01 August 2005
By Andrew Foxwell
Imarket is taking shape after months of development, with Acturis and Groupama expected to be the first software house and insurer to be fully integrated early this month.
Some however are taking a cautious approach to the network, which is billed as an opportunity to digitally revolutionise the insurance industry and provide direct connections between underwriters and brokers.
CDL, the Stockport-based software company which is one of the partners behind imarket, has said it does not want to be part of a 'stampede' to be part of the system.
Rick Slater, general manager of CDL, has said his firm would assess the situation when things were clearer.
He commented: "Clearly we have some ground to make up on our competitors, if we are to believe recent press reports, but we have no ambition to get involved in a stampede. We plan to learn from the experience of others and be a studious follower".
Mr Slater also said CDL would 'like to see how others fare' before committing extensive resources to the system.
CDL is concentrating on developing Strata, its GUI-based successor to its existing flagship system, Classic, which it hopes to bring to the market by the end of the year to cater for both personal and commercial lines.
Groupama's e-commerce manager Ken Hutchison said the insurer had signed off its products with Acturis, which should be piloted by August.
Acturis has become the first software house to be fully registered on the imarket site, with Theo Duchen, joint ceo, saying his firm was 'pretty much there' for what he described as a 'defining moment' for the insurance industry.
Sirius confirmed it was looking to pilot its imarket integration software in August or September, and would deliver a number of product lines in 2006 including fleet and property. Rival Misys meanwhile said it was currently integrating two product ranges within its OASys commercial system.
Allianz Cornhill's Jason Potter, commercial lines e-trading manager, said the insurer was primarily working with Acturis and Software Solutions Partners, and was aiming to deliver its Complete Retailer (Shop) product for August.
He added Allianz was sponsoring the imarket information site (www.imarketinfo.co.uk), which was launched in July to provide first-time users with all the documents and key facts about the network.
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