Financial Fusion, B2BITS Leverage Sun Customer Ready Systems Program To Help Lower Customer Deployment Time and On-site Integration Snafus

10/4/2002 - Sun Microsystems plans to broaden its SunSM Customer Ready Systems (Sun CRS) program and ship entry level servers pre-loaded with FIX software solutions. Use of the factory integration program will help lower acquisition costs and decrease complexity for financial institutions ready to board the global FIX protocol network as a means of increasing straight-through processing (STP) rates.

The FIX protocol is one of the main forces behind increasing automation and straight through processing rates in the global financial community, and was initially designed by industry participants to enable standardized electronic communication between buy-side and sell-side institutions. Without standardized protocol, the operational cost of settling equity trades can exceed the potential profit margin for any given transaction.

Currently, FIX solutions providers Financial Fusion and B2BITS are working with Sun to leverage its Customer Ready Systems program and ease the complexity of ordering and installing FIX-ready solutions for financial services customers.

"The Sun CRS program demonstrates Sun's agility and responsiveness to both its partners' and customers' needs," according to Peter Kane, vice president, Financial Markets, Financial Fusion Inc. "We plan to offer Sun servers pre-installed with Financial Fusion Server and TradeForce GlobalFIX Bridge for SWIFTNet. Integration and optimization takes place on the factory floor, saving time and installation costs for our customers."

Financial Fusion Server is the enterprise-class foundation of every Fusion Powered e-Finance Solution, providing seamless connectivity to both internal and external systems. TradeForceTM GlobalFIX Bridge for SWIFTNet, leverages Financial Fusion's expertise in the construction of world-class STP solutions and facilitates connectivity to SWIFTNet FIX messaging service offered by SWIFT. The SWIFTNet FIX messaging service provides connectivity to a central hub service facilitating communications with counterparties, both domestically and cross-border.

This factory integrated solution is expected to be available through the Sun CRS program in early 2003.

Likewise, integrated FIX solutions from London-based software house, B2BITS, are currently being tested and optimized for shipment later in the year. The company's flagship FIX product, Antenna C++, is designed to handle high volumes of order flow across multiple connections in real time, and help enable financial institutions to consolidate order flow from clients over a FIX connection.

"Collaboration with Sun and leveraging the Sun CRS program helps enable a much broader reach and penetration in the global financial services marketplace," said Rob Woodmansey, CEO, B2BITS. "Sun technology and customer integration programs help us deliver our innovation to the FIX market place at a time when adoption needs to be rapid in order to reap STP benefits."

Announced in May, the Sun CRS program delivers ready-to-run, out-of-the-box solutions that can be uniquely configured for every customer. Customers can choose from standard system integration to custom solutions using Sun and complementary third-party products. The resulting standardized systems streamline ordering and are easy to maintain. Customers avoid unexpected on-site assembly and integration problems and may see up to 80 percent fewer early life system issues.

About Sun Microsystems
Since its inception in 1982, a singular vision — "The Network Is The ComputerTM" — has propelled Sun Microsystems, Inc. (Nasdaq: SUNW) to its position as a leading provider of industrial-strength hardware, software and services that make the Net work. Sun can be found in more than 170 countries.

Sun, the Sun logo, Sun Microsystems and The Network is the Computer are trademarks or registered trademarks of Sun Microsystems, Inc. in the United States and in other countries. Financial Fusion and the Financial Fusion logo are registered trademarks and Tradeforce is a trademark of Financial Fusion.

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