Computer Sciences Corporation (CSC) is to phase out Quotel, its electronic data interchange system for brokers.

A CSC spokesman said the company would no longer be selling or updating Quotel, although 1,200 brokers currently using the system will continue to receive technical support "while there is a sufficient user


But he added: "At some point it will be commercially unviable to offer support on the system."

CSC has decided to phase out Quotel, to enable it to concentrate on new products.

"We need to decrease the number of products we support as we currently have to maintain a lot of different skill sets," said the spokesman.

He stressed that brokers will be given 12 months notice before system servicing is halted.

The firm is currently developing a new Windows-based system, Electra M3, modelled on its existing Electra product, which is used by almost 1,000 brokers.

Garol technology consultant Ross Hall said CSC's move would benefit brokers in the long-term.

"Lots of brokers have complained about CSC's customer service and this may well improve it," he said.

Hall predicts the number of broker technology systems will shrink further in 2002.

He said: "There are about 17 software houses and 22 products on the market, and they all do more or less the same thing. There will be some consolidation, voluntary or not."

CSC currently holds around 40% of the broker technology market with its products, Quotel, Electra, Grapevine, Ultra and Wintan.

It bought Quotel in 1998 for $8m (£5.5m), from ITT Edinburgh, the UK subsidiary of Hertford Financial Services Group, along with another broker software company, Grapevine. The acquisitions doubled the size of CSC's broker base.