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IBM Debuts Grid Computing Offering for Life Insurance Industry


New Actuarial Grid to Help Clients Manage Risk and Increase Profitability

ARMONK, NY - 26 Jul 2006: IBM (NYSE: IBM) today announced a new grid computing offering to help life insurance clients significantly decrease the time needed to run complex insurance model scenarios.

Called IBM Grid and Grow for Actuarial Analysis, the offering combines IBM and IBM business partner and ISV technologies to help insurance clients improve financial risk and capital management, give a faster time to market with new products and gain a competitive advantage. At the heart of the offering is IBM’s BladeCenter systems to power the grid.

Actuaries -- basically risk mathematicians for the insurance industry -- often perform calculations with simple personal computers or with basic, manually provisioned, distributed processing environments. The time and efficiency lost through these conventional methods costs the insurance industry millions of dollars a year. Using the IBM actuarial solution, actuaries receive results much quicker making it possible for them to run more calculations and tune their models to improve accuracy. The ability to model more accurate, complex financial scenarios is key in gaining a competitive edge. It also helps meet regulatory compliance and ever increasing reporting demands.

“With grid computing, infrastructures are faster and more resilient, automatically circumventing hardware failures or capacity issues to ensure complex queries complete in an accelerated fashion,” said Ken King, vice president, Grid Computing, IBM. “For insurance companies, as with almost any business, the ability to understand the complex and ever-changing balance between risk and reward in a timely manner is crucial to success. Grid computing can do weeks of work in mere hours and the time saved can make a real difference in the marketplace.”

The Actuarial Analysis solution is a packaged set of hardware, software and services leveraging industry leading grid ISV including DFA Capital Management Inc.’s ADVISE™, GGY’s AXIS, Milliman’s MG•ALFA® and others as well as middleware from IBM business partners DataSynapse and Platform Computing. IBM clients already using an early version of the solution are reporting an immediate payback in their investment. An internal IBM survey of customers using IBM grid solutions for the insurance industry showed as much as a 75% reduction in time spent manually scheduling jobs and a 97% reduction in job processing time.

“Grid computing has moved well beyond traditional research and academia. Offerings like IBM’s Grid and Grow bundle pre-packaged products, including Platform Enterprise Grid Orchestrator™, which enable rapid benefits to customers solving ’real world’ business problems,” said Chris Purpura, vice president of strategic alliances and new ventures for Platform Computing. “By working with IBM, we have the opportunity to expand our deep experience in insurance to offer rapid deployment solutions for Actuarial Analysis.”

IBM’s Grid and Grow program was launched in August, 2005 to allow a simple, cost effective way for businesses both large and small to incorporate grid computing into their infrastructure. IBM has specialized grid offerings that provide hardware, software and middleware packages for a variety of industries including financial services and medical archiving.

“We have been pleased to be involved with several of IBM’s Grid and Grow offerings to date,” said Rick Moran, senior vice president, business development for DataSynapse, an IBM ISV that provides the application virtualization technology to the Actuarial Analysis offering. “By grouping the best technologies available to handle very specific computing needs -- these offerings can change the way grid computing impacts an entire business, like the insurance industry.”

The IBM Grid and Grow for Actuarial Analysis offering, which includes IBM’s BladeCenter, the IBM Director tool, IBM implementation services, Microsoft Windows or Linux operating systems and leading ISV and partner technologies is available immediately.

About IBM
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