Redmond, Wash. - In an effort to reduce millions of dollars of integration pain on the part of insurance customers, Microsoft Corp. is releasing a new architecture to assist insurance companies in developing service-oriented architectures (SOAs) and deploying pre-integrated software applications around core insurance business processes.The Microsoft Insurance Value Chain (IVC) Architecture v1.0, which will be demonstrated at the ACORD/LOMA Insurance Forum in Las Vegas this month and completed by late June, is an industry-standards-based approach designed to enable workflow across multiple insurance applications--on or off the Microsoft platform. The architecture is the result of newly launched integration labs, held monthly on Microsoft's Redmond, Wash., campus.

Microsoft's IVC Architecture is designed to reduce the time and cost required by insurance customers attempting to integrate core line-of-business applications for cross-enterprise workflows. It is also designed to assist customers in selecting and purchasing best-of-breed products from more than 60 companies in a growing Microsoft insurance partner system--versus a top-down, proprietary approach from a single vendor

"Traditionally, the industry has been fed the same processing models from common providers that have prevented product and service differentiation, creating virtually identical legacy processing methods," says Dan Woodman, technology strategist for the U.S. insurance industry at Microsoft. "Microsoft's IVC Architecture v1.0 tackles this issue head-on, and is fundamentally different from the alternatives in the market because it enables innovation, choice and competitive differentiation and doesn't require a massive consulting contract to implement."

Featuring a library of production-quality integrations and composite applications, business narratives, Visio process models, XML messaging recommendations, and platform-specific implementation guidance, the Microsoft IVC Architecture v1.0 offers pre-integrated solutions and Web services integration guidance in four major business process areas:

  • New business homeowner's policy processing. Featuring applications from AMS (point-of-sale and service) and Bluebook International Inc. (replacement cost and property data), this solution is designed to streamline and ultimately auto-populate the process of data entry in a new homeowner's application.
  • New business commercial auto policy processing. Featuring applications from XDimensional Technologies Inc. (point-of-sale and service), INSTEC (rate and quote), Insuresoft (underwriting and policy administration) and Bluebook International Inc. (replacement cost and property data), this straight-through scenario can streamline the steps needed to initiate a commercial auto policy.
  • Personal auto collision repair and bodily injury claims. Featuring applications from ProcessClaims (collision repair processing) and Injury Sciences (bodily injury evaluation), this solution is designed to enable claims personnel to effectively identify and analyze injury claims from the initial auto property damage claim data.
  • Wealth management and life and annuities enrollment. Featuring products from Impact Technologies Group Inc. (point-of-sale and service), Insurance Technologies. Inc. (financial needs analysis, illustration and quotation, and electronic application) and AdminServer Inc. (rate and quote, underwriting and policy administration), this solution encompasses the entire sales life cycle, from prospect to policy-in-force.

The IVC Architecture eventually will span the spectrum of P&C and life insurance business processes in areas such as point-of-sale/service, underwriting, rating/quoting, policy issuance and administration, billing and compensation, regulatory compliance, claims processing, and more.
To develop the architecture, Microsoft is hosting the IVC integration labs through its Platform Adoption Center in Redmond, Wash., where industry partners come together to design and build the integration scenarios and facilitate workflows, which are then designed and documented for use as SOA learning tools or pre-/post-sale integration planning on the part of insurance customers.

"We're excited to be part of Microsoft's IVC Architecture v1.0 because it not only addresses the issue of pre-integration with our customers, but also it allows for flexibility by being based on industry standards such as ACORD, XML and others," says Kevin Clay, president of Impact Technologies Group Inc. "Insurance companies ultimately benefit by saving development time and money, while still being able to innovate from within."

More information about the IVC Architecture, as well as downloadable code, can be found on the Microsoft Developer Network (MSDN) program Web site at http://msdn.microsoft.com/architecture/industry.

Microsoft's Insurance Value Chain Program is a growing system of insurance partners that address key solution areas across the industry--from point-of-sale and service to policy administration and claims processing. The IVC has grown from a handful of insurance application partners to more than 60 insurance solution and service providers, with the common goal of providing innovative, straight-through processing for insurance on the Microsoft platform using Web services, Extensible Markup Language (XML) and industry-specific standards.

Companies supporting the Microsoft IVC Program include Accenture, Acrosoft Corp., AdminServer Inc., AMS, AQS Inc., Avanade, BearingPoint Inc., Blue Frog Solutions, Bluebook International Inc., ClickSoftware, ComplianceArchitech, CSSI, Decision Research Corp., Dexterra, DSPA Software Inc., Duck Creek Technologies Inc., EXIGIS, Fair Isaac, Fiserv Insurance Solutions, GlobeNet Technologies Inc., GRT, HP, IBS, IDP, Impact Technologies Group Inc., Infosys, Infusion Development, Injury Sciences LLC, INSTEC, Insurance Technologies Inc., InsureSoft, Insurity Inc., ISO Insurance Technology Solutions, Itemfield, Majesco, Meridio, Micro Focus, Mobitor, Moore Stephens Business Solutions LLC, NEON Systems, NIIT Technologies, OutlookSoft, Professional Data Management Again, Perceptive Software Inc., Portrait Software, Princeton Financial Systems, ProcessClaims Inc., RDA Corp., Riskclick Inc., RiverPoint Group LLC, RMS, Rolling Thunder, SAP, Satyam, SceneGenesis, Skywire Software, Solcorp, SunGard Insurance Systems, Symbility Solutions, Transact One Corp., Wildnet Group, XDimensional Technologies (XDTI) Inc. and others.

Source: Microsoft Corp.

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