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API Work Group Builds Momentum

Author: Steve Anderson

 

The ACT API Work Group, which deals with application programming interface, has garnered high interest from ACT members and has participation from agents, carriers, associations and vendors. We segregated those participants by industry category to get their initial questions, thoughts, needs and vision via phone. We then gathered in person at the ACT Meeting in May in Cincinnati, which allowed us to build on conversations and presentations from the meeting.

 

The conversation was enlightening, especially regarding the prominence of concerns over data security. Every entity is aware of the crucial need for cyber security. I was also impressed by our carrier panel at the same meeting, and how far down the road carriers are when it comes to thinking about how they can open their systems appropriately to their agent force.

 

Coming out of that meeting, I would say there were a few things that stood out:

  • Security of data and information when transferred via API

  • Real education on APIs and why agencies should care

  • How carriers and vendors are already using APIs

  • Carrier concern over what data is accessed and by whom

  • Similar vendor concerns, especially when allowing third-party access

 

The API Work Group may be able to provide information on all of these topics. On our next monthly call, we will focus on more definite direction on the specifics work products we should produce. These will possibly include a document providing information on the primary concerns. We also may address which aspects agencies should inquire on with prospective API vendors. I would also think we will consider some other education piece on the benefits to agents and customers of access to data. But internal workflows and interaction with clients and prospects seem to be the two dominant focal points initially.

 

Our purpose is to get the conversation going, and get issues on the table. We heard from some agents at the ACT Meeting discussion that there is some apprehension about sharing data - Weve heard the same from vendors and carriers too, so that is something we will need to talk about in terms of the value of a data partnership. There may be growth in comfort with data access as participants become more familiar with the process. Thats where education is going to be important.

 

I am excited about where we are going to go with this. We have 52 people in the API Work Group; 11 agents and association reps, 18 vendors, 2 consultants, 21 carriersour largest work group ever at formation, and the group has had a ton of interest from people wanting to sign up. This is a really good sign!  


From the Editor: Learn more about the ACT API Work Group here. Let us know if youre interested in joining the conversation!

Steve Anderson is the President of SteveAnderson.com, providing a wide array of technology education. Steve also Co-Chairs the ACT API Work Group with Duke Williams, the founder of Simply Easier Payment, EchoSage, SehHey, and other companies. 

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