ACT Technology Seminar Now Available Online

January 28, 2002

An informative Agents Council for Technology (ACT) seminar on new and innovative agency technology is now available on the Independent Insurance Agents of America’s (IIAA) web site.

The online offering is a PowerPoint presentation and audio recording of a seminar that was held at IIAA’s Hawaii InfoXchange in late October.

According to ACT Executive Director Jeffrey M. Yates, independent agents should not miss this seminar, simply because they were unable to attend the InfoXchange. Yates noted it contains a multitude of practical technology and business-process ideas that agents can implement now to gain a competitive advantage. Yates pointed out the seminar covers four key areas of technology on the minds of agents: new technology applications, getting the most out of the agency’s public and private Web sites, achieving greater utilization of agency-management systems, and developments in agent-company interfaces.

Edgar J. Higgins Jr., principal of Thousand Islands Agency located in Clayton, N.Y. and chairman of ACT, presents the first segment covering new technology applications, such as digital cameras, scanning devices, 24/7 customer service, and the effective use of e-mail. Higgins provides a new look at items or services that effectively support agencies and improve customer relations.

Robert I. Horenberg CIC, vice president of Horenberg Insurance Services Inc., Silver Spring, Md. and an ACT committee member, demonstrates the significant advancement to customer service and employee effectiveness that result from an agency’s effective use of public and private Web sites. Sharon Cunningham, president of Business Management Group, a Hartford, Conn.-based agency management consulting firm, leads the third segment, covering methods to maximize the benefits of a technology investment and to increase the utilization of agency-management systems.

David Findley, senior vice president, commercial and personal lines operations for Travelers Insurance, Hartford, Conn. and an ACT committee member, relays the latest in agent-company interface in the final segment, discussing real-time processing over the Internet, access to new electronic functionality from insurance companies, and how to get to true SEMCI solutions (single-entry, multiple-company interface) in a real-time environment.

“This online seminar is a perfect example of the useful technological information that is available for agents on the ACT Web site,” says Yates. “Agents also can review ACT’s latest comprehensive report, A Vision of the Future for Agency Technology, including the Essential Next Steps for Independent Agents, along with ACT’s new video, several technology checklists, and information about ACT’s newly revised publication, Selling Insurance on the Internet.”

To access the ACT seminar, and the other useful technology items, go to the ACT Web site at www.independentagent.com and click on the Agents Council for Technology tab. The seminar can be accessed using Real Player for the audio portion and PowerPoint for the outline and illustrations.

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