What if you require new software that must integrate with your existing environment? What if you are looking for a new policy administration system, but you don’t want to change rating vendors? Or you want a portal for your distribution force to access your systems? Or what about accepting payments online that update to your policy administration system?
It is impossible to find a one-stop-shop for MGAs that supports all your automation needs for marketing your programs, quoting your business, handling accounting, generating invoices and commissions, monitoring claims and managing your vital documents. This means you are often required to have unrelated software applications work together seamlessly.
Integration of software products continues to be one of the industry’s biggest obstacles to a smooth workflow for MGAs, program administrators and carriers. Well-crafted systems integration connects various components (often from different vendors or data providers) to work effortlessly as one. That’s where Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) come in. APIs define the interactions between multiple software applications with specific rules as to how they work together and share data.
At MGA Systems, we have an open integration policy with vendors. We believe it’s important to be responsive to our customers’ requests, so we integrate with any products that are necessary to their success. For example, we have a client with international offices who has an API that connects to our policy administration system – Insurance Management System (IMS) – to access an exchange rate service for paying claims in different currencies. Other IMS clients use the ePayPolicy integration for electronic payments to improve accuracy, security and save time for the MGA and its distribution force. The Agent Portal is another integration that provides 24 x 7 access to real time data and powerful self-service capabilities. Price Digests integrates with NetRate, our commercial lines rater, for VIN-driven data to enhance data accuracy and quality. All of these are examples of integration projects that support our clients’ needs.
How can you ensure a successful software integration project?
- Start a conversation: Determine the applications you need to integrate and get all service providers talking with one another.
- Work together: Share the APIs between the development teams. Include any API documentation. For example, a data dictionary defines the fields being called by the API. Better yet, provide a developer API toolkit, with the API, sample code and documentation. Some vendors even post the toolkit on their website.
- Start coding: Allow the development teams to do their work to call the APIs and verify a successful data exchange.
- Test the integration: Be sure the end users put the integration through its paces, so you are sure the process is working end-to-end as expected.
- Modify the integration as needed and retest: Keep refining the integration until it is accurate.
With today’s integration tools, you have the power to select the applications that make sense for your organization without compromising functionality. You should not have to settle for reduced functionality or clunky integrations. Learn about some of the successful integration projects that MGA Systems has participated in to improve the productivity, efficiency and bottom line of MGAs, program administrators and carriers. Contact us if we can help you with any of your automation needs.