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PPL plans ‘two-track’ approach to NextGen enhancements

Small enhancements will be released monthly, with larger upgrades released every several months, chief executive says

Enhancements will begin in the ‘next few weeks’ in response to user feedback, chief executive tells Insurance Day, as NextGen platform launches following delays

PPL will begin launching monthly updates to its next generation platform in the coming weeks in response to user feedback, the platform’s chief executive has confirmed.

NextGen 1.0 of PPL went live today, two weeks later than planned. It had been scheduled to launch on February 20.

The new version of the London market e-placing platform replicates most of the old system’s capabilities with an improved user interface. It supports the placing lifecycle from quote through to bind. It will also handle endorsements.

PPL chief executive, Joe Gordon, told Insurance Day enhancements would begin in the “next few weeks” using a “two-track” approach.

“Now we are live, we will be adding enhancements to NextGen using an agile framework to allow us to rapidly bring continuous improvement in response to customer requests,” Gordon said.

“These will start as soon as the next few weeks and then continue on a monthly rhythm. We will run with two tracks: small enhancements to be released monthly and larger upgrades, which will be released every several months, depending on the scale of the enhancement,” he added.

Work is also under way on developing a roadmap for aligning PPL with the Lloyd’s Blueprint Two initiative and the work of the Data Council. This work will set out the path to capturing the data fields set out in the recently published Core Data Record (CDR).

Gordon said progress has been made on this and “a clear integrated path is emerging”.

“For example, PPL is building an integrated plan with the London Market JV and Blueprint 2 so we will be ready to submit a CDR to the Digital Gateway from day one,” Gordon said. “And we will be accepting the new MRC v3 as soon as it is adopted by the market, likely in April,” he added.

The NextGen version of PPL had been scheduled to launch in September 2022. But this was delayed as not all elements of the new platform would be completed due to “increased complexity and accelerated appetite for APIs”.

Gordon described the launch of NextGen 1.0 as a “major milestone” and a “significant step forward on the [London] market’s journey towards digital operation”.

“By design, transaction volumes will be low during the first few weeks, allowing market firms to complete training and preparations, and brokers to upload facilities and risks, in preparation for volume trading from the start of April,” he said.

Asked about the development of APIs, Gordon said PPL has an “early adopter programme” in which it is working with “interested market parties to build integrated plans and specifications”.

“We believe this is a better approach than a broad market launch from day one and will lead to a better experience for customers and broader and deeper adoption of PPL APIs over time,” he added.

Gordon, a former QBE International chief operating officer, took over as chief executive of PPL at the beginning of the year, following the retirement of Sue Jakobek after more than six years in the role.

The launch of PPL NextGen comes as other e-placing platforms, such as Whitespace, are gaining traction on the London market.

In 2022, PPL bound approximately 200,000 risks. This was three times the number done before the Covid-19 pandemic, with 400 companies across 34 countries using the platform.

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