Microsoft Extends Windows DNA FS to Insurance Industry

Microsoft Extends Windows DNA FS to Insurance Industry

ORLANDO, Fla., May 18, 1998 — Microsoft Corp. today announced that the Microsoft® Windows® Distributed interNet Applications architecture for Financial Services (Windows DNA FS) is being extended to the insurance industry. Windows DNA FS is a framework designed to allow financial services industry software applications to exchange information with each other and mainframe systems.

The announcement, made during the annual technology conference of the nonprofit Agency Company Organization for Research and Development (ACORD) insurance standards organization, was supported by major insurance industry companies and software providers including Agency Management Services Inc., Applied Systems Inc., Delphi Financial Group Inc., E-Z Data Inc., FDP Corp., The Guardian Life Insurance Co. of America, Hartford Life Inc., Ontos Inc., Policy Management Systems Corp., Sterling Wentworth Corp. and Zurich Insurance Group.

“What we’re announcing today means that insurance software vendors and companies will be able to build next-generation systems that can smoothly integrate with the legacy systems in place at many corporations,”
said Kevin Kelly, worldwide insurance industry manager at Microsoft.
“Ultimately, this will allow insurance companies to rapidly develop and roll out new financial service products, integrate their product and service delivery channels, make Internet and intranet development simple, and, most important, reduce infrastructure costs. In short, it helps solve many real problems that have plagued insurers for years.”

Today’s announcement means that versions of Windows DNA FS have been announced for each of the banking, securities and insurance industries in the past six months. Windows DNA FS will help software developers in those industries build enterprise computing infrastructures that constitute a
“digital nervous system,”
that is, a next-generation corporate information system that takes advantage of the best of personal computing and the Internet.

In insurance, Windows DNA FS will work seamlessly with two existing industry data-exchange specifications – called OlifE and ObjX – maintained by ACORD.

Windows DNA FS will allow insurance companies to compile a transaction once and send it to various delivery channels. For example, a company selling auto insurance that wanted to develop a special offer would previously have had to create a policy, then rebuild and reformat it several times to distribute across different outlets – agents, brokers, direct sales offices, employee channels, direct mail, etc. – a process that could take several months. Using a Windows DNA FS-compliant application, that auto insurance company could create a policy once, then drive it through the various channels to customers in days. The applications at the company may run on different operating systems, but will be able to exchange information because that information is composed of a series of objects, or chunks of software code, that enable those systems to
to each other.

“Insurance companies, agents and brokers need responsive systems that can adapt to the increasing demands of their customers, business partners and regulators,”
said Kevin Schipani, group manager of research and development at ACORD.
“Windows DNA FS is a road map that will help them get there. Simply put, if strategic software applications take too long to develop and can’t interoperate with each other or with legacy applications, it’s difficult to provide great service, offer competitive products and embrace e-commerce opportunities offered by the Internet.”

Windows DNA FS will be made freely available to software developers and insurance companies, and will eventually be managed by an independent third party. Windows DNA FS will enable insurers to take advantage of the transaction and message queuing technology found in the Windows NT® Server operating system and the continuing advances in COM, the Microsoft Component Object Model.

The insurance industry organizations supporting Windows DNA FS will participate in a working group meeting to be held shortly after the ACORD conference that will help further define the specific technological requirements of Windows DNA FS for insurance. Similar working group meetings have already been held for banking and securities.

ACORD’s mission is to increase the efficiency of the agency distribution systems and insurance industry. ACORD develops and maintains standard forms and processes for insurance agencies. Nearly 1,000 insurance companies are affiliated with ACORD, as are 35,000 agencies, all major agency software providers and other industry associations.

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq
) is the worldwide leader in software for personal computers. The company offers a wide range of products and services for business and personal use, each designed with the mission of making it easier and more enjoyable for people to take advantage of the full power of personal computing every day.

Microsoft, Windows and Windows NT are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corp. in the United States and/or other countries.

Other product and company names herein may be trademarks of their respective owners.

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