Microsoft Announces Broader Strategy for Financial Services Industry: Windows DNA for Financial Services 2000

MIAMI, Dec. 8, 1999 — Today at the Bank Administration Institutes’ Retail Delivery ’99 Conference, Microsoft Corp. announced Windows® DNA for Financial Services 2000 (Windows DNAfs 2000) as the name for its new financial services industry strategy that enhances the already widely adopted Windows DNAfs application interoperability framework. This strategy combines Microsoft’s unique platform, portal and partners as a technology supplier to the financial services industry.

  • The Microsoft® platform includes the enhanced Windows DNA 2000 architecture for building Web-enabled, three-tier applications that address key industry challenges of data and application integration. Using this framework, customers can easily Internet-enable financial products and services while offering interoperability between applications, increased scalability, industry-standard security and faster time-to-market functionality.

  • The MSN TM network of Internet services and other key Microsoft Internet properties enable broach-reach portal opportunities for financial institutions. MSN and the MoneyCentral TM online personal finance service are among the busiest sites on the Web, and financial institutions are working with Microsoft to reach out to consumers and businesses.

  • Hundreds of ISVs, strategic integrators, consultants and hardware vendors make up the list of Microsoft Solution Providers. These partners develop packaged solutions for the range of financial lines of business. The supporters of Windows DNAfs represent over 85 percent of the financial services industry.

Windows DNAfs 2000 is a clear strategy that explains how to utilize Microsoft platform technology, Microsoft Internet properties, and ISV partners to address business issues faced by financial services organizations.
“We announced Windows DNAfs two years ago with an initial focus on application interoperability. Now we are enhancing the strategy beyond interoperability to also address the Web-centric model of software as a service,”
said John Grispon, worldwide banking industry manager for Microsoft.
“This improvement is very timely and relevant in light of the upcoming official launch of Windows 2000, the recently passed Financial Modernization Act, and the input from our DNAfs Advisory Council.”

Windows DNAfs 2000 will embrace the scalability advantages of Windows DNA 2000 and will deliver the interoperability components offered by the BizTalk TM Framework. Microsoft will also deliver new business solution guides for business and technical personnel in the financial services industry. These guides, which will be unveiled throughout 2000, will be simple and concise handbooks intended to communicate DNAfs 2000 messages.

“The financial services industry has always demanded high quality and reliability from its technology partners,”
Grispon said.
“Windows DNAfs 2000 is a comprehensive strategy that is enabling a whole new generation of solutions which will give these companies the edge they need to compete.”

The development of the Windows DNAfs application interoperability architecture is supported by the Windows DNAfs Advisory Council. Over the past year, 25 financial institutions from around the world representing the banking, securities and insurance industries joined and contributed to the Advisory Council. The Advisory Council is currently made up of more than 40 independent software vendors from the banking, securities and insurance industries that collaboratively developed and launched the application interoperability initiative on Dec. 3, 1997, to bring application integration and interoperability to financial institutions. With Advisory council members shipping compliant applications, Microsoft expects even greater adoption of applications supported by the Windows DNAfs framework. Microsoft is looking forward to expanding its existing support of the financial services industry with the increased scalability and security features of Windows 2000 and the Windows DNA 2000 platform.

Enhanced Interoperability Tools

Another key benefit of Windows DNAfs 2000 is the ability to utilize the interoperability features that Microsoft’s BizTalk Framework offers. BizTalk is a Microsoft initiative aimed at driving the rapid and consistent adoption of the Extensible Markup Language (XML) to enable e-commerce and application integration. In financial services, BizTalk makes it easy for companies to integrate applications and conduct business over the Internet.

Both the BizTalk Framework and BizTalk Server are based on XML, a new standard that allows integration across industries and between business systems, regardless of platform, operating system or underlying technology. The BizTalk Framework creates a road map for consistent XML implementations so that a broad audience, such as the financial services industry, can adopt a common approach to using XML. It also enables ISVs to easily map business processes and provides them with a specific design as they build next-generation applications and e-commerce products.

The BizTalk Server is a complementary product that will greatly enhance the XML-based integration capabilities of the Windows DNAfs 2000 platform when it is released next year. It will reduce the amount of custom code that is required when integrating applications and processes, allowing them to communicate seamlessly within or between organizations using Internet technologies. Windows DNAfs 2000 and the BizTalk Framework form a robust foundation for emerging financial services applications; ISVs already are using the technologies to add substantial value for their financial services customers.

Financial Objects, a leading banking ISV based in London, has committed to the Microsoft BizTalk Framework by developing the first of 30 schemas. These schemas, in conjunction with the company’s existing Windows DNAfs platform, enable the seamless electronic exchange of financial data and the integration of disparate financial applications. As a result, Financial Objects’ ActiveBank customers are gaining tremendous flexibility and ease of use from their banking solutions. A number of the company’s customers already are using XML schemas to communicate between such disparate applications as Web applications, call center applications, voice response unit applications and traditional banking packages.

“Microsoft BizTalk Framework-based schemas have been a boon to both our company and our customers,”
said Mike Finlay, executive director of the ActiveBank Application Architecture.
“Using the XML standard, our customers have found that mapping data between applications is minimal and requires no software engineering. This has enabled them to leverage Internet communication to reduce costs, speed time to market and boost their competitiveness.”

About Microsoft

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq
) is the worldwide leader in software for personal and business computing. The company offers a wide range of products and services designed to empower people through great software — any time, any place and on any device.

Microsoft, Windows, MSN, MoneyCentral and BizTalk are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corp. in the United States and/or other countries/regions.

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

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