Microsoft Releases Insurance Value Chain “Factory” for ACORD Standards
May 13, 2008
New IVC Software Factory helps insurance companies integrate applications and Web services in both property and casualty and life and annuity businesses via ACORD industry standards.

LAS VEGAS — May 13, 2008 — Helping insurance companies jump-start development projects for line-of-business software applications that use common ACORD standards, Microsoft Corp. today released the Microsoft Insurance Value Chain (IVC) Software Factory for ACORD Standards at ACORD LOMA Insurance Systems Forum 2008.

The IVC Software Factory for ACORD Standards is a set of development tools and assets that use the Microsoft .NET Framework to aid insurance firms and software vendors in the integration of existing applications and business logic with ACORD Web services. Targeting the property and casualty and life and annuity businesses, the IVC Software Factory is an extension of Microsoft’s broader IVC Architecture Framework, released in 2006.

Hosted on CodePlex, Microsoft’s open source development portal (http://www.codeplex.com), and available free to the insurance community, the IVC Software Factory includes ready-to-run Microsoft Visual Studio development projects, samples, white papers and a next-generation Microsoft Silverlight 2 reference user interface — all of which can be consumed and implemented within insurance environments today.

“While successful, the IVC Architecture Framework did not originally have a specific development asset to help with integration scenarios between ACORD Web services standards and the Microsoft .NET Framework,” said Colin Cole, U.S. insurance industry technology strategist at Microsoft. “The Insurance Value Chain Software Factory for ACORD builds on Microsoft’s long-standing IVC program by providing the resources for firms and developers to successfully integrate new, enhanced Web services into existing applications, ultimately reducing development costs and ensuring interoperability with existing systems.”

The development schemas, white papers and other resources within the IVC Software Factory for ACORD Standards address the insurance industry’s changing demands by showcasing techniques for enhancing existing applications with Web services and supporting an enterprise service-oriented architecture (SOA) strategy. The Silverlight 2 reference user interface included in the IVC Software Factory helps insurance developers create next-generation Web experiences for customers, including advanced video streaming, high-resolution graphics and more.

“ACORD standards strive to unify siloed systems and fragmented business requirements by empowering the insurance industry with common business capabilities, processes and vocabulary,” said John Kellington, senior vice president, ACORD. “Web services are vital for insurance companies seeking to expand current IT systems with new, enhanced offerings, and we appreciate the efforts of innovative partners like Microsoft to provide insurance companies with a road map for integrating these emerging technologies with existing infrastructure through ACORD standards.”

More information on Microsoft’s IVC Software Factory for ACORD Standards is available through the CodePlex portal at http://www.codeplex.com/IVC.

About the Microsoft Insurance Value Chain Program

Microsoft’s IVC program is a growing ecosystem of insurance partners that address key solution areas across the industry — from point-of-sale and service to policy administration and claims processing — by utilizing Microsoft’s core strengths in front- and back-office technologies. The IVC program has grown from a handful of insurance application partners to more than 70 insurance solution and service providers, with the common goal of providing innovative, straight-through processing for insurance on the Microsoft platform using Web services, Extensible Markup Language (XML) and industry-specific standards.

More information about Microsoft’s IVC partners can be found at http://www.microsoft.com/industry/financialservices/insurance/ivcpartners.mspx.

About Microsoft in Financial Services

Microsoft’s Financial Services Group provides software that helps financial firms transform the customer, employee and operations experience so they can maximize opportunities for increased market share and profitability. Microsoft software helps empower people and IT staff within financial firms — and across key focus areas such as advisor platforms, channel renewal, insurance value chain, enterprise risk management and compliance, and payments. Through a combination of Microsoft- and partner-provided solutions, customers enable their employees to turn data into insight, transform ideas into action and turn change into opportunity. More information about Microsoft’s Financial Services Group can be found at http://www.microsoft.com/financialservices.

About Microsoft

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT”) is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential.

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