Announcing Encircle v3.10.0 for Android and Apple iOS

We are excited to annouce a new version of Encircle for Android and Apple iOS that went live on February 23, 2018.  It includes the following features:

Photo, Report and Other Enhancements

  • Ability to create items using photos from the Gallery
  • Email reports to a policyholder using a single button (Encircle Claims)
  • Ability to download a photo or video directly to your device gallery
  • Added support for Room Templates
  • Performance improvement for large claims on older devices

Moisture Enhancements

  • Ability to add photos to moisture and psychrometric readings. Reading list shows if a photo was taken!
  • Preloaded common moisture meters
  • Showcase how to easily add your own custom moisture meters

And of course lots of bug fixes too!  We look forward to your comments and feeback.

November 2017 Recap

Our monthly recap of new features, functionality and changes that you can start using today!

Send documents and capture signatures using Link

We are excited to announce a game changing solution where organizations can send documents directly to anyone’s smartphone or computer to digitally capture signatures without having to chase paper ever again. If you haven’t already imported your custom documents into Encircle, the time has never been better.

Learn More

Share claims or inspections with partners, contractors, subcontractors and others

We have changed how sharing works to make it easier to share projects with people outside of your organization. By sharing a project with another person, their entire organization will automatically have access. The project will show every person working on it to enable easy collaboration.

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Add multiple brands to your organization

Encircle provides the ability for you to brand all of your reports and Link screens using your own logo, name and address. We now support the ability for an organization to have multiple brands which is particularly helpful for insurance companies who offer solutions under different brands or subcontractors who perform work for a number of contractors. If you are interested in adding multiple brands to your Encircle organization simply reply to this email and we would be happy to help.

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Create room templates in the desktop web app

The web app now offers the ability for you to create your own custom room templates. The most common use case is that many organizations are creating room names like ’Cause of Loss’ or ‘Pre-existing Damage’ to encourage field staff to capture the right information while on site. Room templates are only available on web today but we are actively investigating porting them to mobile. We would love to hear from you if you create the majority of your claims on mobile.

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Standardize your moisture meters

The web app provides the ability for your organization to enter moisture meters and automatically share them with all of your mobile users. When adding a dry standard you can simply select the appropriate meter from the dropdown list saving your field staff time and ensuring consistency across all of your reporting. Gone are the days where you have to type out the moisture meter name every single time.

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Encircle API Beta

With Encircle’s API, organizations can now integrate their own internal systems or third party enterprise software solutions. In our first version, the Encircle API provides support to create a project, retrieve a listing of all projects, and download all of the data (reports, photos, videos, etc) within a project.

Learn More

Encircle’s Status Page

Just a reminder that we launched a status page last year so that you could be notified if Encircle ever experiences problems with our services. Check it out and sign up for notifications.

Encircle @ Insurance Canada Technology Conference 2017

Craig Haney at ICTC 2017

I had the opportunity to attend the Insurance Canada Technology Conference (ICTC) today and wanted to share some of my thoughts.

The day started off with Craig Haney from Communitech as the keynote speaker. Craig wanted to highlight how the insurance companies in the room could become more disruptive and innovative. Traditionally, corporate innovation sessions can be full of buzzwords and promises of innovation. I was really impressed with Craig’s session for including concrete steps for how to become more innovative, some of the considerations for large companies and even a planning model borrowed from McKinsey on how to view innovation activities. Craig also talked about how bringing companies together with startups can provide a huge opportunity for both sides. He used Encircle as a great example on how we are changing the insurance industry in our partnership with Fairfax Financial. Great stats too — 1200% efficiency gains for contractors during Fort Mac (case study) and some of our insurance carriers are seeing 2–4% decreases in loss ratio — a huge savings! I loved his quote from George Halkiotis, EVP Claims at Northbridge, that “Encircle is a game changer”.

After the keynote, we moved to break out sessions, which covered a number of separate topics including everything from blockchain to analytics to machine learning. However, when you were listening to the speakers the same themes came up over and over again:

Companies need to be more customer centric rather than internally driven

It is critical to understand the needs of your customers and to visualize their perspective. Many insurance companies force their business processes onto their customers rather than changing processes to match customer needs.

Business models are changing

There were threats that entire product lines could disappear (e.g. 500B in direct auto insurance) and that new solutions are going after insurance business that was not financially viable (e.g. Lemonade).

Moving towards a generation of digital insurance

The next generation of customers not only grew up with computers but also with mobile phones. Pen and paper based processes are not only seen as outdated but incompatible.

Existing mentality within insurance companies is one of their biggest limitations

While there was universal belief that insurance companies needed to be more innovative, the path towards that state was unclear. One speaker commented on how spin outs were becoming more common as a way to solve this problem but overall culture continues to be a major impediment within established companies.

Overall, it was clear that change is here and you need to start dealing with it. In talking with other attendees they appreciated the overview across a number of new topics — blockchain to deep learning — along with an opportunity to network with their peers. Happy I attended!

Launching Free Weekly Webinars

We are very excited to launch our free weekly webinars, to teach all users how to effectively use Encircle within their business. The first session is
Thursday, November 10th, which will help any organization to set up Encircle. More advanced sessions for contents and moisture training are also available.

If you have any questions or suggestions on future webinar topics we would love to hear them!

Great momentum at Encircle

With only a few months into my time here at Encircle I’m surprised and pleased to look around and see so much momentum building — in the market for the product, in the development team with all the new product functionality, in marketing with a new brand identity and across other areas like support as well. It’s a busy time and I’m enjoying being part of the momentum that is taking Encircle to the next level.

In the last few weeks as we were designing, building and testing moisture measurement and tracking into the product, we had the opportunity to spend some time out in the field with customers. This is always an eye opening experience as we dig in to figure out the existing technologies and processes that many of our customers are using and — much to our surprise — find that they still rely on pen and paper. The challenge for us is to provide them with an alternative with technology that’s still easy to use and not intimidating but can provide them with new levels of efficiency and transparency. Our first foray into the world of capturing moisture readings and measuring the effectiveness of the drying equipment is designed to do just that — and I’m happy to see that those out there in the field are seeing the value. I look forward to hearing from all of you on your experiences using it and areas where we can continue to improve.

On another front, we spent the summer rebuilding some of the fundamentals of our brand and marketing. The end result of which we are really excited to be unveiling this week in the form of a new logo, new web site, clearer messaging and a bunch of great tools like case studies and infographics that really help to communicate the value of Encircle. We felt it was important for us to create a stronger and clearer presence to help emphasize the company’s new product capabilities and enhanced support capabilities. We hope you will agree and like the changes that we’re making.

Along with a new web site you will find an enhanced self serve support area we’re calling “Learning & Support”. In keeping with our philosophy of providing an easy path to getting started with the product we’ve created videos and self help guides and organized them in a way to help you get started quickly.

I’m thrilled to be able to share all these positive steps forward for Encircle. As always, we are looking forward to hearing from you and your thoughts on all these changes as well.

Introducing the next version of Sketch

One of the most powerful attributes of Encircle is the ability for people who work in the field to quickly replace existing paper based processes with an enhanced digital workflow. A critical component is being able to draw on your smartphone as easily as you can with paper. To solve that problem, we released Sketch in April 2016 to make it easy for contractors and adjusters to quickly create floor plans, document flooding or any number of common drawing tasks.

Based on significant customer feedback, we are excited to launch the next version of Sketch with several enhancements to make it even easier to draw on your smartphone.

Making it Smarter — New Drawing Tools

In our latest release of Sketch, we support three new drawing tools:

Measure — now you can easily add measurements to walls.

Arrows — full support for drawing arrows on your sketch.

3D Room — support for three dimensional drawings to capture photos of specific areas of walls, show openings, and even draw the ceiling!

Making it Easier — Improved User Interface

One of the most important things we focus on in building the product is that it remains incredibly intuitive and simple to use. We worked hard to understand how we could make this latest version even easier to get started using Sketch. We have completely redesigned our tool screens to make it easier to choose the right tool and to customize its options. We have also made it easier to undo and redo any action that will make using an eraser on paper seem clunky!

I hope you’ll spend some time checking out the latest version of Sketch and sending us your feedback so we can continue to build on it and improve. Our commitment to you is to build a product that finds new ways to simplify your existing processes — offering you a solution that is easy, fast and delivers smart results. I hope you enjoy your experience with Sketch!

Learn more about Sketch in our Quick Start Guide



Why I joined Encircle

One of the most common questions that I received over the past two months since announcing that I was leaving Velocity was why Encircle? Of all the companies that I have seen go through Velocity why was Encircle the choice for me? And what advice would I give to you as you consider making a change?

The simple answer — it all starts with the people. For me, I had the opportunity to work with Paul Donald during my time at BlackBerry when I watched him deliver amazing results across numerous roles and teams. Perhaps more importantly, I saw how Paul went about achieving those results — with diligence, honesty and a commitment to a well crafted vision and strategy. I also worked closely with Ronuk and Christophe during their time living in the Velocity Residence. I have an immense amount of respect for their skills and their humility. You might not have the luxury of having first hand experience working with the team you will join, but seek out people who have and look at the results of what they’ve done in the past.

The other key reason why I am excited to join Encircle and why you might consider making the leap to a start up? The product. Everything in building a company is easier when your customers love your product. Day after day, I am humbled by the amazing emails we get from customers whose lives are truly changed by what we can do for them. Having a product you can be proud of, one that delivers powerful results and has a real impact — should be a critical consideration for you.

With people and product in place, you have the recipe for growth. And as anyone who has experienced the stagnation or loss of a business knows, everything just works when you are poised for growth. Find yourself in the midst of a middling organization that is stagnating or losing business and things get political and challenging.

I bought my ticket and have placed my bet on the people and the product at Encircle. As you think about your next step, I encourage you to do the same.