Appendix A - Focus Group Summary

Context of this Document

The ASX Cutover and Migration Strategy must be read in the context of the ASX CHESS Replacement Technical Documentation (as applicable).

In the interests of readability and comprehension, where a procedure applies only in the context of securities in a listed company, the specific term security has been used instead of the more generic term financial product.

Change History

Focus Group Summary

In advance of ASX publishing the approach to cutover and migration by end of this year, the focus groups held in early November invited feedback to a series of questions relating to market dress rehearsals (MDRs) and the cut-over weekend, including any potential challenges and issues. 

Key themes from the feedback provided by focus group attendees are set out below.

What further information can ASX provide to facilitate stakeholders activities and planning?

A number of focus group members are seeking more granular information to help them prepare and plan for MDRs and the cut-over weekend including:

  • More granular information on the timing of activities to be provided earlier than July 2022, including all CHESS user actions to be performed prior to CHESS end of day, with defined check points

  • To allow CHESS users to check end of day reports are functioning as expected on the Sunday evening

  • A few have asked that ASX give consideration to running a settlement batch post MDR to provide a significant measure of confidence that a settlement batch can be executed in the new environment including pre and post settlement obligation status reports

  • Detail on the entry and exit criteria for the go/no go decision

  • More information on how the ASX will communicate updates during MDRs and cutover

High level timing for the cutover weekend

While a number of stakeholders did not express concerns with the high level timeline presented for the cutover weekend, some concerns were expressed including:

  • Timeline is very tight and internal stakeholder dress rehearsals and market dress rehearsals will be key to confidently confirm the timeline allows stakeholders to complete the required activities in the allocated time

  • Timing of  the go/no go decision needs to be confirmed to allow stakeholders to understand if this affords enough time to perform their internal rollback processes and to be ‘production ready’ for start of day Monday in the event of a ‘no go’ decision

  • There is less concern on the timing of the MDRs if prior dated snapshots are used (as opposed to current date data)

Snapshot of data to support Market Dress Rehearsals

There are mixed views in using current date data on the MDR weekend versus some prior dated data and potential risks associated with each.   While on balance more stakeholders prefer ‘current date’ as this most closely aligns to the go-live plan, others have expressed strong views on technical constraints including the time taken to complete a backup and restore which may be logistically challenging immediately preceding a MDR weekend if using current date data.

This item will require more time to understand if current date is a feasible option to plan for.

CHESS user environments for Market Dress Rehearsals

There are strong views that CHESS users cannot use their current production environment for MDRs as it needs to be retained and untouched for production processing.  

Many CHESS users will also not be able to stand-up a separate “to be” production environment that will then become their production environment at go-live. 

The majority of responses received highlighted that CHESS Users will primarily use a Prod like test environment to participate in MDRs, rather than a ‘to-be’ production environment. In these situations, ASX will need to prove CHESS users can connect their production environment to ASX’s ‘To be’ Production Environment prior to go-live.

Other factors for ASX’s further consideration

  • More detailed information needs to be provided on the migration of NBO batch instructions from old CHESS that will be settled in the CHESS replacement system

  • Consideration should be given to making limited CHESS functions available on the Sunday post a go decision to facilitate CHESS user business verification testing of CHESS user systems

  • Samples of customer migration reports should be made available early to allow CHESS users the option to plan for reconciliation processes including the option to automate reconciliation processes

  • Potential resourcing and environment challenges in supporting both MDR2 and IWT2 in February 2022

  • Consideration to a potential blackout period for non-urgent corporate action events on the Friday pre migration and the Monday post migration

  • Consideration for a non-settlement day on the Friday (pre migration) and the Monday (post migration)

  • ASX should convene cohort specific focus groups or working groups to collectively work through the requirements and plan for a successful cutover and migration

Next steps

Where relevant, ASX will address the feedback as part of this publication or will be discussed as part of CHESS user bilaterals in Q1 of 2022.  In addition, ASX will also present the key themes from the feedback in the 15 December Implementation and Transition working group webinar