AUSTIN, TX—Oct. 17, 2012—Drummond Group Inc., the trusted global interoperability test lab, announced today that registration is now open for the first Drummond Certified™ AS4 Interoperability test specifically created for the Australian superannuation industry’s project named SuperStream. The Australian Government is adopting AS4 as the messaging standard for all B2G and B2B data exchange and SuperStream is the first case where AS4 is mandated. All implementers will be required to claim conformance against mandated standard, ideally achieved through an independent certification process. Drummond Certified™ AS4 Interoperability testing will begin in the first quarter of 2013.
The SuperStream initiative is being driven by the Australian Government as part of a comprehensive review of the superannuation industry and aims to improve efficiency within the industry by replacing costly paper processes with automated electronic messaging. In Australia, “superannuation” refers to the financial arrangements made by individuals to have funds available for them during retirement via mandatory employer contributions. SuperStream will mandate the automation of “rollovers” (transfers between funds) from July 1, 2013, and will mandate employer contributions from July 1, 2014. The initiative also includes measures to improve data quality such as TFN (Tax File Number) validation, SPIN (Superannuation Product Identification Number) validation, and bank account validation. The Australian Tax Office will impose penalties for non-compliance.
“We are excited to see the Australian government embrace the AS4 standard to drive their project forward,” said Rik Drummond, CEO of Drummond Group. “This AS4 adoption provides an ideal opportunity for the software vendors that we have worked with over the years to sell their AS4 Drummond Certified™ products into the Australian superannuation marketplace.”
The AS4 standard was initially developed under Drummond Group’s leadership. For nearly a year, Drummond Group facilitated meetings with a group of software vendors that recognized the need to address lingering interoperability issues and the practical desire to reduce complexity associated with Web services messaging. While many of the vendors involved in this effort had experienced implementing the widely successful AS2 (RFC4130) messaging protocol, the Web services standards landscape was largely devoid of a similar “simple and elegant” solution for secure document exchange over a WS-* based specification stack. After surveying the existing Web services standards landscape, it was clear that this group of vendors shared some common goals with the ebMS 3.0 technical committee at OASIS, and that an industry-sponsored profile of ebMS 3.0 presented a win-win scenario for a simplified on-ramp to Web services B2B messaging.
The Drummond Group interoperability testing for AS4 is based on a proven testing methodology developed to ensure that different products can work together to seamlessly exchange messaging. All testing is done over the Internet and can be done in the convenience of a software company’s own location. Also, Drummond Certified™ testing plans include an on-ramp testing “service” specifically designed for SuperStream integration which will be made available locally in Australia for implementers and integrators alike.
To view documents mandating the use of ebMS3/AS4 in Australia, see Schedule 5 in: http://www.ato.gov.au/superfunds/content.aspx?doc=/content/00335171.htm&pc=001/149/032/002/005&mnu=0&mfp=&st=&cy=
For more information about Drummond Group’s AS4 testing, see: http://www.drummondgroup.com/index.php/b2b-certified-products/b2b-standards/as4