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Tell Them PIA Sent You!

So what? You might ask, "What difference does this make for me and my agency?" If your agency is using any of the more...
March 15, 2005

IVANS Kicks Off its AgentExpress Program; Independent Agents Can Use High-Speed Internet Connections to Retrieve Carrier Downloads

By Bill Jenkins
Vice President, Business Development and Marketing
PIA National

Bill JenkinsSo what? You might ask, "What difference does this make for me and my agency?"

If your agency is using any of the more than 20 agency management systems supporting IVANS download, the answer to this question is twofold:

First, this announcement highlights your ability to benefit from the steady improvement in speed, productivity and ease of use for agency / company interface technology. But perhaps more importantly since it's an industry standard IVANS approach, it's already available within the existing workflows of many agency management systems.

Most agents are well aware of the problem. Most all of your carriers provide agency downloads via IVANS. However, a few other carriers are unwilling to adopt this industry standard solution and make you run separate downloads from each of them individually. The results can be mixed. In addition to keeping track of multiple passwords and the mechanics of separate and different procedures, problems can arise. The individual who usually runs these downloads can be out sick or on vacation. Instead of vendor support and support from IVANS you need to rely on separate support from each company for these proprietary options. As a result these downloads might not occur as scheduled - giving your agency customer service problems at best and potential E&O exposure at worst.

PIA strongly supports the IVANS industry standard approach to agency download because, quite simply, it is better for agents. As agents, you need to support the IVANS solution and help yourself in the process, by keeping current and up-to-date with what is available. That's why you need to pay attention to this announcement about the IVANS AGENTEXPRESS PROGRAM and update to the newest version of IVANS Transfer Manager‚ 2.2. The other reason is that it enables much faster downloads - giving you the ability to make full use of your agency's existing high-speed internet connection. As an example, one mid-sized agency recently reported reducing their download time from 30 to 45 minutes to 1.5 minutes.

The new IVANS high-speed Internet download capability is available from carriers who have moved their download over to the newer and less expensive IVANS ECS mailboxes. IVANS has worked with the leading agency vendors to assure that the transition between the need to "dial" into the older mailboxes, and high-speed connection to the newer ECS mailboxes is seamless and within existing agency workflows.  This improvement provides carriers with one less reason to push their own proprietary downloads onto your agency.

This is clearly a Win-Win situation for agencies and carriers!

Here's how the upgrade works:

If you already have Transfer Manager‚ 2.2 or higher installed in your agency management system, you can follow a simple 4-step instruction sheet on how to enable your system for high-speed internet download with any the more than 100 carriers currently making this available. You can view and print this instruction sheet on the IVANS website at http://www.ivans.com/files/FourEasySteps.PDF.

If you have an earlier version of Transfer Manager or don't have it installed, you should contact an IVANS broadband download specialists at 1-800-548-2675 for instructions on how to upgrade to or obtain Transfer Manager version 2.2. You can also use the same number to reach an IVANS broadband download specialists if you have any questions or need other assistance.

And one more thing. Tell any of your carriers using proprietary download to "get with the program" and use IVANS. Tell them PIA sent you.

Bill Jenkins billje@pianet.org is Vice President of Business Development and Marketing for PIA National.

PIA Connection

This article originally appeared in the March 2005 PIA Connection.

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