At PPL, we are committed to providing the safest environment for employees whilst maintaining the continuity of services to our customers. Along with Lloyd’s & Ebix, we are closely monitoring the situation and we have Crisis and Business continuity plans in place should we need to invoke them and, as with all market businesses, have already implemented various actions to follow the latest government guidance.
In the event of a large number of people having to work remotely, PPL will be a vital trading tool to ensure that customer service can be maintained. It is delivered as a publicly available web portal so can be accessed from anywhere. There are no technical limitations (i.e. browser plugin prerequisites, whitelisting, etc.) that would prevent the platform from being accessed directly by a remote workforce.
Impact on market placing practices
The key question from users is, with increased numbers of users, whether the platform will still be able to respond quickly and efficiently. To answer this, we have looked at each component of the placing process:
- Submission – The implementation of large-scale remote working across the market could drive increased usage of the submission functionality but it is difficult to quantify the size of this increase. We do consider, however, that the longer the duration or the greater the severity of the event, then the greater the potential impact on PPL. The platform has the capacity to increase the amount of business initiated at the submission stage.
- Firm order – Since electronic placement of firm orders is already widely used across the market, it is unlikely that the numbers will increase significantly and there should not be any impact on the platform.
- Endorsement – This function is widely used. In addition, the recent introduction of the corrections functionality in late 2019 means that the numbers of endorsements are dropping so we don’t expect any impact.
Improvements to increase capacity
A programme of activity has been undertaken throughout 2019 and into 2020 to improve the platform scalability and support continued growth in adoption over a longer term period.
The net result of the infrastructure changes is that we are now well positioned to cater for any uplift in throughput arising from a global pandemic event.
Resilience of partner businesses
Ebix has confirmed that they have sufficient mitigation and widely spread resources to ensure that the PPL service will continue to be maintained. They have staff in multiple locations which would ensure business continuity, and all of their London staff have the ability to work remotely, so we are comfortable that they would continue to provide services. From a support perspective, we also have staff that can respond to helpdesk calls.