Allstate Partners With Microsoft to Build Independent Producer Network

REDMOND, Wash., and NORTHBROOK, Ill., Jan. 7, 2003 — Microsoft Corp. and Allstate Financial, a business unit of the Allstate Corp., today announced a network solution for independent producers that the companies jointly developed in just seven months. Allstate wanted to extend its five existing policy management systems for access by the company’s national network of independent producers. Using Microsoft®
.NET and the .NET Framework, Allstate built a solution to put Allstate Financial tools at producers’ fingertips.

“We attribute much of the success of the project and rapid time to market — seven months from the start of coding to production rollout — to the significant increases in performance, scalability, reliability and developer productivity provided by Visual Studio® .NET and the .NET Framework,”
said Patricia Coffey, vice president of technology at Allstate Financial.

Allstate used Visual Studio .NET, the .NET Framework, Windows® 2000 Server, SQL Server (TM) 2000 and BizTalk®
Server 2002 to harness the power of XML Web services along with other technologies, including J2EE connectors, that enabled it to integrate its systems and services while achieving its IT business goals. Microsoft Consulting Services also contracted with Avanade Inc. to assist in the site development.

Allstate developed as a strategic technology solution to integrate multiple information systems and services and present them in a way that enables producers to transact business with the firm. allows agents to service accounts, catalog forms, retrieve product and policy information, and access sales support 24 hours a day, seven days a week. By easily navigating one central Web site for all these capabilities, agents will be more efficient in servicing their customers, while focusing on opportunities to reduce operating costs and increase revenues.

“We designed our site with the help of the experts — our producers — and when it came to implementing our site we enlisted the help of experts at Microsoft,”
Coffey said.
“We selected Microsoft because of the flexibility the .NET technology provided us, and we are quite pleased with the results.”

“As an enterprise leader, it was important for Allstate to work with a company that would enable it to best meet the needs of its producers, partners and customers. Microsoft .NET technology enabled Allstate to improve its business operations by better connecting people, information and systems,” said Tom Button, vice president of the Developer Platform and Evangelism Division at Microsoft. “The launch of is further proof of the value that enterprises such as Allstate are realizing today as they rapidly adopt .NET technologies and XML Web services for building connected, enterprise-level solutions.”

About Allstate

The Allstate Corp. (NYSE
“ALL” ) is the nation’s largest publicly held personal lines insurer. Widely known through the “You’re In Good Hands With Allstate®
” slogan, Allstate provides insurance products to more than 16 million households and has approximately 12,500 exclusive agents and financial specialists in the United States and Canada. Customers can access Allstate products and services through Allstate agents, or in select states at and (800) Allstate. EncompassSM and Deerbrook®
Insurance brand property and casualty products are sold exclusively through independent agents. Allstate Financial Group includes the businesses that provide life insurance and retirement and investment products, through Allstate agents, workplace marketing, independent agents, banks and securities firms.

About Microsoft

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq
) is the worldwide leader in software, services and Internet technologies 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, Visual Studio, Windows and BizTalk are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corp. in the United States and/or other countries.

The names of actual companies and products mentioned herein may be the trademarks of their respective owners.

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