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IBM Contributes Business Process Content to ACORD Insurance Industry Standards


ARMONK, NY, & PEARL RIVER, NY - 07 Sep 2005: IBM and ACORD, the nonprofit insurance standards organization, announced today that IBM is contributing more than 100 business-process models, model definitions and other industry content to ACORD. The models come from IBM's Insurance Application Architecture (IAA), the company's insurance business and IT architecture framework. The donation will accelerate the development and adoption of business-process standards that in turn will help address some of the global insurance industry's greatest challenges.

The overall contribution represents nearly 20 years of research and development by IBM.

The addition of these IBM business-model assets to the ACORD standards portfolio will further enrich the standards and help propel their use within the industry as well as the use of Service-Oriented Architecture (SOA) and web-services. Insurance companies will be able to apply SOA approaches to bring together best-of-breed applications on whatever middleware platforms they choose. The result will be the implementation of more efficient, flexible and profitable solutions - for example, in areas such as claims handling - that benefit both customers and shareowners.

"The linkage of process, transaction, forms and data is more important than ever as our industry faces the need to redesign and modernize business processes that include process controls, auditable data flows and data transparency," said Gregory A. Maciag, president and CEO, ACORD. "This contribution by IBM demonstrates its commitment to industry standards and the community in which it operates. It will create a value proposition for the industry that will enable and support industry transformation for growth and survival as well as promote innovative business solutions in a manner that is technology neutral, but more importantly, will stand the test of time as the 'transport' technology changes."

ACORD will channel IBM's donated IAA elements into its standards-setting process in the same way it incorporates other contributed content. ACORD's goal will be to promote use of the enhanced standards as quickly as possible and also to support the continued evolution over time to meet advancing industry needs.
 
"IBM believes that both technology and industry-specific standards are essential if clients are to solve their collaboration and integration problems and accelerate their business strategies -- whether they are to run, grow or transform their businesses," said Michael Adler, Global BCS Insurance Industry Leader. "As powered in part by our contribution, the development of new and enhanced open standards by ACORD provides game-changing opportunities for the insurance industry."

Going forward, IBM will be working closely with ACORD and its various committees in order for the industry content to be integrated into the existing ACORD standards. In addition, implementation guides and other tools will be issued by ACORD to help the industry adopt this business process framework, expand the business data and transactions, conduct pilot tests within the current environment and evolve to keep pace with the ever- changing industry needs.

In addition, ACORD will be using the expanded standards framework to further develop its best practices as well as business process benchmarks to help drive implementation.

Contact(s) information

Joe Becker
IBM Media Relations
(646) 598-5102
bjoseph@us.ibm.com

Rick Gilman
ACORD
(845) 620-1700, ext. 432
rgilman@acord.org

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