Microsoft Corp announced that the
Banking Industry Architecture Network (BIAN) alliance has published the first
major banking industry information technology (IT) services standards to its
members and the banking community at large.

BIAN’s mission is to enable faster strategic and operational changes of
the banking business by providing systematically defined banking functional IT
services based on a broad consensus in the banking industry. It achieves this
via an open and transparent model leveraging its 23 bank and technology

The six standards published today represent a major milestone in BIAN’s
efforts to help banks evolve a standards-based service-oriented architecture
(SOA) to accelerate return on investment (ROI) from their IT investments. The
announcement was made at Microsoft’s Worldwide Partner Conference 2009 (WPC09)
held in New Orleans July 13-16, 2009.

“The implementation of an SOA is an important goal for banks, and almost
every bank is well under way in its efforts to evolve to an SOA,” said Oliver
Kling, secretary general for BIAN. “The BIAN initiative consequently
represents a real opportunity for banks to accelerate replacement of
inflexible legacy environments, create IT and ultimately business agility, and
reduce integration costs without simply slashing costs. BIAN promotes
interoperability among banking services and application providers by the
definition and adoption of semantic industry standards. By working with BIAN,
banks now will be able to leverage the world’s best practices.”

“Microsoft is committed to lowering the cost of ownership and providing a
more flexible and innovative platform for banking,” said Susan Hauser, vice
president of Worldwide Financial Services at Microsoft. “In addition, we
consider an open standards-based environment critical to our success. As a
founding and active member of BIAN, Microsoft is enabling global collaboration
with key thought leaders in the banking and IT communities around the
establishment of technology standards and SOA best practices. In doing so,
BIAN will be instrumental in laying the groundwork for the banking industry
services in the new economy.”

Other vendor commitments to BIAN and SOA are also being realized. As
another founding member of the network, Temenos launched the latest release of
its T24 product in May, signifying the first formal release of a set of model
bank banking services, which have been aligned with the work being done
through BIAN on the banking services landscape.

“Temenos fully supports BIAN’s goal of easing the journey of banks moving
to a service-oriented architecture,” said Koen Van den Brande, group strategy
and marketing director for Temenos, commenting on the role it has played so
far. “We recognize the importance of SOA and have heavily invested in our
product, and continue to do so, to ensure it is fully SOA compliant. We are
actively undertaking development to ensure our products are aligned with BIAN
standards and are fully confident this will further our ability to support
larger retail banking clients that are implementing SOA. We look forward to
collaborating with the BIAN membership network further as we work toward
achieving what the industry needs: increased agility with reduced cost and
risk through standards-based integration, available on leading core banking

The following standards documents are about to be published: Service
Landscape, Metamodel, Service Repository, Service Lifecycle Management,
Payment Agreement, Payment Execution, Clearing, and Settlement.

Major banks and banking industry information systems vendors already have
committed to implementing the Metamodel and Service Landscape standards, and
the banking industry at large is expected to adopt these and the other BIAN
standards as the demonstrable value of BIAN is better understood and its
membership grows.

The delivery of these standards will help the banking industry address
the key market imperative to drive cost reductions through greater
efficiencies and organizational flexibility in order to adapt successfully to
a rapidly changing business environment. To survive and succeed in today’s
volatile marketplace, banks need increasing agility in their application
landscape and IT infrastructure to reduce the time and cost to integrate
strategic capabilities into their offerings. Leveraging BIAN standards will
enable banks to become more efficient via streamlined integration of systems
and processes, as well as set the foundation for a more flexible information
systems architecture.

According to Robert Hunt, senior research director at TowerGroup, ” BIAN
represents an opportunity for banks and vendors to develop a standardized
approach for migration to a services-oriented architecture. TowerGroup
believes that banks can realize significant benefits from both the adoption of
banking-industry-specific standards and the creation of best practices for
implementing SOA.”