Partner XE V 1.7 Release

SIS is pleased to announce the release of Partner XE V 1.7.

The new release features a number of upgrades that came about as a result of input provided last spring by a NASPA work group formed in late 2010 to review the overall functionality of the system.

Watch for a message from Partner XE as to when it is available for your agency.

Among other things, this new version features ENHANCED CERTIFICATES WORKFLOW.

Including:

  • Streamlined handling of Certificate Renewal process
  • Added Certificate view filter
  • Enhanced batch printing capability, and
  • Improved flooding of policy data

We have also added the ability to open documents with a Windows default viewer, improved our ability to print ACORD 125 forms for all commercial lines policies, added new accounting reports and added the ability to export reports to CSV format.

In addition, as part of what will continue to be an ongoing process, we have improved server communication, overall performance and response time. Recognizing that network interruptions can impact user experience, we will persist in our efforts to ensure that Partner XE handles these more efficiently.

The automatic update will start this week with the anticipation that all agencies will be upgraded in the next few weeks.

To assist you with any questions you may have about the new and/or upgraded features, we are in the process of putting together an FAQ document and a demonstration video which you will be able to access through PartnerNet, the new online resource for Partner XE users. If you have not yet registered for PartnerNet, please do so by logging into www.partnerxe.net as soon as possible. Each individual who logs on will be asked to register with a user name and a password.

Partner XE Version 1.6 Release

SIS Announces Release of Partner XE Agency Management System V. 1.6

To serve you better, the SIS product development team has been working hard to enhance the overall function of our Partner XE agency management system, addressing your requests and adding new capabilities. As a result of their efforts, as of today the release of Partner XE version 1.6 is just about complete.

Here is a quick overview of some of the new and enhanced functions you will find:

Enhanced Marketing Campaign Functions

  • Newly added Marketing System Searches (with prefix MK under Policy System Search) will pull the appropriate name and address information for use with direct mail campaigns.
  • We have also included a link to our direct mail partner, AMG. AMG offers pre-formatted insurance marketing campaigns at a special rate for Partner XE customers.

New Searches/Reports

  • Downloaded policy reports now include Producer Code and Agency Code information which will make it simpler for agencies with multiple producers and locations see what policies are being downloaded.
  • In addition, we have added a new Individuals with a Birthday in a Specific Month by Producer report so you can easily acknowledge these important dates with birthday cards or letters.
  • Another new report entitled Clients Without Email Addresses was added to make it quick and easy for you to identify which clients to ask for this important contact information. Because so much communication with your clients is done via email, this will give you a quick snapshot of those missing it.

Additional Updates/Enhancements

  • Over 160 Partner Forms have been updated to the most recent ACORD version plus the following specific issues have been addressed:

– ACORD 28 – Evidence of Commercial Property Insurance fixed to save all edit changes
– ACORD 90 – Texas Personal Auto Application editing issue fixed
– ACORD 37 – ACORD Statement of No Loss header flooding issue fixed
– ACORD 126 – CGL Application form Schedule of Hazards Classification field wrap issue fixed

The release of Partner XE version 1.6 came about in part due to the input we received from NASPA . As always, we value the input provided by NASPA and appreciate their role as a clearinghouse of ideas. If you are interested in participating in and contributing to one of their work groups, please contact John Heinsz at john@hsgr.com.

February 2011 Update

By now you have probably noticed our new look and new branding, launched in late December to reflect our vision for SIS as we enter a new era in our history. These are just the first of a number of improvements you will see as we begin a new decade of growth and ongoing partnership with you.

We are continually adding new clients and increasing the number of systems we support – a trend which will serve to strengthen the voice of the NASPA group and provide additional feedback for future product enhancements.

Here are just a few of the ways we are working to serve you better.

NASPA Work Groups

The National Association of SIS Partner Agents (NASPA) is currently forming two separate work groups to provide the SIS team with user input and suggestions on on-going product enhancements.

Each of the two groups will focus on one of the following:

  • Enhancements to Partner XE certificates and forms
  • Future enhancements to the Partner XE product

We value the input provided by NASPA and appreciate their role as a clearinghouse of ideas. If you are interested in participating in and contributing to either of the two work groups, please e-mail NASPA Board President John Heinsz at john@hsgr.com.

Product Enhancements

As we continue to work in conjunction with NASPA to enhance our agency management system, our immediate focus is to improve the overall function of Partner XE’s forms and certificates.

We have received reports from some Partner XE users of slower than expected response times. Our investigations have found, thus far, that the response issues stem from a combination of local network, internet, and product interaction.

We understand the importance of product performance to your business. We have a team working to improve the efficiency of the system, looking at all aspects – from the client application to the networks, servers and databases.

Our next product release, planned for the coming months will target the concerns with forms, certificates, and response times. We also plan to have one to two more releases by the end of this year based on NASPA’s direction and your feedback.

Operations

In order to improve our operations and ensure that we are always up to date with the most recent security releases from Microsoft, we have redefined our maintenance windows to include a Wednesday update in addition to the long standing Sunday update.

Our new schedule is as follows:

  • Operating System Updates: Wednesday 10:00 PM to Midnight Eastern Time
  • Major Product Updates: Sundays 6:00 AM to Noon Eastern Time

The Wednesday night update is intended to keep the system current with Microsoft’s latest operating system patches. Microsoft releases their updates on the second Tuesday of the month which we will then deploy in a managed fashion the following night.

While these updates will typically only take place once a month, we are reserving the slot weekly in order to be able to accommodate any emergency updates that might arise.

Sundays were chosen for the major updates, simply because our records show this to be the least used time on the system. As always, we will still make our best effort to announce well in advance if we plan to use that allotted time.

If you haven’t yet taken a look at our new website, or subscribed to the RSS feed for our new blog, we hope that you will take a minute now and do so. For the month of February, blog topics will focus on getting the most out of Partner XE’s marketing capabilities. March topics will cover Software as a Service.

New Year Greetings from SIS

On behalf of the entire SIS team, I would like to take a moment to thank our valued customers, for their support, feedback, and ongoing commitment to SIS as their agency management system provider.

We realize that it is because of them that 2010 was a year of tremendous growth and change for SIS. The highlights include:

  • The release of Partner XE 1.5,
  • The opening of our western regional office in Oklahoma City, and
  • Earning yet another award from ACORD. In addition, we are happy to report
  • More than double the number of Partner XE agencies who will collectively strengthen the voice of the National Association of SIS Partner Agents, (NASPA).
  • Development of tools and processes to efficiently and easily convert agencies to Partner XE from other systems.
  • Increasing our Partner XE data center capacity, positioning us well for future, scalable growth.

Before the year ends Partner XE users will have received the latest update, which includes the most requested enhancements.

All this translates into better service for our customers and the market in general.

Thank you for a fantastic 2010. I wish you a prosperous New Year.

Sincerely,

Alex

Alex Deak | President + CEO