Inside CCC's Move to BMS
In recent months, CCC’s Secure Share Network went live through CCC ONE. The system switches from the traditional estimating management standard (EMS) of transferring data to a business message specification (BMS) that CCC has promised will be more secure.
For reference, according to the Collision Industry Electronic Commerce Association’s (CIECA) website, EMS is a schematic for exchanging the estimate data, and BMS is a collection of schematics designed to support a wide range of business processes that ensures that only the data needed is part of the exchange. The information provider will offer both options for a year, but in April 2018, the EMS method will no longer be available.
According to Mark Fincher, vice president of market solutions at CCC, EMS was outdated and left a significant amount of information out in the open and vulnerable. CCC says that BMS will create a more secure network for its customers, and Fincher hopes that once shop owners and third-party app developers start using it, they’ll realize the benefits that a system like this will bring. Fincher shares the benefits of BMS and addresses common industry issues surrounding the standard.
BMS has been around for a few years now, but no other information provider has proceeded with using it until CCC ONE made the announcement in 2016. Why is now the right time?
I think it comes down to two things: As we were looking at secure data, we saw this as a gap in the security solutions. The EMS format was launched in the 90s and it’s become outdated and has made it difficult for the industry to progress. We felt obligated to solve this for our customers. Another thing that made the time right is that we believe that the industry is in a place where the apps available in the marketplace are more capable to connect to cloud-based systems than they were two, three, four years ago. We looked at the landscape over the past year and decided now was the right time. As far as us being the first, we wanted to be proactive and find a solution before there was a problem.
“The real-time transfer of data is more efficient and allows more visibility ...”
—Mark Fincher, Vice President, Market Solutions, CCC Information Services
What void in the industry does Secure Share fill?
We wanted to provide a marketplace that would allow collision repair shop owners to connect to third-party app providers and have the ease of mind knowing that information was being sent in a secure format. Through Secure Share, all of the data is encrypted. There will no longer be data dropped off on a local hard drive where it’s vulnerable to being compromised. Before, shops were sending all of the information to the app providers, even if it wasn’t information that they needed to have. Through BMS, you can filter what information is sent to whom.
Through this new approach, how do you view the ownership of the data? Who controls it?
There have been many claims as to who owns the data. One thing that we’ve never claimed is that we own the data. Our data policy is publicly available. We share how we use, host and transmit the data. As far as direct access, there are many layers of security that CCC goes through. We put ourselves through rigorous security audits. We have a multi-layered approach to security and we’re taking all of the precautions to make sure that the information is as secure as possible.
There’s been some backlash within the industry because there will be a cost per workfile through BMS. What’s your response to this?
There will be a 50 cent charge per workfile and a registration fee. Both of those have been waived through 2018. I think it’s controversial because it’s free to make transactions through EMS but not through BMS. I understand that nobody wants to go from something that was free to having a charge, but there has been a significant development cost to the solution and we will continue to enhance the system. We will be processing thousands of transactions every day that will need support to get third-party apps the information to them in a timely manner. Over time, I think that the app providers will realize the benefit of taking advantage of newer technology. The real-time transfer of data is more efficient and allows more visibility and enhanced filtering.
Will there be any charge to shop owners?
No. The third-party app provider will be charged the fee. The workfile can be an estimate or a repair order. I think another misconception is that a charge will be issued for every update—that’s not the case. If an estimate is updated 20 times, it will still only cost the app provider the flat 50 cent fee. Another thing is that the third-party app provider will have a filter capability to select only the files that they need, so they won’t be charged for files that they do not want. The shop owner and the provider both have the option to filter the information that is shared. The shop owner always has to approve a change, so there will be no information that is shared without consent. We’ve developed a complex and robust functionality that is easy to use and helps both parties manage the messages that are transferred.