NorthStar Accepted into the IBM SOA Specialty

San Francisco, CA - 15 August 2007

Service Oriented Architecture Approach Drives Business Agility and Flexibility

NorthStar Systems International today announced its acceptance to the IBM Service Oriented Architecture (SOA) Specialty after successfully completing IBM's rigorous SOA technical and business requirements. With this achievement, NorthStar's signature products - Wealth Management Software, Asset Management Software, and Infrastructure Software - integrate with the IBM software and strategy for SOA.

"SOA is an increasingly important business requirement for organizations because of the business flexibility it enables," said Sandy Carter, vice president, IBM SOA and WebSphere. "NorthStar's commitment to SOA provides its customers with a powerful way to reduce integration costs while rapidly deploying operational SOA applications."

"We are pleased that IBM has accepted NorthStar's wealth management platform into the IBM SOA Specialty," said Collin Cohen, president, NorthStar. "NorthStar software was designed based on a pure service oriented architecture. Our scalable, SOA-based approach can deliver enormous value to wealth management firms, allowing them to significantly increase their business agility and lower their total cost of ownership by eliminating point applications and unnecessary middleware, leveraging existing systems and administration staff, ensuring applications, data and business rules can be centrally consolidated and distributed, and accelerating time to implementation for new capabilities required due to business or regulatory changes."

Prior to the existence of a SOA wealth management platform, firms invested heavily in middleware to link back office data and applications such as portfolio accounting systems, security masters, and ledger systems. Implementing middleware was complicated, very expensive and organizationally challenging to maintain. Plus, the middleware did not adequately address the growing number of un-integrated, point applications that were springing up in the front office to serve the financial advisors' needs.

"SOA software is a critical enabling technology for wealth managers," said Mark Eaton, vice president of engineering, NorthStar. "There is no way for IT staff to consolidate, distribute, and administer all of the applications and data needed for a wealth management business without using a SOA wealth management platform to consolidate legacy back- office data into business-critical front-office applications."

Designed specifically for the needs of rapidly growing wealth management and asset management firms, the NorthStar SOA wealth management platform offers performance optimization, an enterprise data model, the ability to import and manage products, and an integration architecture to leverage back-office and front-office systems. For example, NorthStar performs optimally in a tightly coupled environment or a loosely coupled Enterprise Service Bus environment.

Also, NorthStar consumes and distributes data better because the NorthStar enterprise data model is not buried in a database or application architecture. NorthStar supports an open architecture, firm-wide product catalog where administrators can upload all types of wealth management products and reference data using an XML import tool, and asset managers can customize the products they want to include in their pitch books. Finally, NorthStar provides a robust, SOA-based integration framework to leverage all types of applications and data using standard APIs such as JSR-170.

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