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IBM Contributes Technology Assets to Help Drive Standards in Insurance Industry


ARMONK, N.Y. - 04 Nov 2009: IBM (NYSE: IBM) today announced it is donating technology assets including its Insurance Application Architecture (IAA) Business Object/Data Model and the IAA Product Specification Diagram (PSD) Notation to help promote insurance industry standards. These technology assets that are built combining IBM hardware, software and research will be donated to the Association for Cooperative Operations Research and Development (ACORD), a leading non-profit standards development organization serving the insurance and financial services industries.

Today's announcement is building on an effort to encourage collaboration and drive innovation in the insurance industry. The adoption of standardized business processes and models will make it easier for insurers to work with agents, brokers and other data partners.

The overall contribution represents a significant contribution of intellectual property associated with IBM's insurance industry models.  The donated models are from IBM's Insurance Application Architecture (IAA), the company's insurance business and IT architecture framework. IAA is continually developed by IBM in collaboration with 100 leading insurance companies around the world, and the IAA model has been licensed by more than 200 insurers worldwide. IAA Business Object/Data Model, coupled with the existing ACORD Information Model, will form the building blocks for the next version of the ACORD Information Model.

“Over the past year, ACORD with previous donations and member participation, created the initial Information Model in an effort to provide an industry-owned model. IBM’s donation will allow ACORD to leverage IBM's 20 years of experience in building an insurance industry model to further develop the ACORD Information Model. The consolidation of the two models will be available to the industry participants for future innovation,” said John Kellington, Senior Vice President of ACORD.

IAA is part of IBM’s Industry Models portfolio, a comprehensive family of data, process and service models that are widely used across industries. Going forward, IBM will continue to work closely with ACORD to align IBM’s rich set of IAA models with ACORD’s standards portfolio. In addition, implementation guides and supporting tools will be issued by ACORD to foster the adoption and expansion of the Framework.

“The synergy of IAA and ACORD working together to create full, robust, flexible insurance assets will aid the ACORD standards group to leverage an insurance industry blueprint with a full operational payload. In this case, both assets will be stronger for this collaboration," said Michael Daugherty, president of the independent IBM Industry Models User's Group (IMUG) and architect at Liberty Mutual Agency Markets Information Services. "IBM and ACORD show true thought leadership by combining the power of ACORD's existing Information Model and their insurance industry information exchange standards, with the depth, flexibility, and operational richness of the IAA Business Object/Data Model."

IBM’s latest and largest IBM business-model donation will further enrich ACORD standards and help propel their use within the industry. The new models will accelerate the development and adoption of ACORD Framework, ACORD Messaging and ACORD eForms.

Leading insurers are on a journey to using information as a strategic asset. By creating an Information Agenda strategy and leveraging IAA and industry standards, they are setting the stage for enhanced business benefits.  As a result, IBM and ACORD have worked closely together to promote industry standards and encourage collaborative, innovative solutions for insurers. 

“The ACORD Framework models will give insurers a flexible set of industry developed assets to help accelerate the global adoption of key industry concepts,” said Mark Lewis, Global Insurance Industry General Manager at IBM. “Collaboratively aligning market-leading products such as IBM’s IAA with ACORD’s Framework will increase the value IAA can deliver to the industry and is consistent with IBM’s strategy of fostering open standards organizations to create growth and innovation.”

By aligning IAA with the ACORD Framework, IBM increases the ability to leverage ACORD and other open standards in IBM’s WebSphere SOA Foundation and SOA insurance industry accelerators, offering insurers accelerated capabilities to implement ACORD standards and SOA. In addition, IBM Cognos BI, together with IBM DB2 pureXML, can further help companies extract key data from ACORD XML messages, integrate the information with existing relational data, and create compelling reports for business analysts and executives. 

About ACORD
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. 

For further information visit:  http//www.ibm.com/insurance

Contact(s) information

Steve Milmore
IBM Media Relations
781-313-2403
smilmore@us.ibm.com

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