ORLANDO, Fla. — May 18, 2009 — ACORD, the world’s leading global nonprofit insurance standards body, has chosen Microsoft Office SharePoint Server to upgrade its collaboration environment for its global membership, Microsoft Corp. today announced at the 2009 ACORD LOMA Insurance Systems Forum.
ACORD (Association for Cooperative Operations Research and Development) is a global, nonprofit insurance association whose mission is to facilitate the development and use of standards for the insurance, reinsurance and related financial services industries. The standards body chose Microsoft to build its externally facing Web sites on the SharePoint Server platform, using the Web collaboration features in SharePoint Server to interface with members. The new site will allow members to manage documents, use project workspaces, manage information repositories, participate in global and topic-specific message boards, and tie into content management, analytics and search tools.
“The insurance business is highly federated across many different players and requires a strong standards model to enable communication between the customer, agents and brokers, and the carriers,” said Frank Neugebauer, assistant vice president of technology, ACORD. “Using Microsoft software, we are able to create a seamlessly integrated environment where our members can share information and ideas in a secure, centralized and collaborative environment.”
Microsoft Office SharePoint Server allows ACORD to manage content, workflow and projects from a single, integrated location. Out-of-the-box tools help employees collaborate with team members, find organizational resources, search for experts and corporate information, manage content and workflow, and leverage business insight to make better-informed decisions.
In addition to selecting SharePoint Server, ACORD is planning to migrate its virtual meetings to Microsoft Office Live Meeting, a cloud-based virtual conferencing solution. Finally, the standards body will also use Microsoft’s unified communications (UC) tools internally, including Microsoft Office Communications Server for VoIP (voice over Internet protocol). By moving to Microsoft’s familiar, easy-to-use and widely supported UC platform, ACORD will be able to cut back on travel costs and better connect directly across the world.
“Cost-cutting is critical for the insurance industry in these economic times, but that doesn’t mean innovation takes a back seat,” said Bill Hartnett, industry solutions director, U.S. Insurance Group at Microsoft. “ACORD, like many of its members, turned to Microsoft to unlock value in its IT investments. Not only was the organization able to save money by moving to Microsoft’s collaboration and UC platforms, it also was able to foster innovation by applying state-of-the-art collaboration technologies to its active membership, driving collaboration and community.”
ACORD (Association for Cooperative Operations Research and Development) is a global, nonprofit standards development organization serving the insurance industry and related financial services industries. ACORD’s mission is to facilitate the development of open consensus data standards and standard forms. ACORD members include hundreds of insurance and reinsurance companies, agents and brokers, software providers, and industry associations worldwide. ACORD works with these organizations towards a goal of improved data communication across diverse platforms through implementation of standards. ACORD maintains offices in New York and London.
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.