Applied Systems Announces 2016 Pinnacle Award Winners

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Top customer recognition for technology innovation, business success and partnership with Applied to connect the business of insurance

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Applied Systems today presented its annual Pinnacle Awards at Applied Net 2016, the largest independent insurance agency and brokerage technology conference in the world, at the Walt Disney World Swan & Dolphin Resort. As the company’s highest customer honor, the Pinnacle Award recognizes partnership with Applied Systems and innovative usage of the company’s technology in making significant contributions to the recipient’s business and the insurance industry as a whole.

The 2016 Pinnacle Award winners are Central Mutual Insurance Company, First West Insurance Services, The Horton Group, Insurance Office of America and KFSA Insurance Agency. Award recipients were selected based on their embodiment of the spirit of the Pinnacle Award, including innovation in product deployment, the power of partnership, and the ability to deliver tangible business results to their organizations and the insurance industry.

“Connectivity between agencies, insurers and insureds has become critical to enhancing competitive advantage and driving growth through the independent insurance agency channel, and this year’s Pinnacle Award winners have distinguished themselves among their industry peers,” said Reid French, chief executive officer, Applied Systems. “These winners are outstanding examples of how digital agencies, brokerages and their carrier partners are leveraging innovative software to grow and thrive. We are proud to partner with these exemplary companies who are leading the way in the digital transformation of insurance, and I congratulate them on the example they set for the industry.”

2016 Pinnacle Award Winners
Central Mutual Insurance Company
Central Insurance Companies writes property & casualty business for both personal and commercial lines in 20 states with combined assets that exceed $1 billion. Central relies on IVANS technology to maximize connectivity with its agency partners, automating data exchange for quoting, market appetite, underwriting, billing and customer service via download, real-time and market search tools. For more than 20 years, the company has leveraged IVANS Download to quickly and easily exchange data with more than 400 independent agency partners who download Personal and Commercial Lines, Direct Bill Commission Statements, Claims and ACORD eDocs & ACORD Messages on a daily basis. Central also uses IVANS Real-Time to expand their agency network by directly connecting with agency management systems, comparative raters and other distribution technologies, placing more products with more agents. IVANS Market Appetite furthers their marketing capabilities, allowing them to underwrite more in-appetite submissions to drive growth and profitability across the company. Founded in 1876, Central is celebrating its 140th year in business. Their headquarters are located in Van Wert, Ohio with regional operations in the metro areas of Dallas, Atlanta and Boston.

First West Insurance Services Ltd.
First West Insurance Services Ltd. is a division of First West Credit Union, British Columbia’s third-largest credit union with 54 branches, 38 insurance offices, and more than 1,700 employees. Consolidating from three different systems to standardize on Applied Epic, First West Insurance Services developed an overall change management program, including a robust in-house training program, custom Applied Epic intranet site, and change champion structure led by a senior dedicated change leader. The key element to the program was an employee engagement initiative called ‘The Amazing Epic,’ which was designed to gamify the achievement of awareness and training levels for all insurance staff with a fun team-oriented approach. This unique change management program enabled the brokerage to reach its goal of transforming to a true digital brokerage with Applied Epic, Applied WebRater and Applied CSR24.

The Horton Group
The Horton Group is an independent insurance agency headquartered in Orland Park, Illinois with 11 offices in Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Tennessee and Wisconsin, and more than 350 employees. The Horton Group consolidated four different systems to standardize on Applied Epic, enabling a single view of each customer across all lines of business the agency sells and services. Applied Epic enables staff to better understand clients’ needs and quickly recognize cross-selling opportunities to grow their book of business. The Horton Group seamlessly manages its large-group Benefits book alongside its P&C book of business with pre-built forms and templates in Applied Epic. The agency has also implemented myEpic workflow management, simplifying new user onboarding and easily targeting improvement of workflow processes and staff utilization to support their continued growth.

Insurance Office of America
Insurance Office of America (IOA) is the 13th largest privately-held insurance agency in the nation, with more than 1,100 family members in more than 50 offices across the US and London, delivering superior service to a wide range of clients. IOA has a unique business structure in which agents can become partners with an ownership interest in their own book of business. Because of this structure, they rely on the scalability and open architecture of Applied Epic to manage growth and to quickly integrate newly acquired businesses. IOA is committed to documentation and using Applied Epic to store and access documents, using the motto, ‘If it’s not in Epic, it didn’t happen.’ Integrated directly with Applied Epic, Insurance Office of America leverages Applied CSR24, the leading cloud-based client self-service portal and mobile app, to meet today’s insurance consumer demand for anywhere, anytime access to information.

KFSA Insurance Agency
KFSA Insurance Agency has grown to become one of the largest insurance agencies in the state of Kansas, with four offices and more than 60 employees. KFSA is a connected agency that has grown and restructured its business around its use of Applied Epic. Leveraging Applied IVANS Personal Lines and Commercial Lines download, KFSA is able to drive greater insurer connectivity. The agency also relies on Applied CSR24 and Applied Mobile to provide an exceptional digital customer experience and value-added service for their employees and clients. With a dedication to both acquisitive and organic growth, KFSA fosters a culture based on continued education and a constant commitment to technology innovation to drive their business in the digital future of insurance.

More than 3,000 agents, brokers, carrier executives and other insurance professionals have convened at Applied Net to discuss technology innovations, strategies, and industry best practices. As the flagship conference for users of Applied software, Applied Net 2016 includes more than 200 education sessions and networking events to ensure users gain the greatest value from their Applied Systems investment, making agency and brokerage businesses more valuable and productive.

Visit for conference developments. Join the conversation on Twitter with hashtag #AppliedNet.

About Applied Systems
Applied Systems is the leading global provider of cloud-based software that powers the business of insurance. Recognized as a pioneer in insurance automation and data exchange between brokerages, insurers and their clients, Applied is the world’s largest provider of agency and brokerage management systems, serving customers throughout the United States, Canada, Ireland and the United Kingdom. By automating the insurance lifecycle, Applied enables millions of people around the world to safeguard and protect what matters most.

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Courtney Rains
Applied Systems
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