... with Brighton marketing blitz, reports Sandy Maxwell

' Insurecom certainly stole a march on rival technology houses at Biba 2006. The Brighton-based software provider made the most of its home advantage by decking out the town in its colours.

From the moment delegates stepped off the train to be greeted by a giant Insurecom-branded Welcome to Brighton banner, it was difficult to miss the distinctive logo around town.

There was speculation that Insurecom's aggressive guerrilla marketing had ruffled a few feathers, with other technology firms querying Biba about their rival's ubiquitous presence.

But at least one competitor admitted that Insurecom's stance was fair enough, given that it was on home turf this year.

And its intimate knowledge of Brighton certainly enabled it to stage the trendiest drinks party of the conference, in the uber-hip Koba cocktail bar.

Technology was certainly a hot topic at the conference. QBE was showcasing the Risk Placer product developed by South Essex Insurance Brokers, while Acturis and Axa were demonstrating their Imarket solutions.

And Misys' top brass were visibly buoyant following their acquisition by Montagu Private Equity last month.

The £182m purchase could herald a period of consolidation in the sector, as the market leader is freed up to pursue a more aggressive strategy.

Expect Misys to start flexing its considerable muscle as it sheds the PLC shackles and gears up for a major rebranding.

But the verve with which Walter is challenging the established order should give Phillip Bell and his team at Misys pause for thought. IT

' Our Making Money with SMEs event in Birmingham on 18 May will feature a session on technology and Imarket.

Register now to obtain the early-bird rate of £99 at www.insurancetimes.co.uk/events/SME