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  1. Technology
July 15, 1998


By CBR Staff Writer

Sybase Inc is to team up with financial applications software house Intuit Inc in a push to target financial institutions wanting to get their customers on line. In spite of its troubles, Sybase claims it is still the dominant supplier of database technology to the finance sector, and wants to hook up its 6,000 strong user base of financial institutions up with the 10 million or so Intuit Quicken consumer users and 2 million QuickBook small business users for home banking and retail financial services. Sybase plans to work on the integration between Intuit’s application software and the Financial Server it launched last month. Financial Server, which is database independent and uses Sybase’s Jaguar component transaction server middleware, is due to ship some time in the second half of this year. It will be integrated using Intuit’s OFX Open Financial Exchange electronic exchange specification, and Sybase says it will test and certify the combination as fully compatible and jointly collaborate with Intuit on future Quicken and Sybase products for the internet, and maybe beyond. Its sales force will promote the combination. The deal isn’t exclusive, and users of Microsoft Money and other OFX-compliant packages can still plug into the Sybase software, but the two say that many financial institutions want a pre- packaged product to deliver to their customers. Intuit won’t say if it has any other similar deals in the works. Meanwhile, Intuit is working on the convergence of OFX, also backed by Microsoft Corp, and Checkfree Corp, with Gold, the specification defined by the IBM Corp led Integrion Financial Network. The first version of the converged specification is due out at the end of next month, and back end servers should be ready to support it by year-end. The next major release of Quicken, due in the Fall of 1999, will support the converged spec, said Intuit executive vice president Bill Harris, who takes over as CEO from the present incumbent Bill Campbell, next month. We gone from five standards two years ago to two that are now on a path to convergence, said Harris.

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