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Farmers Alliance Selects Progress Sonic ESB for SOA Deployment

Deploying the Progress Sonic ESB to Streamline Its Enterprise IT Infrastructure and Integrate Several Discrete Applications

Progress Software announced that the Farmers Alliance Mutual Insurance Company (FAMI) will deploy the Progress Sonic Enterprise Service Bus (ESB) in order to streamline its enterprise information technology (IT) infrastructure and integrate several discrete applications, which are dispersed across various platforms. FAMI is undergoing a multi-year cost optimization project within their IT environment and regards the Sonic ESB as an integral part of their ability to reduce costs.

Currently FAMI’s core applications - such as billing, policy administration and claims management systems - run on a variety of platforms in a decentralized environment. Using the Sonic ESB, FAMI will integrate dozens of discrete internal and external business applications under a single, loosely-coupled architecture, which is expected to lead to reduced customer costs, improved time-to-market for new products and services, and enhanced customer service.

Prior to the deployment of the Sonic ESB, it would take several months for a new insurance offering to be integrated within the FAMI system. However, using the Sonic ESB, FAMI expects to reduce turnaround time by more than 50 percent, while improving time-to-market by as much as three months for a typical integration project.

For example, FAMI is using the Sonic MQ and ESB products to expose AcroSoft document storage and retrieval services. The Sonic ESB product allows FAMI to transform messages to and from its canonical data model, which will ease integration by minimizing the configuration effort required within numerous disparate systems. The ESB allows the company to abstract the complexities particularly involved with storing documents and setting up folder structures by using ESB itineraries to orchestrate the process. FAMI also leverages a number of base and custom ESB service types in this effort, including XML transformation, Web service invocation, and content-based routing.

Andy Edwardson, vice president of information technology at FAMI, commented: “In addition to tackling internal integration challenges, our goal is to create a highly available environment in which we can more easily interact with business partners over the Web. Our desire is to develop an enterprise architecture that is less ‘hard-wired’ and more service-oriented, allowing us to create reusable business objects resulting in a more agile business environment. The Sonic ESB will facilitate such an environment.”

The Sonic ESB will enable FAMI to connect with third party information providers. Historically, such a complex effort would take four to six months to accomplish. Cost savings resulting from these efficiencies will greatly benefit FAMI policyholders through enhanced insurance products and improvement in FAMI’s ability to respond to market conditions.

Hub Vandervoort, CTO, SOA Infrastructure, Progress Software, noted: “FAMI can now leverage our unique capability of enabling multiple data centers and locations to function as a single, logical bus while maintaining loosely-coupled management domains operationally. Many large organizations find this to be a superior approach over the alternatives, which force a central model or cause multiple fragmented and uncoordinated silos to appear. FAMI will be able to quickly and seamlessly integrate a broad range of applications and technologies – a win-win situation for FAMI, their business partners and their customers.”

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SOA World Magazine News Desk trawls the world of distributed computing and SOA-related developments for the latest word on technologies, standards, products, and services and brings key information to you in a timely and convenient summary form.

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