News and Events

Cultivating ACORD Implementation Talent

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Yesterday morning I had the honor of participating as a panelist in a webinar hosted by ACORD about cultivating ACORD implementation talent within an organization. In addition to ACORD leadership, the panel consisted of Jim Rogers from The Hartford, Suzanne Brazeal from Ebix Consulting (a solution provider to Life Insurance carriers), Enrico Alessandri from Swiss RE, and myself. We were all chosen because of the respective accomplishments of our organizations in the ACORD and ACE communities.

Curt StevensonCultivating ACORD Implementation Talent
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ACE Boot Camp

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As many of you know, Agencyport has always been strongly committed to promoting ACORD adoption. (Check out our blog history on the topic.) That commitment starts at home with Agencyport University’s (APU) education and certification of our own team (18 in-house ACEs to date and going strong), and extends out to the greater insurance community through our partnership with ACORD.

Lisa GilganACE Boot Camp
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Get Comfortable Living in the Fog

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I had the pleasure of attending Celent’s 2016 Innovation and Insight Day on Wednesday at the historic Museum of American Finance on Wall Street. The sold-out event gathered Banking and Insurance executives from more than 30 countries to learn from each other and from an impressive group of speakers how to consider and prepare for the future of their industries. Not surprisingly, Digital ruled the day.

Julie HoweGet Comfortable Living in the Fog
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Agent Insight pays a visit to NetVU16

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NetVu16What a great time I had in San Antonio the week before last at NetVU—catching up with old friends and meeting new agents and carriers.

As always, I was busy capturing as much Insight as possible from independent agents about their working relationships with carrier partners.  And, as always, they were free with their opinions, feedback and advice.  My findings from this trip will be added to our ever-growing volume of Agent Insight, the most recent example of which is our new eBook, A P&C Carrier Guide to Boosting Agent Loyalty.

Caleen AlexandersonAgent Insight pays a visit to NetVU16
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Agents’ Views on Growth, Productivity and the Future

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I was honored to moderate a panel of agency owners last week at the Valen Summit. The agency owners/CEOs on the panel, Mike Stromsoe of Stromsoe Insurance and Rob Cohen of IMA Financial, are both highly successful, outspoken, and dynamic entrepreneurs who were happy to share their expertise and opinions with the industry leaders gathered at the Summit.

The conversation provided tremendous insight that is too lengthy to capture in detail in a blog post, but I’m excited to share some highlights.

Curt StevensonAgents’ Views on Growth, Productivity and the Future
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A Look Back at 2015

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Spreading holiday cheer to the kids at DCF Roxbury

Spreading holiday cheer to the kids at DCF Roxbury

As we count down the final weeks of 2015, there is a lot to be thankful for at Agencyport:

  • Seven new customers
  • Surpassing of our financial goals for the 2nd year running
  • The addition of Fil Firmani, SVP of Product and Strategy, to the team
  • Articulation of our digital and omni-channel strategy
  • The most robust three-year, fully-funded product roadmap in Agencyport history
  • Two new AgencyPortal releases adding UX functionality based on Agent Insight to satiate the needs of our 125,000+ agent users
  • 18 Agent Insight visits
  • Our 200,000th Turnstile form in production—with over 130,000,000 keystrokes saved
  • Five ACORD awards
  • The addition of enough ACORD Certified Experts (ACEs) for us to claim more ACEs than any other vendor
  • A milestone 10th Agencyport Annual Conference—according many, the best yet
  • An official partnership with policy administration leader Accenture Duck Creek
  • The launch of our Customer Insight program, with four customers already signed on
  • Two successful hackathons, resulting in dozens of new ideas and more than ten solutions added to our Shared Solutions Repository

Not bad for twelve months. I’m extremely fortunate and proud to be a part of this team, and fired up about what is around the corner in 2016.


Curt StevensonA Look Back at 2015
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Learn how State Auto simplified online new business processes for its agent partners

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SMA Research, Insurance Ecosystem 2015

SMA Research, Insurance Ecosystem 2015

It’s no secret that many insurance carriers are lagging when it comes to a modern, digital new business process. Agent and consumer expectations around online experiences have soared ahead of many insurers’ capabilities. The good news is that insurers know it.

The number one strategic initiative and investment for 85% of North American insurers in 2015 was customer engagement and experience (SMA Research, Insurance Ecosystem 2015). Tier 1 P&C carrier State Auto acknowledged the demand and set two goals to promote new business: 1) increase overall agent satisfaction and 2) simplify and modernize its agents’ web-based experience.

With the implementation of AgencyPortal® and E-SignLive from Silanis, State Auto Insurance Companies has reduced its cost of managing paper by 90%, increased its quote volume by 50-70%, and seen a 72% increase in new business.

Join us, State Auto, Silanis Technology, and PropertyCasualty360 for a free on demand webinar where you will learn:

  • Digital workflow best practices for ease-of-use
  • Top portal and e-signature requirements to consider
  • Change management best practices to achieve high adoption (State Auto reached 50% in just 10 days!)


Louisa RogersLearn how State Auto simplified online new business processes for its agent partners
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Annual Conference Gold Nuggets

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It’s been extremely gratifying over the last couple of weeks to hear so many customers call our recent Tenth Annual Conference “the best one yet.” I’ll admit, I have to agree. And that admission is much less boastful than it sounds. The conference’s success reaches far beyond Agencyport’s role. What put the event over the top was the dynamic, multi-directional idea-sharing and learning among its attendees—our carriers, prospects, partners and user communities. It was the most energetic I have experienced at an AP conference–everyone eager to learn from everyone else.

Over the course of two and half days, there were a number of themes that emerged. Some we expected (and even planned), and others we did not. Here is a tasting:

  • People no longer need to be convinced that disruptive change is coming to the Insurance Industry. It’s here. Now. Rather than speculating about whether it is coming, or even when, carriers are figuring out how to either compete with the change or participate in it.
  • Newer dilemmas join not-so-new ones:

– The delicate trend of direct-to-consumer… Everyone acknowledged the consumer demand—both in personal and small commercial, and to some degree, even mid- to large-sized commercial risks—and the varying degree to which insureds want agents involved in purchasing and servicing. The consistent new reality? Consumers want to interact with carriers and agents on their terms. While agents’ perspectives on direct to consumer run a broad spectrum from denial to whole-hearted embrace, agents’ at our conference indicated that they just want to be informed (in real time) by the carrier—not just so they have the opportunity to up-sell (a win-win, by the way), but also so that they can meet their fiduciary obligations to their insureds. This increasingly complex relationship fully supports the digital omni-channel vision we have been discussing with our customers.

– Though not new, the tradeoffs between sticking with industry-standard fields versus asking carrier-specific questions during the application process remains a debate and challenge. Clearly, asking strictly “standard” questions makes carrier participation in third-party solutions such as comparative raters, Google Compare, and other marketplaces much easier—a clear advantage. But how do carriers weigh that against the potential risk of losing the “Secret Sauce” to your underwriting and profitability, namely carrier-specific questions?

  • At a time when very little about the future of P&C Insurance seems certain—whether the quickly evolving hardware and software technologies and consumer buying trends or carrier and agency business models, weather patterns, and M&A trends—more and more of our customers and partners are seeing the value of collaboration. The fear of disclosing secret sauces is fast giving way to the benefits of story-, challenge-, solution- and idea-sharing. Group problem-solving is being seen less as an agent of competitive erosion and more as a necessity for ongoing industry strength.

Thanks, once again, to our Conference sponsors: Ivans, Lexis/Nexis, Silanis, Valen Analytics, Capgemini, E2Value, Accenture Duck Creek and Guidewire, without whom ours would be just another conference. And, of course, our amazing customers, without whom we wouldn’t exist. We look forward to many more years of bright, exciting problem-solving and market shattering solutions.

Curt StevensonAnnual Conference Gold Nuggets
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Check Out Our Annual Conference Keynote Speakers

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As we continue to gear up for the conference, I am thrilled to share with you the members of our Customer Keynote Session. This highly experienced group of insurance leaders will share some of the challenges and opportunities they and others face as they navigate a rapidly-changing marketplace.


Mike Lex: SVP Commercial Lines

Mike has served the Allied and Nationwide Insurance organizations for more than 25 years in both operational and strategic roles. He currently leads commercial pricing, product and underwriting strategies for Nationwide.

    Kimberly Koury: CIO & VP Information Systems

Kimberly leads the development and execution of Electric Insurance’s multi-generational information systems plan. She also serves as Executive Advisor to the GE Women’s Network Beverly hub.

       Cilsy Harris: VP Business Delivery 

Chosen as a top emerging leader at The Hanover for the carrier’s Leadership in Action forum, Cilsy has more than 20 years of experience at the company, successfully leading large programs focused on technology implementations, risk mitigation, cost effectiveness and workforce design.

To expand the conversation further, leaders from Strategy Meets Action (SMA) and Novarica will respond to the Customer Viewpoints from their perspectives during an analyst panel discussion later on Monday afternoon.

Only 11 more days until the Conference. I look forward to seeing you there!


Louisa RogersCheck Out Our Annual Conference Keynote Speakers
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Immerse yourself: life as an intern at Agencyport Software

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John making a save for the AP Kickball team

Day one in the office you’re thrown into the deep end of a pool of experienced co-workers who are extremely technically gifted and have a natural ability to pass their knowledge on to those around them. These employees are the driving force behind a well-structured internship program that puts everything in place for a student who is willing to seek help and learn from others.

A strict open door policy gives you the opportunity to reach out to leaders in every department of the company; allowing you to meet and learn from some of the firm’s most highly ranked employees. As a perfect example, I had no more than a few working days under my belt before finding myself in the office of CEO Curt Stevenson who was more than happy to set aside thirty minutes to answer the questions of an Irish intern who had just hopped off a plane!

Such a welcoming environment makes it easy for you to settle in quickly and get into your comfort zone–and when I say comfort zone, I don’t mean the office’s couch area that is littered with bean bags and has an Xbox, a Wii and even a dartboard! I simply mean it’s a place where you can feel free to share your own opinions and are encouraged not to shy away from questioning someone even if they have more knowledge and experience than you.

This company really does raise the bar when it comes to educating their employees. The existence of AP University as well as a Director of Training who constantly pushes the need for continuous learning emphasizes Agencyport’s belief in staying up to date in the ever expanding software industry. Regular training programs, ‘lunch and learn’ sessions and the invaluable experiences gained in your daily tasks add up to create a world of education and learning–epitomizing the ideal environment for an intern.

Looking back, I would compare coming to Agencyport to develop as a programmer to coming to the States or Ireland to learn English. With exposure to the language on a daily basis and surrounded by willing people who want you to improve, your progress is inevitable. And on the other side, you can look forward to life as a readied job seeker!

John O'KeeffeImmerse yourself: life as an intern at Agencyport Software
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