Applied Systems has agreed to acquire Indio, a provider of "smart forms" to P&C brokerages in the US. Indio's software allows brokers to offer their customers a digital experience when looking to capture data for new policies or at the point of renewal.

Applied is a provider of broker management software to the insurance industry and dominates the US market alongside Vertafore. The terms of the deal have not been disclosed, but it was likely at a significant premium to Indio's recent Series B financing that valued the Company at $110m post-money. 

The scale of this acquisition represents a big commitment from Applied, who was last valued at $1.8bn in 2013. Broker management software packages are a classic example of a monolithic system-of-record that exist in many industries. Brokers run their entire business on these systems and are highly unlikely to switch providers given the pain involved in doing so. 

Applied was founded in the 1980s and has fought to keep up with the changing pace of technology by gradually shifting their customer base to the cloud. When an incumbent like Applied wants to deploy new features, there is always a calculation to be made between buy and build.

This acquisition demonstrates that Applied knows that its strength lies in entrenched customer relationships rather than developing the most modern, slick user experience. As part of Applied, Indio can be rolled out to the thousands of agents using Applied today.