I would like to respond to the letter in from Whitespace marketing manager Emma Jones concerning broker software (6 February, Insurance Times). I concur wholeheartedly with her sentiment that more news should be heard about successful, appreciated software solutions. There are several software solutions that brokers find themselves constrained by these days. We have found there is indeed a perception in the market that migration is inevitably a traumatic and over-costly affair. This is not necessarily the case and brokers should be assured they need not put up with out-dated, unreliable, unintegrated, inflexible systems.

The rewards of change can be much greater than acquiring just a "better" product. The relationship between the software suppliers' staff and brokers can be strong, dedicated and personal - they become part of the team. At Morning Data all our clients know each one of us personally.

With a new client-friendly support contract, modifications to the system, additional reports, day to day support, help with end of period and year procedures are all included in the quarterly fees - so no nasty surprises on the bottom line.

An up-to-date system can shadow the inevitably changing requirements of companies, where their core business may shift or take on new emphases, perhaps because they may be taking over other brokers. This level of flexibility is not known as the de facto standard for older software systems that lack continuous development and enhancement. Brokers can have bespoke software at a price that may be surprisingly favourable. It does appear that software suppliers fall into the "no news is good news" theory, perhaps those brokers who are fortunate enough to be in possession of a good software system should stand up and shout about it.

Kirstin Duffield
Operations manager

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