Update News for February 2008
Here is a quick run-down on what you will find in this bulletin:
These topics will be dealt with in more detail throughout this bulletin.
Did anyone notice that the program got a minor face-lift in January?
While doing work on our new stand-alone forms program (freeware for life insurance companies - keep reading), we discovered that our language supplier had provided us with a new set of display options that permitted us to give the software a much more current look.
We introduced this change in a late midmonth update, without comment, to see if anyone would notice. With the exception of one young lady who was very pleased with the change, and one very happy subscriber who had been lobbying for a larger "Compare Now" button on the Enter Client window, there wasn't much said.
It should be noted that the "Compare Now" button is tied to the bottom right corner of the client window, and it grows or shrinks with the size that you make the window. The bigger you make the client window, the bigger the button is. I personally make the size of my client window equal to the length of the Red Menu, and just a little wider than the client record/card. If you make it bigger than that, then the button does become quite large.
To change the size of a window go to the bottom right corner of the window with your mouse. The mouse cursor will change into a double arrow that is on a 45 degree angle. If you then click and hold the left mouse button, you can drag the corner of the window to make the window taller or shorter, wider or more narrow.
Apart from the comments mentioned above, no one had much to say. Generally if no one complains then that is a pretty good indication that subscribers are happy. At least we hope you are happy because we think the new look is a nice improvement. Make sure you let us know if you think something could be better.
During January we were able to wrap up work on our new stand-alone forms retrieval software which is called go4forms.exe. The icon for GoForForms is a gopher with a distinctive librarian look.
The work took longer than we thought due to further improvements to the forms retrieval system. The changes that we made were the result of some input from one of the largest insurance retailers in the U.S., who also happens to be a longtime subscriber to Compulife. They are planning to begin using our forms retrieval system in their operation. They told us what they thought we needed by way of further improvements to the forms retrieval software and all those changes have now been made.
The changes are most obvious on the Transamerica Occidental forms listings - so we would appreciate you taking a look and letting us know what you think. We are now working through the other companies to adapt their lists of forms to the same new classes. That work should be completed in February.
As mentioned, one of the changes suggested was some changes to the class descriptions. Some classes have been expanded based upon the suggestions. As we advised last month, classes are a universal system of identifying types of forms. Because classes are universal they apply to all companies equally.
Classes are distinguished by color coding. That was another change that was requested. We were advised to NOT use colored text because it was harder to read, and to stay away from pink and red background colors because they are too hard on the eyes. You will see that the new color scheme is much more pastel and subtle, and as a result we agree that the lists of forms are easier on the eyes.
We were also told by our subscriber that they needed multiple email templates. The idea is that there would be different things to say about different types of forms, and so the user wanted the ability to select the appropriate email from a list of email possibilities. That option is now completed and you can now construct a number of different email templates that can be selected, on the fly, when emailing forms.
For those who wish to see what we are talking about, you can check out the improvements by going to the Forms Library, and selecting Transamerica Occidental Life (the second Transamerica on the list).
As noted, during February, we will be working to change the rest of the companies over to the amended classes.
All the above changes and improvements have now been made to the forms retrieval system within Compulife, and they are also now contained in our new stand-alone forms library software. That software is available for FREE to any life insurance company who wants it, providing that the company has been kind enough to provide us with their forms for our library. We will also provide companies with the forms entry/maintenance technology, which is also FREE for life companies.
Our attention is now turning to develop our web based version of go4forms.exe. The web version of "Go For Forms" will allow an agent to obtain forms from a web site. While many companies already have that ability, the big advantage to the Compulife variation is that the web version can display lists of forms, and retrieve forms, from the very same location that the PC based forms software obtains its forms and updates.
Compulife's forms technology also permits the life insurance company to establish its own web sites (servers) and does not require the storage of forms, or the retrieval software itself, on any particular web server. This means that life companies will have complete autonomy and independent control over which servers they use or how many they use.
Today, renting space on servers has gotten dirt cheap and Compulife has built redundancy into all our own services by having multiple servers, provided by multiple internet providers. If there is a failure it does not affect our subscribers because our software can go to alternate servers to get the same information. We think that life insurance companies should be thinking the same way and our forms software gives them the ability to easily do that.
And to reiterate, apart from multiple server redundancy, Compulife's forms retrieval software gives a life company TWO different methods of providing forms to their agents. And even though there are TWO ways to get forms, there is only one system of maintenance required for both.
To learn more, you can speak to Bob Barney by calling (888) 798-3488.
Once work on the on-line retrieval software is completed, Compulife will be allowing our authorized web providers to have copies of the on-line forms retrieval software for their web sites. This will also include those subscribers who purchase and use the Compulife Internet engine on their own sites. As an Agency this is useful because your agents will be able to have forms available from any computer that has Internet access.
Agencies who purchase the Compulife Internet Engine will also be able to obtain the Forms Management Software. This will allow Agencies to add additional forms to the forms management system, that Compulife doesn't provide.
For example, a lot of agencies sell mutual funds. Compulife will NOT have mutual funds forms in our software. But if you have the Compulife Forms Management Software you will be able to add the company to the list and create an inventory of that company's forms using our Forms Management Software. You may have your own agent contracts, instructions, etc.; they can all be added to your forms library. When you are done the Forms Management Software will create your own customized version of the forms library, including those companies you select from the Compulife forms library, and the combined forms library can be transferred to your web site.
To complete the deal, you will be given copies of Compulife's "Go For Forms" programs, both the PC and online version.
All of this will be free to any agency which buys our Internet engine. The Internet engine is sold for $995 per year and comes for use on either Linux or Windows NT servers.
But if all you need are the forms that Compulife provides, then your least expensive way to add forms and quotes to your web site is to sign up with one of our authorized web providers.
The first thing you can do is to help us add more companies. Currently the following are the companies whose forms are available in our forms library:
American General Life Insurance
Banner Life Insurance
Centrian Life Insurance
North American Company for L & H
Pruco Life Insurance
Pruco Life Insurance of New Jersey
Reliastar Life Insurance Company
Reliastar Life Insurance Company of NY
Savings Bank Life Insurance
Transamerica Financial Life Insurance
Transamerica Occidental Life Insurance
United States Life Insurance in New York
West Coast Life Insurance
Western Reserve Life Insurance
William Penn Life Insurance
If you have a company which you do business with, and their forms are not in our system, WHY? Remember, this is FREE to the life company. It costs them NOTHING to have their forms available through Compulife.
All we ask from the company are two things. First, we need the current forms and a list of forms indicating the states that they are used in and how they are used (most companies have all this already). Second, we ask that the company notify us by email whenever they add or make changes to their forms. Once again, most companies are already doing that with their agencies, all they need to do is put us in the information loop.
Life companies do not have to use our retrieval software to participate. It is available to them if they want it, or if they want to have an alternate (backup) method for their agents to get forms. The important thing is that the company does not have to use our technology.
Many life companies don't realize this opportunity exists. You can do those companies a favor by calling that company and asking why their forms are not in Compulife. Give them Bob Barney's phone number: (888) 798-3488. Alternately you can call Bob with the contact person. Either way, YOU need to let the company know how helpful it would be if you could get their forms through your Compulife program.