To the Editor:
I read the cover story of the September/October issue, “Tradition Meets Technology,” with interest and pride. But if the article was written with the intent of helping others get a sense of how to move “old school processes” into the modern age of advanced technology, there are a few more critical issues that should be shared:
Be ready for the “naysayers” and those with the attitude of “this is the way that it's always been done, so why change it?”
Make sure you not only have buy-in from your IT/Systems division — and early in the process — but that you have secured their guidance and assistance in selecting the right software for the long haul. Your IT/Systems reps will help make sure you are purchasing a program that … is not incompatible with the technology that your company uses or will use in the future. My thanks to Linda Devoe, Joe Patoyian and Mike Monahan, the best IT/Systems people you could ask for!
Make sure you receive “early” buy-in and support from other key departments of the company. A prime example is the buy-in we secured from the Vice President of Individual Policy Services, who is over our administrative managers at our 130-plus general offices. If he had not agreed to have the administrative managers be responsible for the online registration of the managers and agents in their offices, it would have been all over for our online registration technology. A big thanks to VP Howard Anderson and his right hand, AVP Donal Fitzpatrick.
Be sure you hire a database manager first, a meeting planner second, when you fill your next vacancy. Fortunately for us, we found Kim Quimby, who is both an outstanding database manager and an excellent meeting planner.
How do I know that these critical steps were too important to allow them to go without being mentioned? As the former second person-in-charge of New York Life Insurance Company's Agency Department's Meeting Planning Division during the timeframe referred to in the article, it was my project. If I hadn't made these calls and decisions, this would not have been the “technology story with a happy ending” as John Maddox was quoted as saying.
Max C. Muñiz, CLU, ChFC
New York Life Insurance Company
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