system to a program called QwikSUBmit, it's cheap like $12.50 a month and in addition to creating applications, generates auto renewals for our non-direct business, has saved us untold hours and is helping us make renewing that book much, much easier. It's automated renewals that you can send to the customer, really lighten the load on our CSR's.
  • Re: Agency Management System

    by pageltd on September 26, 2017 4:47pm
    Do you own that company...QwikSUBmit?
  • Re: Agency Management System

    by gstsoftware on September 27, 2017 9:17am
    No I do not own that company but have worked with them to help design this. It's a great program and is addressing the issues of managing your application submissions and renewals which no one else is addressing.
  • Re: Agency Management System

    by pageltd on September 28, 2017 11:06am
    [quote=OldIndyAgent post_id=27232 time=1428687516 user_id=8678] Honestly, if you liked your previous system, you should have stayed with it. AMS has had customers stay on platforms 10+ years and just quit paying support. Not something they really talk about. They have customers on systems they haven't supported since 2000...you just don't get updates. [/quote] that would be me.
  • Re: Agency Management System

    by pageltd on September 28, 2017 11:09am
    [quote=gstsoftware post_id=28691 time=1506518221 user_id=25954] No I do not own that company but have worked with them to help design this. It's a great program and is addressing the issues of managing your application submissions and renewals which no one else is addressing. [/quote] I can purchase an ACORD Advantage Membership for $300, have access to ALL 700+ forms as fillable PDF's. Download and fill them at my leisure, and email them to the brokers that in my CRM. I can add and delete brokers as I see fit. I don't see any advantage to your system...at all.
  • Re: Agency Management System

    by gstsoftware on September 29, 2017 11:54am
    Yes, we looked at them, but they do the same thing all the other "application systems" do, simply fill in the forms and you don't have any real access to the data. The QwikSUBmit system generates automatic renewals for you, and while lots of systems say they "generate renewals" all they do is update the policy dates and date of the application. The QS system takes the data and prompts you to what items would typically be the important information to renew it also allows you to send a menu driven Q&A to your customer where you choose the data you want them to renew, it then has them sign the application and send it back to you...bam done and you can send it in to your GA. This is so huge because it shifts the process from the agent to the customer and in a format that is so simple it's almost idiot proof. THAT is what makes this system different from the others. Focusing solely on applications/forms is not seeing the “forest for the trees”, it's the data in those applications that you need to be able to use in meaningful ways. There is no application system in and the industry and I mean NONE that will give you any kind of true data analysis of what you've been sending in to your GA's, would be nice to target customers in the GA/E&S markets rather than just catch the deluge that comes through the door. Want to roll your book, bam run some simple reports and see what class codes you’ve been quoting. Yes, we looked at the other systems, they’re like using pencils compared to using a computer.
  • Re: Agency Management System

    by pageltd on September 29, 2017 12:29pm
    [quote=gstsoftware post_id=28696 time=1506700488 user_id=25954] Yes, we looked at them, but they do the same thing all the other "application systems" do, simply fill in the forms and you don't have any real access to the data. The QwikSUBmit system generates automatic renewals for you, and while lots of systems say they "generate renewals" all they do is update the policy dates and date of the application. The QS system takes the data and prompts you to what items would typically be the important information to renew it also allows you to send a menu driven Q&A to your customer where you choose the data you want them to renew, it then has them sign the application and send it back to you...bam done and you can send it in to your GA. This is so huge because it shifts the process from the agent to the customer and in a format that is so simple it's almost idiot proof. THAT is what makes this system different from the others. Focusing solely on applications/forms is not seeing the “forest for the trees”, it's the data in those applications that you need to be able to use in meaningful ways. There is no application system in and the industry and I mean NONE that will give you any kind of true data analysis of what you've been sending in to your GA's, would be nice to target customers in the GA/E&S markets rather than just catch the deluge that comes through the door. Want to roll your book, bam run some simple reports and see what class codes you’ve been quoting. Yes, we looked at the other systems, they’re like using pencils compared to using a computer. [/quote] I signed up for the trial and totally get the part about data. Given the fact that ACORD will license their e-forms to anyone willing to pay them $5,000=$10,000, combined with the number of agents needing a decent way to track submissions I'm surprised there are not more solutions out there like yours. There are a couple of things that I would call "pain points" with insurance agency management systems that I have seen/used, in general. So...with my QS trial I created a submission, then came up with a couple of questions immediately. I just emailed those questions to GST Software and will wait to hear back.
  • Re: Agency Management System

    by resistencia13 on October 13, 2017 12:45pm
    [quote=gstsoftware post_id=28688 time=1506430642 user_id=25954] Have you looked at Exlynx? There's a lot out there about how it's light on the commercial side but what's it's miles ahead on is the ability to actually "manage" your book. We bumped our retention 2% in our first year because it's ease of use and it's superior ability to track cancellations and more importantly allow you to contact your customers quickly and reliably about billing issues, texting is now as common for us as emails, and they track back to the customers file. None of the Agency Management systems no matter how much they cost help you much in the way of actually creating(and more importantly MANAGE!)commercial applications for all the broker and E&S business, our office has all the major carriers but no matter how hard we try the brokerage and E&S book's growth always outpaces the direct writers business. We went outside our agency management system to a program called QwikSUBmit, it's cheap like $12.50 a month and in addition to creating applications, generates auto renewals for our non-direct business, has saved us untold hours and is helping us make renewing that book much, much easier. It's automated renewals that you can send to the customer, really lighten the load on our CSR's. [/quote] Not I have not, but I will as I need to get out of Nexsure ASAP before my staff quits on me! Thanks