Pittsburgh - A full 90% of carriers have adopted some form of Web Services within their information technology architecture, and 58% of those have adopted the industry-specific ACORD (Association for Cooperative Operations Research and Development) XML standards as part of their Web Services initiatives.These are the results of a recent survey of top insurance carriers conducted by SEEC Inc., a provider of business component software for the insurance and financial services industries.

"What we're finding is that the ACORD standards are gaining more ground than previously expected," says Shane Tulloch, CEO of SEEC. "Judging from our survey results, companies are under-reporting their ACORD XML implementations. Of the 17 companies that said they are using ACORD standards, nine of them have not reported their implementations to ACORD."

As expected, SEEC's survey results confirm that carriers are looking to decrease IT costs through the adoption of Web Services and ACORD XML. However, SEEC's findings indicate that while IT cost reduction is a major benefit, the leading motivators appear to be enhancing agility and improving service. Survey respondents expected the following benefits:

·  Improved ability to adapt systems (69%)

·  Improved service delivery to agents (62%)

·  Reduced application integration costs (55%)

"The insurance industry today is facing numerous challenges from a variety of sources including heightened competition, increased regulation, and record catastrophe losses," says Denise Garth, vice president, membership and standards, ACORD. "This is a time when organizations are taking a closer look at their most significant corporate asset, their data, as well as how their systems can better serve their needs. The need for internal and external integration has never been more vital to survival."

Source: SEEC Inc.

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