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March 17, 1988


By CBR Staff Writer

IBM has beaten General Electric Information Services to a multi million dollar contract to supply Europe’s reinsurance community with a data network, by undercuttinmg its opposition out of the running. The network, called Rinet, will link reinsurance majors from seven European countries including Mercantile and General in the UK and and the link-up is scheduled for this year. Rinet marketing manager Katherine Huelster confirmed that The cost difference between the bidders was significant – we almost didn’t have a choice. The network which will run over IBM’s Managed Network Service, will offer store and receive applications primarily using electronic mail and the international syntax standard, Edifact. Discussions are already under way to connect Rinet with other financial nets including the Ivans Insurance Value Added Network Service in the US, and the Lloyds of London network. Applications are being tailored to meet the needs of the reinsurance community to begin with but the combined market of 1992 will probably attract other users from the insurance field. There is fierce competition among among value added network suppliers to win a stake of the lucrative financial market which is opening up big opportunities as deregulation continues apace. IBM won a surprise victory over the GE-ICL INS network last year to supply the Lloyds of London network, and this latest coup has apparently provoked protests from General Electric IS about IBM’s tactics of buying networking business by undercutting whatever the competition is bidding.

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