Microsoft Delivers Architectural Guidance to Drive Sustainable Innovation in Banking

REDMOND, Wash. — May 15, 2012 — Released today, the Microsoft Industry Reference Architecture for Banking (MIRA-B) is a technology reference architecture based on Microsoft Corp.’s platform and services designed to help financial institutions reduce costs and drive strategic growth.

MIRA-B, a development and delivery framework that helps financial institutions modularize and align business and technology assets, provides clarity on technical capabilities and implementation approaches to support enterprise IT architecture planning. MIRA-B outlines a road map for the future that provides the architectural flexibility to deliver industry solutions on site or in the cloud. As a result, this supports new business models, profit streams and customer experiences that enable financial institutions to leverage technology as a means of being present in the lives of their customers any time, any place, across channels and devices.

“Today’s banks are under pressure to effectively serve customers, meet new regulatory requirements and create innovative new business models and solutions while sustaining profitability,” said Joseph Pagano, managing director, Worldwide Banking and Capital Markets, Microsoft Corp. “We’re providing a reference architecture that can help financial institutions rationalize banking services, which can then be consumed by other areas of the financial institution as needed. Such repeatability and modularity removes redundancy and, as a result, MIRA-B was designed to lower costs, enable faster delivery of products to market, reduce operational risk and improve the ability to listen to customers.”

According to Temenos Group AG, the global banking software provider, IT costs in the banking industry average about 14 percent of total costs* — nearly twice that of other industries — because of redundant, outdated or siloed applications that exist across multiple business units. MIRA-B helps alleviate this issue by helping banks create repeatable architectures and reuse commodity resources, where efficiencies can be gained. This framework enables new levels of data, application and business process transparency while helping banks maintain market differentiation.

“The financial services industry is increasingly moving to a reference architecture (RA), allowing institutions to better understand the complex business and technology demands on their business,” said Rod Nelsestuen, senior research director at CEB TowerGroup. “Companies that provide an RA framework can help financial institutions streamline and accelerate the delivery of solutions to the industry.”

Building a Framework for Success

MIRA-B builds on the semantic business models being defined by the Banking Industry Architecture Network (BIAN), an organization of which Microsoft is a founding member. BIAN is focused on architecture models that reduce integration complexity and align IT with business objectives to create a more agile and efficient banking organization.

MIRA-B has already been endorsed by BIAN, as well as several Microsoft technology partners, including Financial Architects, Fiserv, Misys, SunGard, Temenos and Turaz. Endorsements from each partner are available here.

“Building sustainable banking architectures continues to be a key issue as financial institutions strive to align their business goals and technical capabilities,” said Alberto Alessi, head of Strategy Unit, Strategy Management Department, UniCredit Business Integrated Solutions S.C.p.A. “The success of UniCredit Business Integrated Solutions’ approach suggests that standardized components, architecture design and cloud computing must be emphasized to meet our business imperatives. Given that MIRA-B shares these attributes, we expect it will be a valuable asset in defining future capabilities for banking and other large ecosystems.”

The repeatable standards-based reference architecture provided by MIRA-B can help the banking industry drive sustained innovation and, in turn, long-term strategic growth.

For more information, please visit the MIRA-B website.

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT”) is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential.

* Source: Temenos white paper — Tackling the Productivity Paradox

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