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April 27, 2001 – WebX, the component based software developer, today officially launched the new version of Underwriter Café, a software suite designed to help global insurance companies e-enable their products and services.

Developed using WebX’s component based development (CBD) approach Underwriter Café allows insurers to pick and choose from a complete set of business models for e-business insurance and then, using the WebX manufacturing process, produce a solution specific to their unique requirements. Component Based Development not only increases the speed new products can be brought to market, it can also reduce costs as it can be fully integrated with legacy back office solutions.

The launch took place at a seminar held with insurance industry leaders and technical partners Sun Microsystems and Oracle in London. Since its release in June last year, components of the Underwriter Café have been adopted by several organisations in the insurance market including Friends Provident, Berkeley Alexander and Independent Insurance. Underwriter Café is the first in a series of planned vertical products (or Cafés - Component Architecture for E-Enterprise) to be produced by WebX, all of which are being developed using CBD and the WebX manufacturing process.

WebX believes the software is the most cost-effective solution available, and will help insurance companies achieve multi-channel distribution, cut product development time, improve customer relationship management (CRM) and minimise technological upheaval.

Underwriter Café has been developed from a business model based approach, combined with a high quality component manufacturing process, enabling rapid update and easy integration with existing systems. WebX uses Enterprise JavaBean (EJB) technology to develop each component, such as claims handling or renewals, which can be used individually or as a complete suite, across the whole insurance industry.

CBD allows companies to specify and implement particular modular improvements, while retaining the value of their investment in legacy systems. Each component has a core standard element that is then designed and refined to meet particular client objectives. WebX creates components that are complete in themselves, simply requiring an interface with established industry standards such as Java and XML. By using CBD, WebX can deliver new or updated products to clients within weeks, rather than months, enabling insurers to respond rapidly to market conditions and opportunities.

Chris Brown, Managing Director of WebX, said: “The insurance industry faces many challenges to prosper in the one per cent environment. Insurers must increase the speed of new product development, cut costs and defend market share.

“By adopting a CBD approach, companies can avoid the massive investment required for a ‘big bang’ entry to the e-business marketplace. Our products can easily integrate with the existing technologies and the phased approach allows companies to dictate the pace of their migration to a total Underwriter Café environment.”

NB. Photographs are available from Bankside on request.

Notes to Editors:

WebX was incorporated in 1996 and formed to find new methods of building business applications based on a Component Based Development approach, which maximise the benefits of Internet technologies.

The Company provides a comprehensive range of component-based products and associated services to global organisations designed to enable an e-business strategy.

WebX has existing relationships with IBM, Microsoft, Network Associates, Oracle and Sun Microsoft.

For further information, please contact:
WebX Limited
Chris Brown, Managing Director Tel: + 44 (0)1892 752 767
Email: chris.brown@webx.co.uk

Issued by:

Bankside Consultants Limited
Julian Bosdet / Paul Woodrow Tel: +44 (0)20 7220 7477
Email: julian@bankside.co.uk / paul.woodrow@bankside.co.uk






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