Ken Hutchinson, e-business trading manager, Groupama
Imarket is a secure trading platform, we have a single sign-on, all the required standards have been either published or are on schedule to be published by Polaris, and software house integration is proceeding. Seventy five per cent of the underwriting market is committed.
Standardisation is absolutely crucial to making this work very efficiently. The fact that all the software houses and all the insurers will work to the standards that have been agreed makes product roll-out extremely easy.
Why should brokers use Imarket? Well, there is a single sign-on to all the extranets; it's a secure trading environment; it reduces error rates; and it provides correct documentation.
All Groupama's small package products are auto rated through the X-forms. In addition, shop and tradesmen's products are complete. Office is due to be rolled out at the end of June, and property owners by the end of October.
We'll continue to roll products out through this year and the early part of next year.
Sometimes I feel people don't quite understand what Imarket actually is. It's not some hulking big beast of a system that just sits there trying to dominate everything.
It is the conduit for brokers or brokers via their software house systems to talk to us and vice versa. So it complements the software houses, instead of competing against them, because otherwise they wouldn't integrate with it. And the same goes for any broker with his own system.
There is no 'Plan B'. We are fully committed and we believe this is the way forward for us to compete.