ACORD and IIAA ACT Announce Joint Initiative to Fast Track XML Standard Definitions for the Insurance Industry

Orlando, FL.   5/23/99.

ACORD and the Independent Insurance Agents of America's Agents Council for Technology (ACT) have entered into a joint initiative to deliver to the industry within 120 days, a standardized vocabulary for XML, based on the ACORD ObjX and AL3 standards, announced Gregory A. Maciag, president and CEO, ACORD.

This joint initiative will help prevent the potential growth of non-standard DTDs (Document Type Definitions) which would lead to multiple, uncoordinated, and more costly efforts to standardize XML transactions for the industry, said Maciag. "The 'fast track' approach reemphasizes to the industry ACORD's permanent commitment to lead the way in standardizing the exchange of insurance-related data by leveraging our ObjX development."

According to Leonard Brevik, IIAA CIO and executive director of ACT, "By working with ACORD to deliver a shared, industry-standard set of vocabularies and DTDs, agents and carriers can be assured of interoperability and information sharing, without the fragmentation that's threatening to hinder progress."

According to Susan E Meshako, senior vice president and CIO, National Grange Mutual, a member company of ACORD and ACT, and co-chairman of the IIAA ACT Technology Issues Committee, "The industry is expressing an unprecedented need for a widely accepted standard to be delivered in an extremely short time frame - on 'internet time.' To accomplish this we are all committed to working together to produce the minimum specifications required to facilitate initial deployment of XML-based insurance applications in a consistent, standardized fashion. This will enable independent insurance agents to begin to move away from the plethora of proprietary interfaces that characterize our industry's communications today."

ACORD is well positioned for this activity noted Maciag. "Our working group members have completed significant XML research and development laying the ground work for this joint effort. By leveraging the foundation provided by the ObjX standards, we are allowing for a more extensible, global standard." Ronald A. James, senior vice president and CIO, Zurich Canada, explained that developing these XML definitions is "a step toward full ObjX implementations and is part of ACORD's mission to build bridges between AL3 and ObjX." James, who is the immediate past chairman of ACORD and currently chairs the Standards committee, believes that this convergence of activities will greatly benefit the standards process.

This announcement was made at ACORD's annual Technology Conference, here. The results of the joint initiative will be presented at IIAA's Annual Convention this September in Las Vegas.

ACORD Technology Conference '99 was attended by 1,200 of the industry's leading technology users and providers. The Conference, which provides four interest-based tracks -Agency Issues, Business Strategies, Life Standards, and P&C Standards - is in its seventh year as the industry's premier event for technology education and exploration.

ACORD Technology Conference 2000 will take place at Disney's Contemporary Resort in Orlando, FL, May 21-24.

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