SunGard, in collaboration with Microsoft and HP, has created a new enterprise risk management (ERM) framework that will help support insurance companies' Solvency II (SII) compliance initiatives. The three companies have identified and packaged in the framework technology components and consulting services (SunGard's iWorks ERM solution, HP's consulting services and infrastructure portfolio, and Microsoft's HPC and SQL servers) that can help insurance customers define and implement a comprehensive ERM technology framework that supports SII requirements, reports SunGard.

The new framework, which was unveiled at Microsoft's Worldwide Partner Conference (WPC2010) in Washington, D.C., is designed to provide customers with a single ERM roadmap.

The technology components are configurable to customers' unique requirements, and include hardware, software, and actuarial, data management and implementation support. Identifying a configurable combination of solution and services helps customers eliminate the time-consuming and detailed process of defining and sourcing the components needed to build an ERM discipline across an organization.

The framework is designed to help insurers obtain a view of risk across business silos and help them comply with SII. SII is an initiative affecting life, non-life and reinsurers operating in the European Union, which will set out by 2012 new, strengthened EU-wide requirements for capital adequacy and risk management. Today, most insurers manage risk data within each discipline without a cohesive view of the exposure throughout the business, notes SunGard in a statement.

"Solvency II continues to be an evolving mandate of critical importance for carriers globally," said Craig Weber, SVP of Celent's insurance practice. "The combined assets of SunGard, Microsoft and HP give carriers a compelling, holistic option to consider as they strengthen the technology and services they have to support Solvency II initiatives."

In addition to SunGard's enterprise risk management solution, iWorks Prophet Enterprise, the ERM framework includes SunGard's actuarial, business process management, analytics and business intelligence capabilities to support the governance and control requirements of Solvency II. SunGard also brings consulting services, providing best practices in ERM solutions implementation.

"It is our view that Solvency II compliance represents the first step in building a comprehensive ERM infrastructure," said Greg Webber, president of SunGard's insurance business. "Our collaboration with Microsoft and HP offers a unique combination of risk management solutions, services and technology infrastructure that can form the foundation for a robust ERM strategy for insurers worldwide."

The plan includes deployment of SunGard's iWorks Prophet on HP infrastructure technology, including desktops, servers and storage. HP's business intelligence, application modernization and business transformation services complement the solution and offer capabilities that bring scale as well as local business expertise to support customers globally.

"As the 2012 deadline for Solvency II compliance approaches, insurance institutions in the European Union will require enhanced capacity to store, identify, retrieve and manage data to meet the requirements of SII," said Wayne Lewin, executive director, Insurance Segment, HP. "HP's in-depth experience in business transformation and data management will help SunGard provide fast, effective and consistent support to insurers."

Microsoft's HPC Server and SQL Server will provide the platform and database for a solution designed to help insurers accelerate risk modeling calculations by balancing the workload over a large grid of processors, the companies report.  Microsoft's Windows HPC Server 2008 is designed to help insurers reduce the cost and complexity of running large scale clusters or grids, and the successful completion of the 1024-core lab test demonstrates its capacity to perform at scale as calculation and data requirements grow, notes SunGard. SQL Server provides data management, while Microsoft SQL Server Data Analytics Services supplies the analytics capabilities. Microsoft Office Excel and Power Pivot deliver management dashboards as well as actuarial and regulatory reporting capabilities.

In other news, HP and Microsoft say they are partnering on a Microsoft Windows Azure platform appliance that will enable large enterprise customers to adopt cloud-based applications. This latest collaboration extends the $250 million infrastructure-to-application initiatives HP and Microsoft announced in January. The companies will work together to deliver hardware, software, services and sourcing solutions designed to enable transition to the Azure platform. The goal of the imitative is to provide customers with the opportunity to manage appliances with HP’s converged infrastructure on-premises or choose HP data centre hosting services, the companies report. With the new platform appliance, HP and Microsoft will help customers scale applications, deliver new online services and migrate Windows and .NET-based applications to the cloud. HP and Microsoft plan to release a limited production Windows Azure platform appliance for deployment in HP data centers by the end of the year.

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