Microsoft Previews Insurance Forms Accelerator at ACORD LOMA

LAS VEGAS, May 24, 2004 — Microsoft Corp. today unveiled a special preview of the Microsoft Office Solution Accelerator for Insurance Forms at the ACORD LOMA Insurance Systems Forum. The accelerator is designed to help insurance industry customers cut processing time and costs, and reduce errors associated with data re-entry, by tying standardized ACORD forms with XML Web services and making those forms available to participants of any of the ACORD forms programs through the use of Microsoft Office InfoPath 2003 information gathering program.

ACORD is a global, nonprofit insurance association that drives the development and implementation of standards for the insurance, reinsurance and related financial services industries. The association is working with Microsoft to make many of its standardized insurance forms available for use with InfoPath 2003.

This accelerator is a perfect illustration of the long-running and successful relationship between ACORD and Microsoft, said Aziz Hussein, chief technology officer of ACORD. We wanted to marry the standards and forms we develop for our members with the power of XML Web services and make them available through an easy-to-use and readily accessible environment. Weve achieved that with our work with Microsoft Office InfoPath 2003.

This is a great example of what we call integrated innovation, said Bill Hartnett, general manager of Financial Services Solutions at Microsoft. Our work on enterprise-class products and technologies, combined with leading industry standards, gives our partners a head start on developing innovative industry solutions that work well with legacy technologies more quickly, more efficiently and with greater benefits to our mutual customers. The Microsoft Solution Accelerator for Insurance Forms leverages the more than 30 years the insurance industry has invested in ACORDs form and data standards, allowing insurance professionals to spend less time focusing on technology and more time where it counts with the customer.

The full release of the accelerator will coincide with the release of the Microsoft Office 2003 Editions Service Pack 1 later this year. The service pack will include several enhancements to InfoPath 2003. As part of the preview at the ACORD LOMA forum, Microsoft showed how the accelerator enables Microsoft Insurance Value Chain partners to integrate their rating, agency and administration solutions with XML Web services-enabled forms through the Microsoft Office environment and InfoPath 2003. Insurance Value Chain partners featured in the preview included AMS-Rackley Inc., AMS Services Inc., Applied Systems Inc., Decision Research Corp., Duck Creek Technologies Inc. and XDimensional Technologies Inc.

In addition to the partners featured in the preview, Microsoft and Immedient Corp. are working with Ohio Casualty Group to help the property and casualty insurance provider streamline its reporting of claims first notice of loss. The solution, which uses forms, schema architecture and practices from the forms accelerator, is being rolled out to a number of agents who currently report claims using paper ACORD forms.

Ohio Casualty is excited to be working with the powerful features of InfoPath 2003 to revolutionize what is a very slow and paper-bound process today, said John Kellington, senior vice president and chief technology officer of Ohio Casualty Group. We are hoping to extend this same productivity and architecture into a number of other lines of business.

Ohio Casualty Group is ranked 45th among U.S. property and casualty insurance groups based on net premiums written (Bests Review, July 2003). The groups original operating company, the Ohio Casualty Insurance Co., was founded in 1919 and is licensed in 49 states. The groups member companies write auto, home and business insurance.

Immedient is providing technical integration services that unite the user experience to a number of existing systems showcasing Web services and interoperability of technology. The native use of XML in InfoPath 2003 accelerates seamless interoperability between systems.

The accelerator comprises the ACORD forms and XML schemas designed for use with InfoPath 2003, a set of workflow transactions using Microsoft BizTalk Server 2004, and prescriptive architecture and code for Web services, security and digital signatures.

About Microsoft Office Solution Accelerators

Designed for and built on the Microsoft Office System, Office Solution Accelerators constitute an integrated set of software components, templates and best-practices guidance designed to solve specific problems common to organizations. Each accelerator is designed to help develop a solution to a problem, enabling individuals and teams to accomplish a specific task, such as streamlining recruiting functions, consolidating administrative tasks, creating customized reports or writing proposals.

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.

Microsoft, InfoPath 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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