Broker IT support firm Open GI has announced that more of its products are ready to be integrated with e-commerce portal imarket. This is good for brokers and insurers because integrating broker software systems into imarket reduces the potential for error. However, more software firms need to increase product integration before imarket can become more widely used.
Open GI has improved imarket connectivity by making its Shops and Offices available for integration.
Open GI has made its Shops and Offices products ready for integration with imarket, a web-based platform for brokers to request and receive quotes from their insurers, following a successful testing period. Axa will be the first insurer to pilot the products with brokers over the coming month.
Open GI’s move follows a raft of imarket-related announcements made by the company recently, as it previously achieved integration with its Commercial Combined product, and is looking at rolling out its Tradesman product.
The improved connectivity with imarket is good news for Open GI’s broker clients. Brokers will now be able to input risk criteria into Open GI broker software systems and transmit it electronically to insurers via the imarket web portal. Currently, most brokers do not have such connectivity and have to key risk information into both the imarket portal and separate broker software.
The extended connectivity will come as a major boost to the utility of Open GI’s Shops and Offices products, as well as to imarket. This back office connectivity is where imarket’s true efficiencies can be achieved, as it prevents dual keying. However, the full benefits of the web portal will not be realized until all Open GI software products are fully integrated.
At present, only brokers running Acturis’ software are fully integrated into imarket. In a recent Datamonitor survey of commercial brokers, it was found that 58% of brokers using imarket only do up to 4% of their business through the online portal. The lack of connectivity between the imarket portal and brokers’ software systems is hampering use of the platform, even by those who have access. More broker software houses will have to progress, like Open GI, and integrate their products for imarket to truly become a mainstay of the commercial broking world.