Microsoft is always looking to get its foot in the door in new markets, from the game console industry with the Xbox to its efforts in Customer Relations Management software. Now, the company has announced a new initiative designed to help banks more easily integrate their various business applications.
The “Microsoft Banking Integration Factory initiative” supports both Microsoft software and applications from vendors such as ARGO Data Resource, Corillian, Getronics, Harland Financial Solutions, Jack Henry & Associates, AdviceAmerica, Fair Isaac, Fiserv, and Portrait Software. The initiative establishes a common set of frameworks and standards that these and other vendors can use to ensure that their software works together.
“Banks have dedicated massive efforts toward resolving integration issues between new business applications and their legacy software,” said Greg Haislip, managing director for the banking industry in the US Financial Services Group at Microsoft. “The new Banking Integration Factory helps solve this problem by providing a standard approach adopted by multiple vendors, to lead to more rapid implementation.”
Microsoft also plans to use their .NET technology to make it possible for these applications to be accessible from a Web browser, a Windows PC, a mobile device, or the Microsoft Office system.
The company has released a white paper that outlines their plans in more detail.
Is the world ready for Microsoft Banking? Banks are traditionally very conservative with their software and hardware choices, and most still rely on expensive mainframes with multiple levels of failure protection. However, banks are also making a huge push to expand into other services, such as investment planning, and all these new services require new software. If they are successful, Microsoft will be laughing all the way to the, er, bank.