NetVU Knowledge

July 21, 2017

Vertafore System Improvement Ideas? You Have the Power

Speak up! Vertafore is listening. And you now have a faster, easier way to suggest improvements to Vertafore products — through Ideas. Introduced at NetVU 2017, Ideas replaces the Product Enhancement Request System (PERS) with updated technology and a streamlined process.

“We need to pay attention to and interact with Ideas,” urges NetVU member Kendra Buss of Agri-City Insurance Agency, Norfolk, Nebraska. In her NCOM post, Buss observed that 1,805 suggestions were in the system that day, and many of them were awaiting your comments, collaboration and vote.

“We really care about providing the best tools and processes for your investment,” says Kevin Pham, the Vertafore product manager who oversees the new Ideas platform. It’s your feedback that will help Vertafore focus on solving the right problems.

Here’s the process: Ideas lets you share your suggestions for product enhancements with the entire NetVU community. Vertafore urges you to be specific. All users then review and comment, collaborating to refine ideas — helping to make good suggestions even better. Next, the community votes to prioritize the proposed enhancements. NetVU’s volunteer Product Maintenance & Enhancement work groups then discuss and prioritize the suggestions with Vertafore product managers.

It all starts with you. Pham says, “We believe it’s the responsibility of everyone, especially our users, to help Vertafore understand your business needs for your technology products. You’ll be able to see how your suggestions are improving your life and the lives of other Vertafore users.”

 Cathy Hall, vice president, Forest Agency Insurance, Forest Park, Illinois, agrees. She posted in NCOM: “I have now created a task for myself to check Vertafore Ideas on a weekly basis.”

To access Ideas, visit You can find tools and resources here.

NetVU Chairman-Elect, Mike Foy hopes Ideas will help members tackle small and large issues — including integration, accounting, activities and even blue-sky ideas — across all Vertafore products. Foy is president of Foy Insurance in Exeter, New Hampshire.

He says Ideas is a work in progress that will become an even better tool with user feedback. “For even greater impact, we ask you to volunteer on NetVU’s Product Maintenance & Enhancement groups,” Foy urges.
To volunteer for these and other NetVU committees, please complete our online volunteer form. Hear more about Ideas from Pham and Foy on the NetVU channel.

Nashville NetVU Chapter Gives Back

What do you get when you combine over 100 enthusiastic insurance professionals, 2,000 sticks of beef jerky, 22 pairs of cowboy boots, and some good old fashioned southern hospitality in the heart of Music City? Why, you get Day of Caring at the 2017 NetVU Conference of course!
Left to Right: Dana Kennedy, CPIA, Kathy Henderson,
Melissa O’Brien, CISR, CIC, and Cameron Winterburn

This past March, the Nashville NetVU Chapter worked with the Second Harvest Food Bank of Middle Tennessee to arrange a volunteer activity to give back to the local Nashville community where the NetVU Conference was being held. Participants put together food packets and messages of hope and encouragement to help the Food Bank achieve their mission of “feeding hungry people and working to solve hunger issues in the community.” The Cincinnati Insurance Company sponsored snacks and beverages to keep our volunteers energized as well as T-shirts for the group.

"It was powerful to see our NetVU members and Nashville Chapter come together," said Brittany Brockman, NetVU Education Coordinator. Brockman shared, "Our NetVU community is extremely service oriented, and it was touching to see each person eagerly pitch in to help. We put together close to 2,000 packages for those in need to be distributed within the week."

Those in attendance included Nashville NetVU Chapter President, Cameron Winterburn of Winterburn & Associates Insurance, LLC, and fellow Chapter Leaders Dana Kennedy, CPIA and Rebecca Amaya, CISR of Miller Loughry Beach Insurance.

The Nashville NetVU Chapter meets primarily in the Nashville, TN area and serves the needs of AMS360 and Vertafore Agency Platform users in Tennessee and Kentucky. 

NetVU Chapters create an opportunity to connect with fellow Vertafore users on a more personal and local level. Each group is organized and run by volunteer users. Contact if you have questions or want to join a Chapter. You can also connect with Chapter members on NCOM, The NetVU Community.

If you’d like to donate to towards the Day of Caring service project, contact NetVU at (800) 456-7799, or you can donate directly to the Food Bank through their website.

Attention AMS360 Users in NC, SC and VA - Volunteers Needed

Volunteers needed to join other AMS360 Chapter leaders in or around North Carolina, South Carolina, and Virginia.  The goal is to help move these groups forward and provide resources for NetVU members to connect with each other.

Opportunities for Chapter Leadership range from running the Chapter as its chairperson to helping post on NCOM to share about meetings. You can contribute in your area of expertise! Big or small, each person's contribution is necessary and valuable.  

As a Chapter Leader we are hoping for an annual commitment to serve as one of a few leaders to help organize quarterly meetings, join planning calls with your fellow Chapter Leaders and attend NetVU's quarterly Chapter Leader One Voice Call, designed to connect you to other Chapter Leaders and resources

For more details and to get involved with either of these GREAT groups contact Melissa Bond.


Chinese Spy Hunt & the Cryptographic Cliff

The recently publicized Chinese spy hunt success in netting or killing at least 12 CIA spies may have been the result of the Chinese cracking the CIA’s secure communications methods (source). The insights the Chinese gained from eavesdropping on CIA electronic (secure) communications in China may have provided the roadmap to eliminate these CIA spies.

One would assume that the CIA’s secure communications use the highest levels of encryption, far more complex than commercial communications products. (Read our earlier blog, Russian Hackers and Pig Latin, for a primer on the basics of encryption). But those with enough financial resources and strategic incentive may be able to harvest enough computing power to crack even the CIA’s toughest encryption algorithms.

Encryption is the core of secure communication but the cryptographic techniques most widely relied upon today may soon be, or in the case of China, may already have been rendered obsolete by technological advances. With the advent of quantum computing, it will be possible to execute many cryptological calculations in much shorter time periods, rendering existing ciphers breakable in practice — even the CIA’s ciphers. When the practical applications of quantum computers are discussed, code breaking is typically among the first mentioned.   

We are fast approaching what might be called a “cryptographic cliff,” which means no existing cipher method is reliably secure and all the cryptographic walls we count on to protect us, come tumbling down. Government espionage will be the first focus.

Some are confident that quantum computing is or will soon become a reality. Quantum computing will make extra-ordinary computing power available to the mass market. This will trigger the collapse of the cryptographic infrastructure underlying the internet once encryption based on patterns or mathematical algorithms can be easily deciphered.
We believe that in the near future all genuinely secret communications will incorporate some form of One Time Pad (OTP) method of cryptography — encrypting messages using unique sets of random data, each set only used once. In one sense OTP is an old-fashioned solution to a new problem.  

This article was originally published in RPost’s Tech Essentials for Insurance Professionals, a weekly e-brief series that covers insurance-related tech news and trends around cybersecurity, workplace productivity and legal compliance. Subscribe for your free subscription of Tech Essentials for Insurance Professionals.

Connectivity Corner – Nellie Massoni – Responding in Times of Trouble

In this video, Nellie Massoni, director, connectivity, talks about how her team addresses hiccups to those in the connectivity world. Tune in as she explains how her team responds when you reach out to them for help.

Click here for the video!

ACT Invites NetVU Members to Important Industry Meeting

Join ACT, the Agents Council for Technology, on the waterfront in Chicago all day Sep 7 and the morning of Sep 8 for a special meeting!  ACT will be co-locating with the Big ‘I’ Fall Leadership conference at the Grand Hyatt Chicago, with a wide variety of agenda topics providing value and takeaways for all:
  • A special carrier presentation on Smart Homes, and how IoT (“Internet of Things”) advances are impacting agents
  • A panel discussing emerging tech trends; the E&O concerns, and agency resources
  • Updates from ACT Work Groups
  • Network with NetVU leadership, including Kitty Ambers, CEO, Brent Rineck, Chairman, Melissa Bond, Member Relations Manager, and Todd McCredie, Board Member 
  • A special forum giving agent’s voice on their priorities to carriers and the industry
  • Updates on eDocs & Messages
  • And a special Friday morning session with interactive demos on Voice Computing, Machine Learning/Chatbots, and Smart Homes!
Attendance is free for Big ‘I’ agents and brokers, and ACT Member carriers and vendors.  CLICK HERE for registration, agenda, and lodging.

We hope to see you there!

WebCE Courses 

NetVU has teamed up with WebCE©, the leading provider of online education and training, to provide you with fast and convenient online CE courses to help you meet your license renewal requirements. WebCE’s comprehensive suite of continuing education courses is available online or in paper-based format. And WebCE’s expedited reporting service will have your courses reported faster than any other provider. 
Features and Benefits: 
  • 24x7 mobile-ready access 
  • Highest quality content 
  • Unlimited, free exam retakes 
  • Instant results and fast reporting 
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 Get started now!  
Order online and select courses. 

Order by phone: Call WebCE’s toll-free customer support at 877-488-9308.
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