As one of a small number of software houses that will be embracing all the TOM initiatives for the market the warnings of losses attracts our attention.
So much work has been sunk into the various projects thus far, and whilst we all have our personal and professional opinions as to various aspects of each the overall move must be unquestioned as overdue and badly needed?
As a vendor, we are challenged daily with ensuring adoption of new features and changes, there is a fine balance of the User experience and the technical aspects under the hood. Buy-in and ease of use in the current coal face process is vital for adoption. The stakeholders, granted, are evaluating the benefits, costs and process changes required, but at the end of the day it is a Broker-Technician who will find the work round to avoid using something that causes increase delays or obstacles.
It could be as trivial as a separate login screen or selecting the same information twice in two places - we can't underestimate the digital age effect on our expectation as users, we are all fast expecting our phone banking App can accept finger print authentication.
Here is where the move, by TOM to engage vendors is starting to show some benefits. Discussions on web services, integration, and generic reusable connectors will, I believe, result in a sea-change in adoption. When a technician has less systems to log on to to achieve their work they naturally adopt.
The ability to move a document, or data, from one system to another, be it drag-n-drop, dynamic file location navigation, single sign on or one point of data input... even if they are a smaller broker - then we will see the same adoption, almost by accident, as it becomes easier to adopt than not to.
We are passionate to break the mould that vendors are silos in this market - afterall our the market we serve collaborate on Risks, and we should change to collaborate on integration, doing our bit to deliver the right solution. When that involves integrating with systems initially created to be stand alone platforms, with web-services an after thought, that can make for some work by both sides to make this happen, work that Clients and Users may not appreciate is necessary.
Will this bad year impact what TOM is afforded to get this done, now it is in this new arena of vendor work; will the market did deep to see the work through or will economies be essential?
It can't be achieved without our clients backing our work, and individually the niche smaller broker is unlikely to have those kind of resources. This is where we come in to code a system, not individual client, integration solution.