Manjit Rana, director of mortgage and general insurance solutions, Focus Business Solutions

We need to think about how the next generation of clients will want to interact with us and the mechanisms they use for doing business in other environments.

Imarket has three primary stakeholders. The first is brokers. Typically brokers want to enter data once and get multiple quotes back.

People don't like re-keying data and it's quite important to think about this as ‘capturing data' rather than entering data.

In a transaction you'll get something that we term as ‘frictional cost'. Imagine you visit a client, make some notes about what the risk profile is, then take the notes back to your office and key them into your computer system. That's a frictional cost, because you've had to process the information twice.

If we can streamline that process, it will reduce the frictional cost, reduce the cost to brokers and insurers and improve accuracy.

And I don't think most SME clients expect to have an instantaneous quote. But you need it quicker than a one or two-week turn-around.

The second stakeholder is insurers, who are trying to reduce their processing costs.

They would prefer to receive the risk data electronically because if they receive paper application forms, they're only re-keying it into another system.

If they get the data electronically, they can respond much faster.

Insurers also have to consider the cost of integrating their legacy systems into their back-office systems. They don't want to integrate into many different environments, so ideally most insurers will want one interface.

Software houses, the third player, are looking for standard interfaces to insurers. They are also looking for an opportunity where they can generate revenue.