Applied Systems hosted Applied Net 2022 this week in Nashville, Tennessee, covering product updates and including a keynote presentation from Mike “Coach K” Krzyzewski, former Duke and Team USA basketball coach.
This week, Applied Systems hosted Applied Net 2022 at the Gaylord Opryland Resort & Convention Center in Nashville, Tennessee, which was the first in-person event the company has hosted since 2019.
During the opening keynote, Taylor Rhodes, CEO of Applied Systems, outlined how Applied is bringing technology and people together to accelerate agency growth, profitability and value, and to solve some of the industry's greatest and most current challenges.
Amid the confluence of a global pandemic, a tight labor market, record inflation and supply chain disruption, “our industry has experienced record growth and record profitability, proving once again how resilient you are as the independent agency brokerage channel," Rhodes said.
But how has the independent agency flourished? “With confidence, we can say that powerful technology-driven forces are changing our industry, and reshaping how insurance gets done," he said. “Smart investments in technology and digital connectivity underpin operational efficiency helping you not only survive but grow more profitably."
During his keynote, Rhodes showcased a raft of recent improvements to Applied Epic aimed at enhancing the insurance experience for both agency staff and customers, including security enhancements surrounding single sign-on (SSO) and multi-factor authentication (MFA); the ability to gain direct, filterable access to download transactions from Ivans; and data prefill suggestion options when entering account information.
Rhodes also shared enhancements to its employee benefits and commercial lines products. Via Indio, users can now send submission updates to multiple markets, ask clients to review and revise documents, and access proposals Travelers sends back via the Ivans API. Meanwhile, agents can also access simple, modern commercial lines quoting workflows and a robust product panel with Tarmika.
“We've just added some really powerful jet to our productivity," Rhodes said. “All our investments in innovation are centered on making your agency more connected and more valuable."
At the most-attended Applied Net of all time, the era of independent agencies embracing technology in all aspects of their business is well and truly underway. While enhancements to Applied Epic for Salesforce and Applied Marketing Automation give agents more opportunities to engage customers and drive customer acquisition and retention, Applied Pay is now available to Applied Epic and EZLynx agencies.
Applied Pay provides a branded checkout page that allows clients to pay their premium securely via automated clearing house (ACH) or credit or debit card while giving agency staff greater transaction visibility and improves ledger reconciliation processes.
“Agents love the efficiency and security of direct bill but miss the opportunity to have total control over the payment part of the customer journey—until now," said Allan Lacoste, chief payments officer, Applied Systems. “Applied Pay puts agents in the driver's seat by direct integration into their management system, while delivering security and efficiency in managing, processing and posting in agents' general ledger so they can provide a modern payment experience to their customers."
Notably, as Applied develops its products, it was announced that Applied TAM is not among the products that will be carried forward into the future. With no firm date set to sunset the system, Applied are investing resources in removing barriers that have prevented agencies from cutting ties with the “heritage solution."
Solutions such as Applied TAM are “something to be proud of," said Trevor Bunker, chief customer officer, Applied, during the Tuesday morning keynote. “It was one of the best solutions on the market and we are passionately proud of that, but like all things, its time has come, and we are developing pathways to more modern solutions. Whether you choose to go to Applied Epic EZLynx, our team is committed to getting you there and making sure you are successful." Additionally, similar services are available to all Applied users, from employee onboarding and training to help with transitioning data after an agency acquisition.
The Tuesday morning keynote speakers closed with Mike “Coach K" Krzyzewski, the former Duke and Team USA basketball coach, who shared his experiences leading teams and the non-negotiable values that helped him become known as the winningest coach in sports.
“A winning successful team does not sustain their excellence by making excuses, they embrace responsibility, they figure out what they need to do if something goes wrong and are accustomed to handling every situation," he said.
In front of 4,000 attendees, Krzyzewski also emphasized the relationship between people and technology, noting that embracing sports science technology enhanced his ability to be a better coach and leader, which ultimately made him more successful.
“Newness is good," Krzyzewski said as he implored agents to explore the raft of opportunities in front of them and their businesses. “Everybody wants to win … but not as many people want to prepare to win. My entire life, I have tried to prepare to win."
Will Jones is IA editor-in-chief.