How to get started in your business and choose which connection options would best suit your organization.
Think about your connection option
Address ALL aspects of change
How do I connect?
The Exchange allows a transition to electronic messaging through a variety of starting points. By allowing choice in connection option an environment has been created where each organisation can choose a solution that best fits their own internal priorities and requirements.
Entry level is dependant on how much you want to invest and the level of benefit you want to achieve. Full integration will deliver the greatest value to the organisation and is most appropriate for those participants who are fully committed to the electronic transfer of data.
The same connectivity options are available to all market participants; Brokers, Lloyd’s Managing Agents and Company market carriers.
Message management tools (MMTs)
The message management tool is an appropriate connection option for those who want to engage with electronic messaging without committing to the expenditure and time commitments of full integration. Information will not automatically enter internal systems and will still need to be re-keyed, however time savings and speed of placement benefits can still be realised.
These packages provide a range of functionality depending on which supplier is chosen. Typically they will provide message history, tracking/status indicators and individual message inboxes. Suppliers can host the systems for you or they can be deployed in your own environment according to your requirements.
Whilst MMTs do not initially integrate with back office systems there is a clear upgrade path available from most suppliers which will enable integration at a later date.
Trading platforms offer a trading service which handles the risk distribution and placement process electronically, most usually via a web browser. Like the message management tool they can ultimately integrate with back office systems.
Integration with back office
Some organisations will want to develop their own direct ACORD compliant connectivity to the Exchange from internal systems. This allows for messages to be composed from internal systems, and ensures that data contained within responses is appropriately downloaded and managed, with additional opportunities to integrate workflow.
There are a number of companies who provide the gateway software that enables messaging, message management tools and integration services. Please contact us for a list of key suppliers.
The cost of your connection option will depend on which supplier you chose, the functionality required, your overall IT strategy including how sophisticated you are with integration.
Each supplier will have a different commercial model. In some cases it may be a simple licence fee, while others may charge per message, per bind or a combination.
It is important that you fully understand the costs associated with your connection option for your own organisation and for your trading partners; some suppliers will charge both parties and the impact of of this will need to be understood.
In addition, you will also be required to sign and return the Interchange Agreement and Exchange Terms and Conditions before you can commence with Stage 2 technical connectivity and go live on the Exchange.
Technical connectivity testing
Each participant will go through the following 2 stage process of connectivity testing.
Stage 1: Pre-Production Technical Connectivity Testing
Once the registration form for your organisation has been received and your organisation has been registered, pre-production technical connectivity testing can commence. The minimum requirement for this stage of connectivity testing is to send an endorsement message to the Exchange test broker/carrier via the pre-production Exchange. This should include, if applicable, messages which require documents to be retrieved and the use of the DRI references. The Exchange team will then send a valid business response to the message in order to complete pre-production connectivity testing.
On completion of successful pre-production connectivity, you are free to conduct testing on your test environment with trading partners (participants will need to arrange this with willing trading partners).
The Exchange team can also send additional test messages from a dummy carrier/broker to assist in your internal testing. Please contact the Exchange team to discuss your requirements.
Stage 2: Production Technical Connectivity Testing
The minimum requirement for the production connectivity testing is to send a single message to the production Exchange, which will be validated and a synchronous response received from the internal Exchange broker / carrier test harness. Alternatively, the Exchange dummy broker / carrier can be used if you wish to carry out a full two way message exchange.
At this stage, carriers will also be provided with logon details to the TMEL Portal and will be required to add their underwriting contact details to help ensure brokers can address messages correctly.
Once connectivity between the production Exchange and your production system has been proven, connectivity testing should be carried out with all live trading partners.
Note: The above technical connectivity testing process only applies for electronic endorsement connections. If you would like to transact EBOT/ECOT messages over the Exchange, please contact the Exchange Support Team for further information.