Aggregator unveils truly connective tech solution

by Miklos Bolza27 Sep 2017
National aggregator Connective has unveiled a new strategy for the development of its Mercury CRM system that will dramatically expand the capabilities of member brokers.

At a professional development day in Sydney yesterday (26 September), director Mark Haron spoke on the Mercury API and the myriad of broker tools that could stem from this system.

An API, which stands for application program interface, is a set of digital rules which allow different software (both computer and mobile) to interact seamlessly. The Mercury API, which allows the CRM to interact with hundreds of apps, was developed when Connective decided to leave some functionality up to the experts, Haron said.

“In this process, it allows [brokers] to choose the best tools that suit what you want to do with your business and the direction you want to take your business in.”

The Mercury API will let services that brokers currently use such as Xero, MailChimp or Microsoft work within the CRM system itself, allowing data to move between the different programs with ease.

Connective has made the API easy to navigate for brokers with some IT knowledge or those with access to the right resources, Haron said.

“Some Connective brokers with a little bit of insight in IT have managed to integrate the API themselves without any experts there.”

Mercury API can also make use of ‘connectors’ – pre-built tools that integrate Mercury with other apps – with Connective already integrating with the Zapier and Microsoft Flow platforms.

“These are built by Connective on top of our API. They don’t need a lot of skills in terms of coding and development.”

As an example of how broad the benefits were, Haron said that Zapier had already built API integration hubs for over 750 apps developed by other firms including accounting platforms such as Xero.

My own personal campaign

Haron also revealed that Connective is currently in a pilot with the MyMarketing platform that both the aggregator and member brokers can use to develop customised marketing campaigns.

“The tool we’re using for that is called Active Campaign. One of the reasons we’ve picked that is that it has that API capability. We’ll be able to plug that into Mercury.”

Through this, brokers will be able to quickly make changes to any newsletter they send out without the need for input from Connective, he said.

Making digital connections

As well as brokers, other independent software vendors have also used APIs to extend their products into the Mercury CRM. Lendi was one example of this, Haron said, connecting Salesforce and Mercury together so that data flows between each in a seamless manner.

Connective brokers have also benefited from the API capabilities of other vendors including NextGen.Net’s ApplyOnline and its Assessment Metric API.

“We’re saving hundreds of people-hours a year by not having to duplicate functions that the API can perform,” said Connective CEO Glenn Lees. “It’s central to our whole IT model.”

The Assessment Metric API provides up-to-date lender requirements to brokers at the point of sale, doing away with the need to keep abreast of any changes.

“The significant point to make about this API is that a lot of broker groups take the serviceability calculators from lenders, and then have to reverse engineer and replicate what the lender is asking them to do in terms of serviceability,” said NextGen.Net customer account manager Anthony Leonard.

“Our assessment service allows the broker to call the API which has all the lenders’ serviceability rules embedded in it.”

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