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IBM WebSphere Portal Software Helps Consolidate and Manage Multibillion Dollar Pension Fund


IBM (NYSE: IBM) today announced that financial services company Opal Future Technologies Inc. has chosen IBM WebSphere Portal Version 6.0 to securely manage its information technology infrastructure, help consolidate strategic applications into a single and personalized user environment, and create a more flexible software platform for a $20 billion pension fund servicing three million participants.

Working with Mainsoft, an independent software vendor/solution provider and IBM business partner, Opal Future Technologies Inc. saved time and money by quickly consolidating eight software pension systems into a single portal or web site while extending and preserving existing software applications built on .NET, a programming language from Microsoft. With Mainsoft Visual Mainwin for J2EE, specifically designed for use with IBM Websphere Portal, Opal quickly translated .NET-based applications into Java applications that run across a variety of software platforms.

Opal Future Technologies Inc. integrated critical .NET applications and web services at a fraction of the time it would have taken to translate software code and avoided the inherent incompatibility risk involved in rewriting software languages. With WebSphere Portal use of .NET-Java EE interoperability software from Mainsoft, Opal delivered a seamless end-user experience across Java and .NET services with equal access to role-based personalized interfaces, single sign-on, unified navigation, inter-portlet communication, and other portal services.

Founded in 2005, Opal Future Technologies Inc., located in Herzelia, Israel, provides information technology (IT) infrastructure for eight pension funds that are currently regulated by the Israeli government. To reduce operating costs and deliver consistent quality service, the government tasked Opal with consolidating the eight fund’s information management systems into a single system. Now in production, Opal’s unified portal environment aggregates supporting services such as customer relationship management, data mining, investments management, help desk and suppliers management into a security-rich, role-based environment. It also provides access to a centralized pension calculation engine and more than 30 terabytes of data stored in an IBM DB2 Content Manager storage system.

“Customers who have multiple software platforms and applications, which is what Opal Future Technologies faced after several company acquisitions, are realizing the powerful benefits of an open standards-based and flexible architecture,” said Larry Bowden, IBM’s vice president of portals and web interaction services. “WebSphere Portal gives companies ultimate flexibility and choice by making it easy to re-use a company’s software assets and extend them into new solutions built within SOA and new Internet technologies such as Web 2.0.”

Benefits of the Opal Future Technologies portal solution include:

Increased accuracy and reliability of the managed data, helping enforce a uniform pension calculation for all account holders
Online sign-on access for pension managers, providing access to a uniform set of tools and applications to administer the fund
Online access to account information, enabling employers of account holders to transfer pension fund contributions from employee paychecks to pension accounts.

Alex Libis, information and data security manager of Opal, evaluated several commercially available portal servers to deliver the user interface. “We selected IBM WebSphere Portal 6 because it offers role-based access and a highly integrated, rich, end-user experience,” said Libis. “WebSphere Portal also offers easy integration with the funds’ existing IBM DB2 CM (Content Manager) storage system.”

Because Opal has portal components written in both .NET and in Java, Opal used Mainsoft’s Portal Edition to deploy .NET applications natively on the portal. Opal integrated six .NET applications and more than 30 Java services into the portal and deployed the new system in four months. In the process, the team changed less than one-half of one percent of the .NET code base. The next phase will incorporate additional .NET applications and will open the portal to external users.

Mainsoft is helping more than 150 businesses deploy Windows applications natively on open systems, including WebSphere Portal, WebSphere Application Server and UNIX® and Linux® operating systems.

Websphere Portal Server is used as the software foundation for building applications and services that reside within a portal, best known as a common entry point for business users who need to share information regardless of where the information resides. IBM portal components leverage service oriented architecture (SOA), an approach that reuses a company’s existing technology systems to more closely align them with a company’s business goals, helping the company to attain greater efficiencies, cost savings and productivity. For more information, visit:


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