Pittsburgh Agency Seeks Insurance Management System Solution

kirk-haldemanKirk Haldeman’s Pittsburgh, PA-based agency Pinnacle Group has been serving the Pittsburgh area since 1915. Kirk and his team employ hands-on, personalized care to their customers, providing the best service by the best means possible. But, with a growing customer base and a small staff, Kirk soon realized they needed a better insurance management system solution to keep up their quality.

So, Kirk began his search for a new management system and provider. He was looking for a flexible system to allow his agency to automate processes and work remotely. His 15-year provider simply wasn’t fitting the bill. After asking for improvements and hearing “it’ll cost you,” he was relieved to encounter Partner XE and the team at SIS.

“With Partner XE, we found that flexible solution we were looking for, with the right features for our business,” said Kirk. After SIS President Michael Doran met with Kirk to personally answer questions and walk through solutions, he was sold. And he’s been recommending SIS and Partner XE ever since.

We sat down with Kirk to hear what led him to SIS and Partner XE. In our conversation we covered:

  • Vetting a management system provider
  • Finding a flexible system to fit agency needs
  • Transitioning to a new management system
  • Getting organized in your management system

You can read our entire conversation on our client stories page.

Curious about what Kirk saw in SIS and Partner XE? Get in touch with an SIS team member at 800.747.7005, Option 6 or sales@sisware.com to find out. We look forward to hearing from you.

What it Means to be a Partner: Interview with SIS CEO Alex Deak

Alex DeakNo one knows more about being a good partner than the Strategic Insurance Software team. A driving force of the SIS culture, working with and for our partner agencies is the cornerstone of our work. We asked SIS CEO Alex Deak to share what it means to go beyond a provider and become a partner for the many independent insurance agencies we serve.

  1. When did you start at SIS? What has your journey been like so far?

SIS has been providing service to independent insurance agencies since 1995. I got involved with SIS in 2008 as our parent organization, NuGrowth Solutions, was providing sales and marketing services to expand the market presence of Partner XE. When NuGrowth acquired SIS in 2009, I took on the role of CEO.

Working with the SIS team has been very rewarding. We work hard every day to improve our Partner XE system and the services provided to our partner agencies. Our investment in technology and people has increased our capability to serve a broader spectrum of agencies in terms of size, complexity, and lines of business. As the company has grown, we’ve been able to increase our investment and the pace at which we can improve to serve more clients.

  1. Describe the culture at SIS. How does it reflect your values as a company?

At SIS we say “Partner is who we are and Community is how we work.” Our goal is to build long-term partnerships with our customers, suppliers, and the organizations we connect with.

We operate in a highly collaborative team environment. We look to our customers to provide us insight into the capabilities and services that will help them most. Then, we work together to find a way to deliver good solutions through innovation and collaboration. Collaboration is a huge part of how we work. Each system update comes from the combined work of our team, our customers, and other technology organizations that have a good solution we can connect to Partner XE.

We value our customers and our relationships. I think that comes through in every interaction we have.


  1. What does it mean to you to be a partner to Partner XE agencies?

Partner is more than a brand or slogan for us; it’s how we do business. Partnership and relationship is everything to us.

We want healthy and valuable relationships that last many years and decades; just like the agencies we work with.

And we daily renew our commitment to make that happen. The biggest thing is to listen to our customers to learn who they are and what’s important to them. That allows us to serve them well, which is really our number one goal.

  1. What do you do on a daily basis to achieve that goal?

We want our customers to feel heard, that we care about what’s going on in their world. To let them know we are here to help. Even if we can’t provide a full solution immediately, we want our customers to feel we understand and will use all our resources to bring resolution.

  1. How would you describe the Partner XE User Community?

The Partner XE User Community is a highly active and collaborative group of our partner agencies. They’re interested in the same thing we are: serving their clients in a mutually beneficial way. They’re full of new ideas and inspire us to innovate Partner XE to not only do more, but do more of the things our customers really need. And they like to have fun along the way, making it even more enjoyable.

  1. What are some memorable moments you’ve experienced with the SIS team and Partner XE community?

I enjoy attending our Regional Learning workshops. They’re intimate, collaborative sessions focused on gaining new ideas and insights. Attendees are able to share learnings with each other and with the SIS team.

We usually have more than 20 people from 10 or more agencies, making it the right size to foster collaboration and innovation. It’s always interesting to see how each agency has a unique approach to their common daily operations.

At Regional Learnings, our customers constantly tell us they learned just as much from their fellow users as from our product experts. And the groups are lively. Both our team and the attendees always share a lot of laughs.

  1. What makes SIS different from other management system providers?

SIS Event photoThe thing that sets SIS and Partner XE apart is our focus on relationship and service. Our actions around those foci are important. It’s not just lip service. The features and technology part are important, but in the end, most management systems do similar things. We work with our clients to provide the capabilities they want, the way they want them, at a cost that makes sense. And when they have a question, suggestion, or idea, they can talk to someone who is ready to listen and do something about it.

  1. What is the most important thing you can provide for Partner XE agencies?

The most important thing we provide to Partner XE agency customers is trust. They can trust us to do the right thing, work to serve their needs every day, and be there when they need us.

More Than an Agency Management System Provider

John Britton - smallJohn Britton and his team at The Insurance Shop take pride in providing personal, commercial and farm policies to the people of Odon and Loogootee, Indiana. This group of friendly, caring, and loyal people work together to serve their customers as a team. The goal: to make life less complex for the local businesses and families they serve.

After a decade with their agency management system provider, John and his team realized they needed a provider that would make their life easier, too. They started looking for a team player that wouldn’t increase costs. So, when they received a call from SIS National Account Manager Luke Purnell, they took a moment to listen…and liked what they heard.

“One word:  Service. No other provider out there can compare with SIS,” said John of the partnership, “We know the people at SIS, and they know us.”

logo2fullclrWe talked with John about The Insurance Shop’s decision to switch to Partner XE and SIS. He shared wisdom such as:

  • Paying for only what you’ll use in a system
  • Working with a company that listens
  • Going for an intuitive, easy to use system
  • Holding out for good service
  • And more!

Read the rest of our conversation with John here.

We love hearing from our partner agencies about their Partner XE experience. You can read more of our conversations with other Partner XE agencies on our client stories page. Or, experience Partner XE and the SIS team first-hand: contact us at sales@sisware.com or 800.747.7005, Option 6.