We hope you had a terrific holiday season and are looking forward to a great new year. To kick off the year, I am eager to provide our customers with an important update on all things Appulate.
First off, I would like to touch on the year that is 2020. Whenever I think about those numbers, I associate it with 20/20 vision. If you have 20/20 vision, you can see clearly at 20 feet what should normally be seen at that distance. Many refer to 20/20 as “perfect vision”. Of course, very few of us reading this letter can attest to having 20/20 vision (including yours truly).
In business, the term “vision” comes up frequently from those that are innovating. Having a vision is really all about seeing the future and developing a path to get there. Our vision at Appulate continues to be focused on bringing automation to the submission and quoting process for all the stakeholders (insured, agent, broker, MGA and carrier). Often thought of as the first true “InsureTech”, when Appulate started in 2005, our vision was all we had. Today, more than 77,000 retail agency locations and nearly 100 carriers, MGAs and wholesale brokers support our vision. We are incredibly grateful to our user community for their continued encouragement.
Our vision for 2020:
One of Appulate’s most exciting endeavors is to “prop up” a growing number of APIs that are being provided to us by carriers. This promotes a real-time Rate / Quote / Bind workflow for our agent and broker customers. To date, we have successfully deployed APIs from many of the leading carriers such as AmTrust, Chubb, Employers and Liberty Mutual. The feedback from agents and brokers that take advantage of these capabilities in Appulate is beyond positive. As such, we are ready to invest more into this initiative, but we need our customers to use their voice and get carriers to engage with Appulate. It is our vision that by the end of 2020, we will have doubled the number of carriers in Appulate that offer real-time R/Q/B.
Appulate’s ProducerConnect™ now has more than 220,000 users – a number we truly never could have envisioned. A subset of these users belong to our “Appulators” user group – led by Appulate’s Sara Johnson. The group comes together frequently to discuss and make recommendations to improve and enhance the technology. Over the last year, Appulators has brought several needs to the attention of Appulate’s engineering team and we are excited to share that many of these will show themselves in upcoming releases. This includes the addition of a portal for the insured as well as major enhancements to the “reverse portal” functionality.
With more than 200,000 users, the Appulate team and Appulators user group felt strongly that it was time to hold an annual user conference. We dipped our toe in this water by inviting members of the Appulators user group to attend Appulate’s annual event “AppulateConnect” back last spring. The positive feedback we received prompted us to establish a new event for our agency users which we are calling, “Appulate Agent Day” and hosting on July 16th at the Hyatt in Scottsdale, AZ. To learn more, visit our event website at www.AppulateAgentDay.com.
Our other annual event, “AppulateConnect” (which is designed for our carrier/MGA and wholesale broker customers) will correspond with Appulate’s 15th birthday and be held in Hollywood, California on March 24th/25th. Appulate plans to share additional best-practices and has a great group of industry thought leaders that will speak. More on this event can be viewed at www.AppulateConnect.com.
Appulate 9.0 will be launched this quarter (mid-Feb). While we are keeping much of this release a secret for the time being, users will see a dramatic improvement to the overall usability of Appulate. Many of our new product enhancements are the result of feedback from our customers and/or will further Appulate’s vision in automating the submission / quoting process. As with all of our releases, you will automatically be upgraded to Appulate 9.0 – there is no action required by you. Additionally, I want to assure you that this upgrade will not impact any of your data in Appulate.
Lastly, I am beyond excited to share the news that we recently added to our executive team. The addition is a familiar face to Appulate customers as it is someone that has been part of Appulate for more than 10 years. Our own Vanessa Camara was promoted to Vice President – Operations in the fall and has taken on the role with real gusto! In her tenure at Appulate, Vanessa has touched every corner of our business positively and demonstrated outstanding leadership skills. In her new role, Vanessa is overseeing our U.S. operations to include our marketing, sales and support teams. It is Appulate’s vision that we will continue to offer our talented team opportunities for career growth and “promote from within” whenever possible.
We hope that you continue to be excited by our vision and the growing value we provide. On behalf of the entire Appulate team, let me wish you a peaceful and prosperous 2020.
Jeffrey M. Harris