SMART Blog

Smart Services has been providing independent agents with proactive, fast, and expert technology services since 1991.

Windows is Feeling Blue about the Start Button

b2ap3_thumbnail_W8Blue400.jpgIt takes a big person to admit when they're wrong, and there's nothing bigger than Microsoft. Windows 8 hasn't sold like Microsoft anticipated, and users pin the blame solely on one little button, the Start button, or the lack thereof. With Windows Blue (officially previewing June 26), it's rumored that Microsoft is remorsefully bringing back the button.

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Michigan Agents Gather for the Nation’s Longest Running State Technology Conference



The longest running state agent technology conference in the nation, Great Lakes Automation Day (GLAD) was presented by the Michigan Association of Insurance Agents on November 11, 2010.

The event drew over 150 agents to hear presentations from agents on the leading edge of technology, carrier technology representatives, agency IT leaders, and more. GLAD’s day-long format was topped-off with numerous vendor booths and wonderful networking opportunities.

Steve Brooks of B & B Premier Insurance Solutions kicked off the day with his keynote presentation regarding the latest tools and opportunities for agents to grow their personal lines business, despite intense competition from captive and direct agents.

Mike Steger, Communications Manager at Michigan State University, followed with a fast-paced session that highlighted 45 technology tips in a mere 45 minutes. His presentation included a slew of websites and resources, most of which are free to agents, which can be used for improving online presence, productivity, and more.

After two additional sessions and a delicious lunch, Jerry Fetty took the Kellogg Center stage to present Mobile Computing Today. Jerry discussed the latest developments and reviewed a variety of devices, emphasizing the need to understand how agents plan to work remotely in order for them to select the mobile platform and device that will allow them to be the most productive.

A concurrent Michigan NetVU user group meeting rounded out the information-packed day.

Thank you to everyone who stopped by the SMART I.T. Services and MySalesResults booths and congratulations to Ashley Whitney of Harbor Brenn Insurance Agency, winner of our raffle for an Archos 2.8 internet tablet device. We hope to see you all again at the MAIA’s Annual Convention on February 22-24, 2011 in Mt. Pleasant, Michigan!

 
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MySalesResults Joins SMART I.T. Services, Inc.'s Suite of Insurance Agency Technology Tools

STERLING HEIGHTS, MI (February 1, 2010) – SMART I.T. Services, Inc., an information technology services provider focused on serving independent insurance agencies, recently acquired MySalesResults, a web-based sales management tool designed specifically for independent insurance agencies.

MySalesResults will join SMART I.T Services’ set of IT services and solutions for insurance agencies, including proactive network monitoring and management, data backup and standby server, electronic document management, communications solutions, and more.

MySalesResults is designed to be a simple, effective, producer prospecting and results tracking tool. It allows producers to track and manage their prospect pipeline throughout the sales process and it allows managers to review producer sales results compared to their sales goals, by individual producer, department and agency.

Jessica Stevenson, Account Executive for MySalesResults, will continue with MySalesResults providing sales and customer support to agency customers throughout the United States and Canada.

“MySalesResults is a well proven and respected tool for agencies to manage their sales team. It is a welcome compliment to the technology services we currently offer to independent insurance agencies.” stated Jerry Fetty, Founder and CEO of SMART I.T. Services, Inc.

Hetrick & Associates Insurance Agency from Marquette, Michigan, along with Jessica Stevenson and a program developer, created MySalesResults in 2006 as a solution to streamline their sales management and tracking abilities.

“We are confident that Jerry and the SMART I.T. Services team will bring MySalesResults to the next level of success in the industry. We have brought MySalesResults from an idea, to an actual service that independent insurance agencies utilize throughout the United States and Canada. Agencies find success in MySalesResults assisting them in organizing and managing their producers, sales processes, and goals. We are also looking forward to working with Jessica and continuing as a customer of MySalesResults,” said Scott White, VP & Sales Manager of Hetrick & Associates Insurance Agency.


About SMART I.T. Services, Inc.
SMART I.T. Services, Inc. is an information technology (IT) services provider that has been serving insurance agencies since 1991. Agencies have turned to SMART I.T. Services, Inc. to reduce their IT costs, increase productivity, and gain peace of mind. Additionally, SMART I.T. Services is a Microsoft Gold Certified partner and is certified under the Managed Service Providers Accreditation Program (MSAP) by the MSP Alliance. SMART I.T. Services is also the only endorsed and recommended technology services provider of the Michigan Association of Insurance Agents (MAIA). For more information, visit SMARTservices.com.

 
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Gearing Up for the MAIA's 19th Annual Convention


The Michigan Association of Insurance Agents' 19th Annual Convention is right around the corner and will take place February 23-25, 2010 at the Amway Grand Plaza in Grand Rapids. This conference is the largest annual gathering of insurance professionals in Michigan.

Jerry Fetty (SMART I.T. Services) and Wayne Joubert (MAIA) will be presenting The Benefits and Pitfalls of Using Social Media at Your Agency on Tuesday, February 23rd at 1:30 pm. You will see examples of how some agencies are using social media to extend customer service and build relationships. The session will also explore some of the pitfalls and how to make sure social media tools are used appropriately.

You can view all of the other great convention topics and get more information here.

Be sure to drop by our booth #41 and find out about our technology services and solutions that can save your agency money, increase employee productivity, and reduce risk.
 
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Another Successful Lunch & Learn


SMART I.T. Services would like to thank everyone who attended our Lunch & Learn on the topic of electronic document management. Turnout was excellent and feedback we received was very positive.

 
Jerry Fetty of SMART I.T. Services presented the many benefits of electronic document management and Rusty Keighron of DocStar demonstrated the latest and greatest features of DocStar 3ten.

Information about our next Lunch & Learn being held in Grand Rapids will be available in the coming weeks.
 
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SMART I.T. Services Hires Vanni as Account Manager

STERLING HEIGHTS, MI (July 16, 2009) – SMART I.T. Services, Inc., information technology services provider, recently announced that Doug Vanni has been appointed Account Manager for the company.

Vanni’s responsibilities will include marketing SMART I.T. Services’ automation and technology services, including S.M.A.R.T. Services®, electronic content management, intelligent telephony, and other solutions, as well as managing existing accounts.

Vanni brings with him 10 years of sales and marketing experience with extensive knowledge of the insurance industry, most recently working for a leading comparative rating software provider. Vanni has a background in Marketing, Sales, and Customer Service and earned an M.B.A in Marketing from St. John Fisher College of Rochester, NY.

“I have known Doug for years and he is highly regarded in the insurance industry for his relationships and professionalism. He will be a great asset at our company and we are please to have him on our team,” stated Jerry Fetty, CEO.

About SMART I.T. Services, Inc.
SMART I.T. Services, Inc. is an information technology (IT) services provider that has been serving insurance agencies since 1991. Businesses have turned to SMART I.T. Services, Inc. to reduce their IT costs, increase productivity, and gain peace of mind. Additionally, SMART I.T. Services is a Microsoft Gold Certified partner and is certified under the Managed Service Providers Accreditation Program (MSAP) by the MSP Alliance. For more information, visit SMARTservices.com.

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Kleinschmidt Insurance Partners with SMART I.T. Services to Reduce IT Costs and Increase Efficiency

ANN ARBOR, MI (July 14, 2009) – Kleinschmidt Insurance of Ann Arbor, Michigan, an independent insurance agency, partnered with SMART I.T. Services, Inc. of Sterling Heights, Michigan to help improve their productivity and profitability by moving their agency management system in-house. Kleinschmidt’s agency management system, Applied’s The Agency Manager (TAM), was previously hosted off-site by a third-party.

Kleinschmidt made the decision to bring their agency management system and related infrastructure back in-house to help increase speed and operability of the system, which will lead to increased employee productivity and reduced downtime.

New infrastructure for the agency includes technology such as Microsoft Small Business Server 2008 with Microsoft Exchange, SMART BDR Backup and Disaster Recovery services, and more. In addition, they opted for a proactive approach to managing their network by selecting the S.M.A.R.T. Services® Platinum program offered by SMART I.T. Services.

Since moving their agency management system back in-house, Kleinschmidt reports that their network is running faster, allowing employees to be more productive.

“Moving Kleinschmidt Insurance’s agency management system in house will provide them with a much more stable, reliable, and robust system. This will result in increased productivity and reduced costs associated with productivity loss and downtime,” commented Jerry Fetty, CEO of SMART I.T. Services. “Overall, they are investing in the future of their insurance agency by making these strategic decisions.”

About Kleinschmidt Insurance
Kleinschmidt Insurance is an independent insurance agency that has been insuring businesses and families since 1926. The agency represents more than 25 insurance companies to provide business, home, auto, life, health, and other insurance solutions. For more information, visit kleinschmidtinsurance.com.

About SMART I.T. Services, Inc.
SMART I.T. Services, Inc. is an information technology services provider that has been helping insurance agencies increase their productivity and profitability since 1991. SMART I.T. Services is the only managed services provider in Michigan certified under the Managed Service Providers Accreditation Program (MSAP) by the MSP Alliance. For more information, visit SMARTservices.com.

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Take Your Agency to the Next Level 2009 Opening Video


By popular demand, the grand opening from Take Your Agency to the Next Level 2009 is available for viewing, featuring Jerry Fetty as Super Smart IT Guy.

 
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