Zywave Brokerage Builder Conference – May 09

This week I attended my first Zywave Brokerage Builder Conference.  Wow am I on overload.  For my property & casualty friends, this product is an agency management system built for and used by those agencies writing benefits coverages.  I have watched this product grow over the past several years and it has been impressive.

The conference was a very fast paced two days.  A balance of keynote speakers, product how tos, networking, user panels and of course socializing.  There has to be some fun at the end of those long days of sitting in meetings and piling your brain full of information.

I really like the approach Zywave takes in teaching their users about set up of activities and attachments.  They use the best practices approach of minimizing the number of activity types, matching the attachment types to the activity types and defining the conventions for descriptions.   Consistency is the key to being able to quickly retrieve information from your agency management system.  Consistency is also the key to successful reporting from your agency management system.

For me the most fun session was “Embrace Your Inner Technology”.  My impression of what this session would be about would be the technology of Zywave.  However, it was far more than that.  The session covered, web conferencing, social networking and wikis in addition to the  Zywave technology.  The exercise for each group was to determine what technologies they would use in transacting a particular business scenario with their client.

HIGH-TECC 2008 Reflections

A week and a few days after HIGH-TECC 2008 I have checked out a number of the technologies discussed and presented.  Adopted some, tried some and decided they didn’t fit my needs but they have been added to my resources as my client’s might need them, and been led down different paths in other research.  I have ordered a Flip Mino, however, it has not arrived yet.  That is so frustrating to want to try something out and it not arrive as soon as you had hoped.  So there will be more on this item in later posts.

HIGH-TECC 2008 – Day 3

Day 3 of HIGH-TECC is a morning session that is the true software junkie – techie overload session.  What’s Great in 2008 is presented by Steve Anderson and others that he has asked to participated.  Steve had Duke Williams talk about the importance of Google, AdWords positioning and pricing, etc.

Steve and the group discussed how to put live chat at your agency website and how to manage that with the agency staff.  Some agencies are using this technology and shared with the group their tools and experience.

HIGH-TECC 2008 – Day 2

The first session of HIGH-TECC day 2 is Bridging the Industry Communication Gap Panel.  The panel is a diversified group.  There are members from rating services, insurance carriers, Agents Council for Technology, ACORD, and insurance agents.  The issues considered in this discussion are those around the ability of insurance agencies to be able to do effective on-line rating using the data from their agency management systems and having the quote make the round-trip back to the agency management system.  The audience was very active in asking questions of the panel as well as expressing their needs and concerns on this subject.  I really like the terminology that Keith Savino used about comparative rating.  In their agency they refer to the software they use for comparative rating as “a data aggregation tool”.

HIGH-TECC 2008 – Day 1

HIGH-TECC is an annual gathering of agents, brokers, vendors, associations and executives interested in the technology which drives the insurance industry.  The atmosphere is charged with a high level of knowledge on the subjects at hand and the sharing of information.  I have attended this conference for the past several years and find that there is always more to learn than I ever imagined.  I have never heard an attendee that didn’t find the meetings and information exchange valuable.