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The future of Lloyd’s Virtual Room: A step by step roadmap

Now the Virtual Room is open to selected users, what are we learning from them to shape our thinking about the next phase?

Sam Irving
Product Owner

01 Sep 2020

Since the launch of the first release of Virtual Room at the beginning of September, we’ve been busy gathering valuable feedback from underwriters and brokers about their experiences in the room.

As many of you know, the first release of the Lloyd’s Virtual Room was delivered within a competitive 6-week timeframe. This enabled group thinking to be channelled effectively, meaning only the most important functionality made it into the first release.

Key aspects of the first release include:

  • Individual market wide profiles
  • Participant search, sort and filter
  • Broker and underwriter directory
  • One to one instant messaging
  • Underwriter availability publication
  • Physical support and connect bar

Of special note was the decision to implement instant chat functionality based on feedback we received around users’ availability status. In preliminary testing, we learned that the availability settings would be significantly more useful if instant chat could support users in taking the next step to connect with said available contact.

As one underwriter discovered, “Setting my availability was super easy, and I had a broker message me for an available slot.”

As we prepare for the next release, we are also refining a longer-term strategy for scaling Lloyd’s Virtual Room out into the broader marketplace – and beyond. We’re also gathering insights from the US property teams using The Virtual Room to ensure we prioritise what’s most important to them.

So, what are we working on now?

Whilst we’ve been eager to gain insights from the first teams using The Virtual Room, we’ve been simultaneously prepping and refining the room so that more users can join and benefit. We’re currently looking at ways to streamline the sign-up process and onboarding experience. We’re also introducing some self-service features, making it even easier to edit underwriter and broker profiles. This is important in the instance of there being a change in a risk team’s risk appetite, because elements can then be changed quickly – and all at once.

One of the top priorities fed back on by current users is the need for Scheduler enhancements, which enables booking while in The Virtual Room. This helps to reduce duplication when having two calendars. We will be looking at testing this further with the Market and conducting some experiments so we can deliver value to users quickly. This has gone to the top of our design backlog.

Of course, maintaining regular and open communication with our market continues to be key. That’s why we’re adding additional analytics functionality to complement the feedback we receive so we can align – and possibly, reprioritise – the current roadmap.

We are on course to deliver a dedicated space and community to facilitate the market. We’ll achieve this by seamlessly integrating the physical and virtual working worlds to provide users with a fully optimised experience that lets them work from anywhere.

What’s Next?

As the world adjusts to a future of remote and flexible working that’s powered by smart data and personalised technology, The Virtual Room has the capacity to become a space that is just as indispensable to the market as the Lloyd’s Lime Street HQ. We’re excited to implement some new scalable features as quickly as possible by introducing the following:

  • Scheduler booking enhancements
  • Enhanced search functionality
  • Organisational team pages
  • User experience enhancements
  • Enhanced chat functionality
"By putting these key features front and centre, we’re delivering our priority objective of helping the market connect with each other."
Fiona Manders, Consultant, Deloitte

With an eye that’s always on the horizon, The Virtual Room team remain focused on synchronising physical and digital realms to eventually fulfil our vision for seamless experiences where there is essentially ‘no channel’. To reflect this, the Lloyd’s product roadmap includes experiments to test and design better ways to schedule meetings and deliver an effective ‘omnichannel’ experience around elements like ‘virtual queuing’.

These experiments, and an emphasis on continuous deployment – will keep us accountable to our ideas. We’ve been working on the first enhancements with a high level of flexibility based on the feedback we continuously receive from our first testing group. This ensures we remain committed to ongoing improvements in ways of working, while adding the maximum possible value to users.

To be a part of this ground-breaking project and be part of the evolution of Lloyd’s Virtual Room, sign up your team to an early release.

Please visit the Virtual Room webpage for the latest news and developments.