Agent-Friendly E-Commerce Meeting

April 20, 2000

Top agent leaders of the largest agency management system users groups met at the Independent Insurance Agents of America national headquarters April 19 to share common interests in technology.

The meeting, the ACT Agency Management System Users’ Group Leadership Summit, was convened by IIAA and its Agents Council for Technology. Collectively, these groups represent more than 90 percent of agency management systems in use across America.

The purpose of the summit was to discuss and reach agreement on issues of technology affecting independent insurance agents. Discussion centered on the Internet and the necessity of new technology standards that would help make the SEMCI vision a reality.

The group expressed concern for the fact that proprietary implementations of technology have a negative impact on independent agents and that the Internet should serve to facilitate common ways of doing business, not provide an opportunity for circumventing a SEMCI approach.

Attendees agreed they would continue to work closely with IIAA’s ACT to more clearly agree upon and define what constitutes “agent-friendly technology” in the context of today’s new e-commerce environment. The group also agreed that new XML standards currently being developed by Acord are clearly moving in the right direction and that IIAA and ACT should remain closely involved with Acord in this effort.

Attendees agreed that agents must support the new technology exemplified in Acord’s XML standards and dissuade carriers from creating their own proprietary systems.

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