The insurance industry has faced fundamental and permanent changes in the last few years. The introduction of e-business to the industry, increased adoption of single-entry, multiple-carrier interfaces (SEMCI) and interactive systems, the educational needs of agents who must adapt to new technologies, along with post-Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act integration pressures, have challenged traditional models and the IT strategies that sustained them.Add to that the increasing financial and performance pressures, and the industry faces a problem common to other financial services segments: how to make the most of existing investments in legacy and other systems, while being nimble in developing new lines of business, partnerships and products.

Service-oriented architecture (SOA) begins to address this need by guiding software developers in creating software resources that "hide" the technical complexity behind business functions.

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