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Insurance brokers hit by second SSP Worldwide cloud outage in less than a week

Insurance software house comes under fire from users again, after they run into problems with its cloud service for the second time in a week

SSP Worldwide is in the midst of another “connectivity problem” that has left insurance brokers, returning to work after the weekend of 12-13 November 2016, unable to access its cloud-based Pure Broking platform.

Several brokers, speaking to Computer Weekly on condition of anonymity, reported issues logging into the system, claiming the problems are either affecting all or at least the vast majority of the people they employ.

“We have had very little in the way of communication from SSP and the service is very intermittent. Currently we only have one user online out of eight,” said one.

Another described the service as “unfit for purpose” given that the outage comes hot on the heels of a series of technical issues that have blighted the service throughout the second part of 2016.

These include a two-week outage in August 2016 that left around 300 brokers across the UK struggling to trade as a result, and a further isolated period of downtime on 10 November.

Computer Weekly contacted SSP for details about the cause of the technical difficulties, but had not received a response at the time of publication.

However, in a post on social media site Twitter, the company confirmed the issues, and advised users to check its online customer portal for updates.

“Some customers may be experiencing connectivity issues with Pure Broking this morning,” the post read.

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In a meeting in October 2016, overseen by the British Insurance Brokers’ Association (BIBA), between SSP and a dozen or so of those affected by the two-week outage, the company outlined the work it was doing to ensure a repeat of the two-week outage would not occur.

The company also offered to refund the service fees affected users paid to use the service during the two weeks it was offline and for the fortnight directly after, as a goodwill gesture.

In the wake of the company’s recent technical difficulties, BIBA CEO Steve White said the organisation had contacted SSP for further information.

“We have been made aware of the outage problems last week and this morning. We have been in touch with SSP,” said White in a statement.

“BIBA has committed to undertake a fundamental review of the leading insurance software houses using external accessors to conduct a health check. A baseline assessment will be produced and made available to members.”

The September outage originated from a power failure affecting its soon-to-be-decommissioned Solihull datacentre, but the source of the problem on 10 November is not yet known.

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