If you’re considering a change in Agency Management Systems, it’s probably for one of the following reasons:
- Lack of capabilities
- Too complex
- Poor service
This guide is designed to answer questions around the major issues involved in making an agency management system change and to provide a framework that will set your agency up for a successful transition
When forming a transition plan, focus on these key area
- Team – Make sure to know the people you’ll be working with and that you are comfortable with the support you’ll receive and are clear on the details of what is expected from the provider and from the agency.
- Data Conversion – Ask about whether your new partner has experience converting data from your current system. If so, get names of agencies and call them to learn from their experience. Make sure you know what will come over and what won’t. Get it in writing.
- Training – To prepare your agency for the learning curve ahead, it is important to determine where training will be offered. Will it be held on-site, via phone, or self-service.
- Timing – Understand the key milestones, associated timeline, and the effort required from your agency.
Having reviewed the Team, Conversion, Training, and Timing are you confident of your success? How well do you understand the obstacles and what your provider will do to address them?
Do you have a dedicated team that will manage your transition? You should know your point people on a first name basis. Make sure that you are clear on the details of the process and are comfortable with the support you’ll receive.
Preserving the integrity of your agency management system’s data is critical in the conversion process.
Ask your potential provider how they plan to deal with data transfer and processing. Make sure you know what will come over and what won’t. Get the details and get them in writing. For items that don’t convert, where in the new system are they stored? Confirm there is a place or you may be wondering what happened to that information.
You current AMS vendor will provide a data backup. Some vendors offer different “versions” some of which can cost several thousand dollars. Understand what back-up your new provider will require and don’t overspend.
In addition to the type of back up, ask how many back ups you’ll need. This will also influence the cost of the transition.
Getting the data converted is only one piece of a successful transition—learning to effectively and efficiently use your new system is just as important.
Make sure you understand the learning resources available to you and the expected learning curve of the new system. A quality provider will not only offer an intuitive and easy to learn product, but will also supply multiple formats for learning, including:
- On-demand videos, webinars, and training content with
- Guided curriculum by role
- Self-directed topics
- Live onsite training with professionals
How does my agency get additional training and what is the estimated cost? What type of training is included as part of the monthly fee?
Understand the key milestones, associated timeline, and the effort required from your agency to complete the transition.
Look to the provider for the proper steps and timeframes—they should be the experts here. A good provider will have managed many conversions and have a clear outline of the milestones and timelines involved. Work with them to select a start-date that works well for your agency.
Your agency will also have work to complete to make the transition smooth. Make sure you understand what steps and effort will be required of you and your staff. This may include:
- educating your staff on why you are making a change
- ensuring they are equally committed to a successful transition
- cleaning up data in the prior system before the backup
- watching initial training videos
The new provider should also outline expected challenges and ideas for how other agencies have addressed challenges.
About the Partner Transition Experience
Not all conversions are equal.
Partner Platform has successfully managed over 800 conversions from every major system. Detailed planning and execution reduce the stress on your agency and help you enter the process confident in a successful outcome.
Partner StartRight process
- a dedicated team with a proven track record
- ability to convert data from every major system
- accounting set-up by a CPA-accredited third-party firm
- from Initial preparation to your StartDate, your dedicated team will be side by side with you
We’d love to talk with you about how Partner Platform can meet your agency’s needs, and how our dedicated transition team can ensure your data and your staff make the switch with ease.
Questions to Consider
- Who will guide your agency through the conversion?
- Will they remain with your agency afterwards?
- How have other agencies prepared?
- What issues can happen during conversion?
- What guarantees are offered for data integrity in the conversion?
- Is the conversion done by the provider or outsourced to a third party?
- How is communication managed if outsourced?
- Where is the outsourced resource located?
- How long will the conversion be once the new provider receives the data back-up?
- When will the conversion take place?
- Does your agency have input in timeline?
- What is the transition timeline?
- How will you ensure we stick to this timeline?
- How much data is actually converted?
- What type of documentation is provided as to what will convert and what won’t convert?
- Will you work directly with my data or do I have to provide csv. files and spreadsheets?
- Will you run a test conversion?
- What back up do I need to order?
- How many back ups will be required?
- Will my agency be directly involved in data processing? To what degree?
- What are the most effective ways to help my agency learn?
- What type of training will be provided for the transition? Online? Onsite? Blend of both
- How many trainers will be onsite? For how long
- If additional training is needed what are the costs
- How will you tailor training to my agency’s specific needs?
- Will you work with me after the conversion if I want to make any adjustments post-initial conversion?
- Will additional training be offered as updates are made? At what cost?
- What additional transition supports can you provide? User groups? Personalized troubleshooting?
Headquartered in Columbus, Ohio, Strategic Insurance Software (SIS) is the team behind Partner Platform—an innovative web-based insurance agency management system that helps independent agencies streamline workflow and grow their business. Built on a foundation of strong technology and exceptional service, we’re moving forward with a constant eye on innovation that will make independent agents’ lives easier
Easily manage the entire life-cycle of your agency’s client relationship from presales to servicing to renewal in a unified system that has sales and marketing, client, policy, and financial management, agency-branded mobile app, integrated text messaging, data analytics, web solutions, and integrations with third-party tools and industry partners.