ACORD Launches Testing and Certification Facility in London

LONDON, UK & PEARL RIVER, NY – 22 February 2007 – ACORD launched it’s new Testing and Certification Facility (TCF) within the London insurance market, making it easier than ever for ACORD members to test implementations and certify messages for ACORD Document Repository Interface (DRI) standard adoption.

The TCF is a “virtual” business partner. London market developers can send ACORD messages to it, have the system validate them, and then have it send back responses indicating acceptance or errors. This live application streamlines the entire process thereby increasing certifications and improving communication between business partners.

“The TCF is a great step forward and a benefit for ACORD members. They can now monitor their tests and fix any bugs on their road to certification while solving the common question of where a problem may be during the data exchange,” said Roy Laker, assistant vice president, London Market, ACORD. “We continue to improve the implementation, certification, and reporting processes using the latest technologies and innovations.”

The ACORD TCF system was a collaborative development effort with ACORD member company TriSystems InfoBahn (www.trisystemsinfobahn.com). By using the ACORD TCF, two individual companies can independently and successfully test against the facility with the knowledge that once certified, they can work together with their respective implementations.

Jeff Ward, business development director at TriSystems InfoBahn commented that, “ACORD is bringing a radical new initiative to the market which is going to speed up the rapid adoption of the new messaging standards. Working in collaboration with TriSystems InfoBahn, ACORD is helping ensure the success of the London market messaging revolution.”

In early preproduction trials of the new system, several key implementers of ACORD standards in London – Xchanging, TriSystems Infobahn, Trace Group, and Webconnectivity – successfully tested their implementations of ACORD DRI standards. Their help was invaluable in ensuring the new system is robust and ready to handle live-usage volumes.

“The launch of the Testing and Certification Facility will greatly increase the speed, predictability and ease with which partner systems integrate using the ACORD standards. Xchanging warmly applauds ACORD for its leadership and innovation in making this facility available”, said Jonathan Bradshaw, managing director of implementation, Xchanging.

“This will reduce time, and ultimately cost, in establishing the connectivity between two trading partners,” said Trevor Maddison, Marsh, Inc.

At present, the system can be used only for DRI (Document Repository Interface) messages. DRI Standards are available to all lines of business and enable the communication of free format documentation. ACORD will be evaluating expansion of the system for use with other ACORD standards and other geographies.

“During 2007 and beyond, we envisage a lot of new systems going live with further enhancements in the claims area, further enhancements in accounting and settlement, and indeed placing,” according to Mark Barwick, LMBC, “TCF has the ability to help out all those projects.”

Pat Talbot, IUA, added that “what we need is an automatic tool that completes its job in hours rather than days. I believe that TCF will do this for us.”

For more information on the ACORD TCF or to arrange a testing plan, please contact Roy Laker at rlaker@acord.org. (www.acord.org).