Employee Navigator Updates with Kyle Reese! – S1 E8

Kyle Reese, VP of Sales and Partnerships at Employee Navigator, joins Dominic to discuss the great migration! Kyle discusses the key components Navigator is working to transition from EASE to Navigator, where Navigator is right now in the process with the migration and what EASE agents should be considering over the course of the next year with their cases. As always if you have questions about how this affects your current groups with BPI or with EASE in general, you can contact Dominic@benefitprofilesinc.com or tammy@benefitprofilesinc.com.

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This transcript has been auto-generated and has not been checked, proofread, or corrected.

Hello, everybody. This is Dominic Siciliano with Season 1, Episode 8 of the What’s the Benefit podcast. Today, I’m super excited because we are joined by Kyle Reese. He is reluctant to talk about his, um, His title, but he’s in sales leadership and he has some leadership over, uh, some connections and some integrations at employee navigator.

He was, I think the 11th employee there. He talks about that in our podcast today, but Kyle’s been really, really key and communicating this whole ease to navigator migration. He’s been incredibly. forward and available for people like us at Benefit Profile. So in the big scheme of things, we’re on the smaller side of the general agent world with about over 160 groups on E.

So we are obviously very interested in what Kyle had to say. What I will tell you today is. And Kyle gives some insight on the biggest thing that we’re concerned about today, which is the migration and the status of the migration tool, what to expect, what his advice for insurance agents is. If you have a big book with ease, what are the three, I guess, paths you can go down to begin to migrate those groups over?

We talk about that. That’s the meat of the podcast today. And you’re going to find some things and you’re going to hear it in my voice. He says some really positive things that I think are going to assure you. And you might think I’m gushing over this guy and I don’t mean to gush over him. But what I will say is I had to, I was appreciative.

I think, I think Employee Navigator is doing a very, very nice job with communicating what is happening with this rollout. The big stuff is coming. The migration tool is what we are all kind of kind of holding our breath, hoping it’s going to work. And Kyle is very open. He said, look, this is a big deal.

And. There, there could be some bumps in the road, but I just trust these guys. I think their heart’s in the right place. They feel very strongly about doing the right thing. And I think that’ll come through today. So if anything, I think you’ll be assured by what’s happening with this transition. If this sparks a conversation.

So if you’re a, if you’re one of our. Benefit profiles, lifers, you’ve been working with us forever and you have cases with us on ease. If this sparks questions, you know where to find me, Tammy, Colin, Lina, our team. If you’ve never worked with benefit profiles and you want to know what we do, we build Benadmin for agents or as a general agent.

If you want to learn about our personality and how we work with agents, please reach out to me. You’ll see my information there in the notes, but without further ado, welcome. How are you? Thanks for having me. Well, thanks for joining us, man. I really appreciate it. And, uh, for the audience, I think this is going to be a very popular podcast because obviously you, as we mentioned in the intro benefit profile started out as an e shop and some, many of our agents use both.

Either one of the other, and it’s really neat to talk to you. I’m going to ask you about your background, but I first want to just tell you, and you and I were just talking about this before we started recording, but I personally really appreciate how this rollout has gone so far. I know we’re not into the meat and potatoes.

We’re not doing the hard work yet of moving cases over, but from a communication perspective, it’s been awesome. So thanks for that. And thanks for your time today. We can tell the audience that’s a non paid, uh, a non paid endorsement, right? No, we really appreciate it. Yeah. So Kyle, do you mind giving us your role at Navigator?

Uh, how long you been there? And then if you don’t mind, just kind of, okay, start there and then I’ll have another follow up question. Absolutely. Yeah. Again, thank you for having us on. Excited to be talking with you today. So, um, I’ve been with employee navigator for about 12 years. I started out doing entry level sales, cold calling brokers.

I’m sure there are some brokers who are listening to this eventually that I will have sold a license to some number of years ago. Um, so kind of pounded the pavement at entry level sales, did broker sales. Um, and then, you know, as the organization has grown, took on some more responsibilities and I oversee two broad teams today.

One is our, our sales and marketing team. Uh, and then I also work with our. Customer success team, our implementation team, who oversees turning on new integrated partners, the next insurance carrier that wants to integrate with employee navigator. And then we have a team that manages all of the active.

integrations that we have with the Guardians and United Health Cares and Paylocities of the world. Um, so I kind of have my feet in both the broker and integrated partner world. Outstanding. What was it like when you first joined? How many employees were there? I think I was like the 11th employee. No way.

We were all in, we were all in one office in Gaithersburg, Maryland, and we would all have lunch at the conference room table. Um, it was pretty cool. Huh, Kyle? I mean, pretty neat to see. Did you ever dream that you all would be buying another, Eaze wasn’t even a system at that time. Yeah, I think back, back then they might have just been getting started out, but I don’t actually.

Think they were around then? No, I think there’s a I forget who the saying is attributed to, but it goes something along the lines of it’s people overestimate what they can do in a year and underestimate what you do in a decade. And I think that’s sort of emblematic of. Like, no, I certainly wouldn’t have thought that this is where we are.

Um, but we try to just kind of keep our head down, serve the brokers and hopefully good things happen from there. How many employees now? He said north of 300, correct? Yeah, I think it’s somewhere around 325. Think mate, I mean, that’s a lot, but you might think, you know, how many groups do you, I know, you might, I don’t know the number of groups, but what is the number, like the round between, um, between the two systems, there are about 160, 000, the two systems being ease and employee navigator.

There are about 160, 000 groups on the two systems, as we’ve talked about in the market, you know, over time we expect all or most of that to just be on employee navigator. And that covers. 14 million, uh, active employees, something like that. Unreal, huh? Yeah. If you would have told yourself that 12 years ago, you’d be like, yeah, no way.

No. Yeah. I mean, we were, uh, I remember trying to sell brokers 10 years ago and no one knew who we are. Um, no one understood sort of the self service model. Our pricing was different. And I kind of chuckle with some of our younger sales reps today who kind of get, uh, Have a lot easier set of conversations because We’re fortunate that a lot of brokers do know who we are in the market and we’re not having to have Discussions about this is what we’re trying to do And honestly kyle i’m going to ask you at the end because I could talk to you all about You know think about the world that we lived in when you were still selling this stuff when we were still doing Enrolling like getting enrollment forms via fax and mail You know, I had my general agents, I mean, agents would some would stop by the office with a packet of enrollment forms.

Can you make copies of these? I mean, that’s just how our world was back then. You know, I remember maybe 2 years after I started. You’re exactly correct. I had a roommate at the time from college and he worked in a totally unrelated industry, but had changed jobs and had to get some insurance paperwork filled out for his new job.

And I remember him mentioning to me that he had to fax. Some paperwork over and so this is a 24 year olds in 2014 or something like that And he was just like what is good? Like why do I have to do this? And I think Yeah, again, I think that’s sort of emblematic of how the industry has evolved sure I mean in my career It’s the passing of the ACA and the invention of navigator and ease which probably the two biggest landmark things that have occurred globally Yeah, I think the, um, we sort of part of our story.

So we were struggling a bit from, you know, around 2010 to 2012. We didn’t, brokers weren’t in huge, you know, hugely asking for this type of software. Um, they were using us on an as needed basis with a couple large cases, and we were a little directionless, and the two things that kind of flipped the business for us was, um, one, Zenefits came out and sort of scared brokers a little into having a technology strategy, and then, um, ACA was sort of a forcing function, so that even if they weren’t concerned about Zenefits, They, um, needed a software product to help do that ACA reporting and that, you know, the two of those kind of timed up a little bit together and were some good tailwinds for us.

Outstanding. Again, I could ask you about the history. Maybe that’d be a whole nother podcast, but, um, so. Let’s fast forward to the last year and a half. I talked to you about that when we first got on the phone today. What’s it been like, I guess. So, I mean, that’s a big darn merger, man. I mean, that was ground shaking news.

Yeah, no. Uh, so I think what we’re recording this on April 30th, that’s been just over a year, almost to the day that we announced the acquisition. We were kind of joking before we hopped on the podcast. The first nine months of following the acquisition last year, it was a bit of drinking from the fire hose from, from our team’s perspective, we were just trying to ingest information.

What’s been nice. Over the, throughout this whole process is at the end of the day, the two businesses were kind of doing the same thing, right? Like we both sold software to brokers. We both had integrations with insurance carriers. We both did ACA reporting benefits administration, online, you know, online enrollment.

So there was a ton of, we kind of knew what we were getting into. Obviously, once you get into the weeds, there’s a lot of detail that you’re unearthing, but at a high level. The two businesses were pretty similar. We had employees that were kind of doing the same thing. So yeah, the first nine months was a lot of drinking from the fire hose, trying to figure out what decisions we needed to make.

What, you know, how do we not upset any of the E’s customers? And I think as we kind of fast forward to the start of 2024, We feel like the internal organization and, and making sure that we’ve done right by the ease and employee navigator employees, like that our staff is in a pretty good spot and, um, you know, externally, and we’ve talked about this, you know, Publicly with our customers is we know what needs to be done to get to parity between ease and employee navigator.

And we’re really just trying to execute on the things that took us nine months to dig into last year. So do you mind sharing some of those things? Yes. So, um, what we’ve told the market is we identified somewhere in the neighborhood of about 150 features. That needed to be ported from Ease to Employee Navigator.

Although features probably isn’t the right word. So, just to sort of characterize some of the differences between the two systems. On the one end, you have some really big features that Employee Navigator didn’t have and Ease did a pretty good job on. One, I think the biggest one is probably, you know, small group enrollment forms.

I think we said that day one. Like, we need to have the forms in Employee Navigator. Um, so you have something big like that. Ease made it a lot easier for brokers to work with GAs through this Teams invitation functionality. Employee Navigator kind of had that, but it’s really clunky and we need a better version of sort of what Ease did with Teams invitation.

So, you know, those are two examples of maybe some bigger features that were out there that we were missing. Um, maybe in the middle of the road, there’s some. that Employee Navigator didn’t support, and they’re few and far between, you know, Employee Navigator pre acquisition had. I don’t know, 70, 000 companies on it and three times the number of employees as the ease system.

So we had a pretty good track record, but we didn’t support pet insurance. We need to support support pet insurance. Um, ease did. So you have kind of some of the middle of the road things that some brokers were using, but not a lot. And then, you know, part of that 150 features. And the reason I don’t know, features is really the right word to describe it is.

Some of those are just usability changes. There were things that Ease had done that made their system easier to use for brokers. A couple examples, like both systems had open enrollment reporting. Ease’s open enrollment reporting was just a little bit better. Um, so we already made some of those changes to just make our open enrollment reporting easier.

It was easier in the ease system for a broker to find the, to go back to a company that they had previously been in to just navigate around the system. And so we made some changes on that front. And again, those are more usability than, than anything else. So I think of that, of those 150 features, there’s four really big things that we’re focused on.

In no particular order, enrollment forms, teams, invitations, GA, uh, and sort of rate libraries, and then agency management integration. So we, and we feel like if we get those four things done, um, we’re going to be in a really great spot. And then it’s just a lot of small to midsize projects. Kyle, I didn’t expect to ask you this, but it just kind of popped in my head.

All those changes need to be programmed in Navigator. It’s not like you can, this is very rudimentary dude who does not a tech dude. You can’t just grab that stuff, you know, bring it in and you have to rebuild it. Is that correct? So, um, I, I think there’s a spectrum, right? So some of the gaps in ease, we would say.

What he’s had was fully fleshed out and we’ve truly is to the extent we can. We just want to take what he’s had and like, get that in employee navigator for other gaps. When our teams went through and looked at the products, we might’ve said, look, we know we need to get this feature into employee navigator, but what he’s had wasn’t fully fleshed out.

So we might look at what they had as almost like a. Like a template, a starting point for then what we want to build. Um, but I don’t, yeah, I’m certainly not the end, the lead engineer in any of this, but I don’t, I don’t think it’s as easy as like just rip the code out and, Hey, that’s what, and I, yeah, I just was curious about that.

It just popped in my brain. Okay. So the four features, thank you. I think every agent is asking about that. And then. Now the big elephant that everyone is tuning this podcast for, what about the transition tool? How do you feel about that? Do they let you know how it’s going? What can we expect that type of thing?

So, um, uh, where to begin? This is definitely the most common question that we get as well. Internally, we have already started to do demos of the migration tool. Cool. For our product managers and support staff and engineers. To see. So we have been sort of obviously working on this for several months, but you know, our, our team has started to see demos of this tool working.

We expect that in may, we will have some brokers starting to use the migration tool. Sort of in a beta phase, so we’ll release it to a few brokers. We won’t tell anybody else that we’re doing it. We just want to start to get some actual feedback from brokers. And then, you know, sometime June ish, we’d expect that brokers will be able to start using the migration tool.

The tool itself will expand over time. So when we release the first version to all of the Ease brokers, we don’t The tool will not be as simple as a broker can move everything off of ease all at once. And I’ll give you two examples. One going back to a topic from a minute ago is pet insurance. We can’t move pet insurance from the migration tool yet because we don’t employee navigator system doesn’t have a pet insurance plan model.

So there’s nowhere for the pet insurance details to go in employee navigator. So a broker with. Let’s say five groups on ease, four of whom don’t have pet insurance. They might say, okay, these are simple groups. I can move four of them over and then I need to wait for pet insurance to be added to employee navigator, um, so that I can migrate that case.

Uh, and then. You know, another example are broker notes. I don’t know if your agency does, but brokers can keep notes in ease. We will make sure that those notes can be moved from ease to employee navigator, but that’s custom software that we’re going to have to write to do that. And it doesn’t impact your client’s ability to use the system.

That’s just notes that you guys have been keeping. So we need to figure out how to get the notes in because there’s not. A place for us to put those right now. Gotcha. So the tool itself will evolve over time. Um, and then, yeah, I think the other sort of thing that we’re thinking about internally is, um, we’re really going to start to talk with brokers more about making sure they’re comfortable in employee navigator before they start migrating cases.

A broker and we haven’t really talked about it a ton But a broker should have built a couple cases in employee navigator before they push all this existing business in there to make sure they Know where all the the buttons and the knobs are Um, so we think it’s going to be an evolution over time What you know our goal would be you know sometime around august 15th to say look we are pretty close to feature parity At minimum, we think brokers should just be putting their new cases on employee navigator, not ease, and then they can use the migration tool after that.

But, uh, we’re still sort of fleshing that out a bit internally. And I love how you gave a lot of space and time for that Kyle. So thank you so much. I think that made people relax a lot. At first it was like, oh my gosh, we have to rebuild all these cases, you know, and you kept you kept saying hey We are building it.

Just wait. Just wait. I thought it was really good communication personally I appreciate that if I could just make one more comment because this is probably the biggest misconception and concern that we hear brokers have Which is when is ease getting shut off? What we’ve told brokers And in our updates and all of our customers is Our goal would be that by December of 2025.

So I don’t know, 18 months or so from now that all of the existing businesses off of ease, what broker, what some brokers have interpreted that to mean is. In December, EASE is getting shut off, and that’s not correct. We’re saying we think everything should be off by December of 2025, but there might be some, some, for some reason, there’s just some work that we couldn’t get done.

We have not had a conversation internally about a date to shut EASE off. That is totally separate from, we just want to make sure brokers are comfortable putting new groups on, moving existing cases off. We’ll get to flipping the switch one day, but Yeah, I think brokers have interpreted that December 25 date as that’s when the system’s going down.

And that’s not the case. Wow, Kyle. That’s really good insight because that’s kind of what we were thinking about at RGA to be honest. So I really appreciate that. If you’re an insurance agent, you’re an EASE user, let’s just say, you have 30 groups in EASE. What are you planning right now? What do you, what’s your strategy over the next year and a half?

Do you think we always, we know that you said, all right, we’re going to start learning navigator, put new business on navigator, right? So we establish that. Yeah. Um, so I, we’ve had. The opportunity to talk with hundreds or thousands of brokers over the last year, kind of talking with them about what their plans are.

And I think I’ve heard a bunch of different approaches that brokers are taking, and I don’t think any one of them is wrong. I think most importantly, it’s just that brokers are thinking about what the plan is. And just to give you a few examples. Some brokers who are comfortable with both systems view as, as soon as I can start migrating my cases, I just want to get the work done because I just want to get it done.

We have other brokers who said, I plan to sort of do this incrementally over the course of 18 months. And we’ve had other brokers who said, we, our staff is sort of fully planned and booked out for. Um, 2024, we’re confident that we can start next february and have everything done. And that’s fine, but it’s okay because they’ve thought about it.

Yeah, all three of those options were, you know, all three of those perspectives are different. We think that’s great. We want to, we don’t have, you know, if a broker were to ask is one of those preferable over the other, we’d say, no, it’s what’s best for your agency. But what’s most important is I think just, That brokers are thinking about a plan.

As you said, we’re not going to put anybody under the gun and force changes really quickly. We’re trying to be respectful of everybody’s time. We know that the fall gets busy. We’ve been doing this for 12 years, um, but yeah, I think it’s just important for brokers to start thinking about what is best for their agency.

You know, the 1st. That’s the third you said, just move them all over. For me, what would that look like, Kyle? Because now if I’m the end user, I’m an HR person or I’m an actual employee of that company. What’s that look like? I, all of a sudden my stuff’s out of ease and it’s over in Navigator. Is there an automatic message that goes out?

Do I have to push that out as an agent? Yeah, I think the brokers that will be, I think that will probably be the least traveled path. That that brokers take because as you’re sort of getting at the brokers have to have a broker who wanted to do that has to have a whole bunch of other things buttoned up, i.

e. like they need to know employee navigator really well. So most likely that broker had a license to both systems. Before the acquisition, they most likely have training materials for employee navigator that they’ve created or other collateral or support materials that they’ve been using on employee navigator.

That’s not going to be every broker. Um, so I think that that’s probably the least traveled path, but for a broker who is very comfortable in both systems, I think that’s totally fine. And, um, you know, it’s also a question of how many cases, right? Like. All cases for one broker might only be 10 cases on me.

So that’s, that’s different than someone saying I got to move a thousand. And you got to train the groups. I mean, the group’s got to know what’s going on. You got to show them, Hey, this is your new portal. You got to educate the employees. So we’ll be coming out with, um, or I interrupted you. Go ahead. No, go, you go, Kyle.

Go ahead. Yeah. So I think there’s two fronts on that one. Some brokers that have worked with work with employee navigator have, um, created some collateral on their own that’s branded to their agency or branded to their client. Yeah. We will also, as we get into the second half of the year, make sure that we’re providing some training, materials, videos, collateral for brokers so that they don’t need to do all of that on their own, because it is going to be a big lift for some brokers who have a large volume of cases that need to move.

And for the audience benefit profiles is probably door number three, which is we’re going to do it incrementally over the course of 2025. We’re going to do it kind of agent by agent. Um, that’s how we’re going to do it. Um, and then one last question about the transition tool. Do you expect you said agent notes, broker notes are going to travel over.

That’s what you hope will happen. Will all that history of that group, let’s say we’ve had the group seven years. Will that history travel? Yeah. So the history, the short answer is yes. The historical data is the data that’s going to take the most time to move. So when we think about the migration tool, um, let’s just say there’s a company that is actively on ease and that company is an active company with a company name and SIC code and payroll groups and employee demographic information, dependent information, plan information, benefit details, all of that stuff.

It’s going to be really easy to move because we were receiving or pushing that data in and out of our system with insurance carriers and payroll companies. So in a sense, we’re sort of just in air quotes, integrating with ease to receive that data. The custom work that we’re going to have to do is for the historical data.

So we talked about notes. What’s the right way to move over in bulk? All of the documents that live within a group on ease that might go back seven years. There are ways to do it. It’s just going to take more time than us pulling in an employee’s demographic info because we do that with our integrated payroll partners.

So we don’t think that there will over the longterm be any gaps in what can be pulled into employee navigator, but we’ll not also have everything. Moved over all at once. The, the stuff that will be slower will be historical data, not current client, like active information. I mean, this is all music to my ears and I know my agents are going to love hearing this Kyle.

So again, thanks for being here. It’s, it’s very exciting. Gosh, I’m kind of, you got me speechless a little bit, man. I mean, it was all these. I’d say if I could just add. Um, and for the brokers that have worked with us for two, three, 10 years, we always tell them like, we’re going to make mistakes. And we’ve told the brokers since the acquisition, we’re going to make mistakes.

We released some software a month ago that was part of this migration and we spent months planning it and we still got things wrong and we have a plan for how we’re going to fix the things that we got wrong. Um, so I think it’s easy to. Kind of tell a good story and we do feel like we know what the most important things are.

We, we spent and continue to spend time talking with brokers and carriers and TPAs and payroll companies to make sure that we’re doing the right thing, but we’re going to make mistakes and we’re just going to try and fix them quickly. And that’s why we want to have constant. You know, communication with all of our customers.

I appreciate that, too. Uh, the last thing in that migration tool, and I think I’ve known this just talking with my team is the integrations, right? We’ll have to be spending some time reintegrating. Is that correct, Kyle? Yeah. So that would fall, you’re correct. That would fall into the bucket of things that we think will get automated more and more over time.

But if a broker. Wanted to just get everything off of ease as quickly as possible. They’re going to have to do some reconfiguration of the, uh, of the integrations and some of this we can automate. So as an example, there are, and I don’t want to like get too much into the weeds, but for an insurance carrier integration, there are group structure codes in ease that can ultimately be pushed into employee navigator.

So we can absolutely. And we’ll automate more of that process. However, there is also some of that integration process that we don’t control. Right? Like forget that the acquisition happened. Let’s just say that your agency decided to move a case from that was integrated with guardian, let’s say from ease.

To employ Navigator. Guardian has their own process for what has to happen when a group move is move systems. Now we’ve started and or, you know, going back 6 months, we’ve been having conversations with those partners who are mutually integrated with both systems, providing recommendations to them to make sure that they’re making that process as easy as possible, but there is a part of this process that we don’t have control over.

The carrier has to say. Here’s what we’re going to do for the 5, 000 cases that are going to move from Ease to Employee Navigator. Um, and then I think another part of this is just data quality. So one of the things that we started to release in Ease is a little bit of a dashboard so that brokers can see Are there inactive companies that need to be deactivated?

We want to continue to surface data gaps so that when that data comes over to employee navigator, it’s clean. And just as importantly, that all of those integrated partners know that the brokers have cleaned that data up. So that the integration should be able to be turned back on pretty quickly. Well, and I think that’s probably what gives my staff, that and training the groups, those two items give us the most heartburn.

And that’s what we’re prepared for. But that’s the reality. I think the other, I think everyone’s okay with that, knowing what we have coming. If we land the plane on the migration tool, let’s, let’s actually look out, Kyle. We talked about this a little bit at the top of this podcast. 12 years ago, you were just starting out with 11 employees.

You’re, you know, you, I can’t, I’ll never forget when the, like one of the first few agencies here in West Michigan started introducing employee navigator and saying, this is what we do. This is how we do business. And it was like, all the other agents were like, whoa, you know, it was, that was like what, eight or nine years ago.

So that is not a long time at all. So if we say in five years or 10 years, the integrations are, you’ve, you’ve. Ease, this whole migration ease to navigator is done and in the rear view mirror. Have you all talked about like what you hope to accomplish long term or you just don’t have time to think about that?

No, you know, I think we talk about it, but we try not to let us let it distract us too much. Sure. Specifically with what we have coming up for the next year, but we had a lot of plans pre acquisition going back. You know, to early 2024. Um, so the short answer is it’s not something that is coming up on a weekly basis, because we have quite a bit of work cut out for us, but, but we think that, look, we’re in, I think the business is in a great place.

We’ve hopefully built up a strong reputation with the few thousand brokers that have worked with employee navigator for 10 years, and we hope to replicate that and earn that same trust with, with ease as clients over the next year, year or two. And then looking out, I think there’s some really obvious things that we know we want to continue to invest in.

You know, we ask ourselves, like, what are brokers, what’s not going to change? Like, we don’t think brokers are going to wake up and say, well, we want to do more manual work. Yeah, no doubt. Okay, well, how do we continue to reduce that down? That means we need to spend more time building out partnerships with health insurance carriers.

So that that might be one area and then I think there’s just a whole other a whole bunch of other product Opportunities that are in front of us again Once we sort of get past the next year and a half in you know This is not in any order or anything But you know, we’ve had brokers ask us and have talked a bit about you know, could we do this?

Do better benchmarking for brokers. There’s they’ll now be 160 200, 000 companies on employee navigator. Can we provide benchmarking services? Um, there, I think, is an opportunity for someone to really build a best in class set of decision support tools to help better educate employees. So I think we have a long list of things that we’d love to do.

We think there’s a ton of opportunity, but. Um, yeah, the next year, like you said, it’s just let’s, let’s not get ahead of ourselves. Let’s execute well, let’s earn the trust of those ease customers and, and then have the sort of the right to build some new products. That’s what I kind of wanted to kind of land the plane with, to be honest, Kyle is I’ve said this two or three times throughout the podcast and before we started, but I’m just really admire the employee navigator leadership.

I loved. David Reed at Ease too. He was, he was a guy who, when we started as a general agent, he even came out personally and talked to our agents. I mean, it was just fascinating to see how fast Ease grew and also how fast Navigator grew. But now you buy Ease and you really, I feel like you intrinsically have this, you just want to do right, which I could be looking through rose colored glasses.

I don’t think I am. I genuinely, you know, I, it means a lot, man, you know, it does. Yeah. I think, and I think a lot of that just comes from, um, our CEOs. Perspective. And yeah, I think, look, success will follow doing the right things for any organization. And we’ve where you and I were chatting about this a bit before we hopped on.

I think we have a great team. Um, you know, we have a whole bunch of problems in the industry that, that we think we can go out and solve, but a lot of it just comes back to serving our customers really well. Uh, and if we stay focused on doing that, we’re going to have opportunities down the road. And, um, yeah, I think.

Over my 10 or so years here, it’s been tempting to get distracted with other things and to lose focus. And we’ve just always tried to come back to, you know, we’ve, Built all these relationships and trust with the brokers. How do we continue to Fill the well as it were yeah, I think you need to be applauded for that.

I think it it’s no It’s not lost on me. Let’s just say that 160 000 groups. I just it if you really take time to think about that It’s a big big deal. So I really appreciate it. I also really appreciate you spending the time kyle. It means a lot to me Is there anything else we didn’t cover? That you’re the here for you on other podcasts, you know, though, you’re not going away.

Your, your team’s going to continue to talk, but just anything we didn’t talk cover in this short time. No, I think we hit on, you know, really the, the big topics, which were my great, the, the, the questions that we’re getting all the time, the, the Mike what’s going on with the migration tool. How are you thinking about feature parity?

When is ease getting shut off? We don’t have a date. You don’t have to worry. Um, and then, yeah, I think we also kind of touched on just our general. Mindset on how we’re approaching all of the work ahead of us. We know it’s a lot of work. We’re going to make some mistakes. We’re going to try and fix them as quickly as possible.

Um, but we really are. And I can definitively say this for the staff that we have on our side. Like, we have a team of 325 people that get up every day and We really believe that we work for the brokers and we try and sort of have that mindset on All the conversations that we have to have internally about what what to build what not to build how to support brokers So yeah, I think we just get up every day and try to do the right thing for the brokers Well, what a what a great career so far.

I can only hope that in 10 years. We’re doing this again Well Well, I still be doing podcasts at ten years. Who knows? Maybe it will be like virtually like holograms or something. Yeah. Anyway, AI Avatars or something. That’s right. That’s right. But Hey, honestly, really appreciate your time, Kyle. If anybody out there in the audience just wants to talk about how we’re transitioning, what our plans are as a general agent.

You know, we’re, we’re, we’re. We go through the same stuff you do every day if you’re curious about navigator We have a contact named robert chamberlain who’s really good with our agents, too So and he’s actually helped robert. Thank you again for helping us connect with kyle, but thanks so much for your time and um, We will talk to you down the line.

Absolutely. Thanks again for having me on really appreciate chatting with you today. Okay. Thank you.

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Dominic Siciliano

President, Agent Consultant

Over his 18 years in the benefits business Dominic has worked in the Medicare Advantage, small group Blue Cross medical, ancillary GA and large group benefit admin space here in Michigan. His parents and biggest influences, Patricia Siciliano and John McClain, instilled in him the key pillar to GA benefits business—relationships with agents and carriers. Dominic has served as the NABIP West Michigan President twice. He’s run the golf outing several years going and he served at the Legislative Co Chair for the State Board during the passing of PPACA. His Friday morning classes, Employee Benefits 101, is highly regarded in the industry as a practical, real world introduction to the business for new folks. In short, he is passionate about our business and about seeing agents succeed. 

Dominic loves golf and basketball but as he gets older, golf more. He’s a Western grad but a State fan! He most enjoys spending time with wife Janelle and four children outdoors and Up North! From the very early days of BPI when it was just him and Lena in a tiny little office, he hasn’t changed, it’s about getting the job done for agents.