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Contact: Margaret M. Lucas
email: mlucas@acord.org
OLifE Impacts Agent Desktop and Beyond, Insurers Learn at ACORD Technology Conference
Orlando, FL, 5/19/98 --The OLifE object standard has grown far beyond its initial application to the agent desktop, as presenters demonstrated to attendees at an OLifE Update workshop today.

OLifE, a data integration standard for insurance and financial services, was originally developed to allow disparate applications on an agent's desktop to share common data. Today, OLifE's power is being harnessed to integrate desktop applications to Internet applications; support distributed computing within a location or between locations; and support legacy systems, providing data integration between legacy system and desktop.

Jerry Beavers and Mick Occhiuto from Mutual of Omaha presented Mutual of Omaha's agent desktop. The software selected for their field force includes E-Z Data's contact management systems, a custom sales solution from Sterling Wentworth Corporation, and product illustrations by United Systems. OLifE provides the integration between these packages. Beavers is IS manager of Mutual of Omaha; Occhiuto is responsible for system design to increase field sales productivity.

Rob Marone, vice president/engineering of ECTA Corporation, proved OLifE can be used beyond the desktop. He demonstrated ECTA's Internet proposal system and software from Financial Profiles integrating with data on the desktop. Marone also showed that OLifE can be used in applications that are not developed specifically for insurance, as he accessed data from Microsoft Outlook, instead of an insurance contact management system. This was achieved by using Spidertek's OLifE Outlook Server, which allows insurance applications to pull data from this generic contact manager, using OLifE.

Jeannie Farquharson of NN Financial in Toronto attended the workshop to find out how OLifE could help her firmin the buy/build decision. "NN Financial is committed to the independent distribution channel, and we're looking for better ways to satisfy our brokers," she said. "As we face the buy/build decision, these demonstrations showed me what OLifE can do for us, and who's participating."

The standard has taken on an international focus, said Tana Sabatino, OLifE group manager, ACORD. OLifE-compliant software is being developed and implemented in the U.S., Canada, several European countries, South Africa, Australia, and Japan. The value of the Standard is that it builds on an existing technology - Microsoft's ActiveX - and makes it unnecessary for software developers to "reinvent the wheel" each time a client asks for software integration.

"OLifE Update" was one of 37 workshops presented during the three-day ACORD Technology Conference '98, attended by 900 of the industry's leading technology users and providers. The Conference, which includes tracks for property/casualty and life agents, company representatives, CIOs, and service providers, is in its sixth year as the industry's premier event for technology education and exploration.

The 1999 ACORD Technology Conference will take place at Disney's Contemporary Resort in Lake Buena Vista, FL, May 23-25.

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