March 10, 2004

An application integration initiative aimed at financial institutions was unveiled this month by IBM. (Ar-monk, N.Y.) The strategy revolves around middleware designed to help customers in the banking, insurance, and the securities industries manage and automate business-specific processes.

The software is complemented by services and support from IBM, as well as industry-specific application software from IBM's business partners.

Banks are being hit with regulations on several fronts, including the USA PATRIOT Act, Gramm-Leach-Bliley, and Basel II. As a result, the technology decision-making process has migrated from the IT department to the lines-of-business seeking compliance.

To match its customers' needs, Big Blue decided to take an industry-specific approach. "We started to verticalize how we went to market 18 months ago," explains Paraic Sweeney, IBM's vice president of marketing and industry solutions. The goal, he says, is to "better match customer-buying intent with our technology story."

This article originally appeared in InformationWeek, a sister publication of Bank Systems & Technology.

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