SOURCE: Softricity

April 25, 2005 08:30 ET

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas City Standardizes on Softricity's Software Virtualization for Major IT Infrastructure Update

SoftGrid Lays Foundation for On-Demand, Agile IT Services; Simplifies Management of Applications on PCs and Servers

BOSTON, MA -- (MARKET WIRE) -- April 25, 2005 -- Softricity® today announced that Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas City (BCBS KC) has selected Softricity's SoftGrid® application virtualization platform to expedite deployment and access and simplify management of all its applications across the company as part of an IT infrastructure refresh.

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas City is overhauling its IT infrastructure to ensure it provides the flexibility and quality needed to provide services, and rapidly add users and programs to its IT system. As part of this, SoftGrid is being used to accelerate enterprise-wide Windows XP and Office 2003 migrations, and to revolutionize the way IT manages applications on Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas City's PCs and servers.

"Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas City has been growing and will continue to do so. Our technology must support this growth while enabling us to deliver the highest level of quality service," said Kevin Sparks, CIO of BCBS KC. "SoftGrid's unique application virtualization approach will simplify administration of all our computing environments, making IT much more responsive to the changing needs of our employees. It will enable us to provide reliable, agile service at less cost."

SoftGrid transforms Windows applications from products that must be installed and managed locally into virtual services that are centrally managed and deployed on-demand -- without any recoding -- to any desktop, server or laptop. SoftGrid's patented application virtualization technology enables applications to run in a protected "sandbox" environment without installation or alteration to the host operating system. This eliminates application conflicts and the need for time-consuming regression testing, and enables just-in-time application updates.

Jim Steinlage, President of Choice Solutions, the systems integrator managing the SoftGrid implementation at Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas City, says his company's mission is "increasing the productivity and profitability of our clients through the application of new virtualization technology. SoftGrid is very strategic in allowing us to deliver on this promise."

As part of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas City's infrastructure refresh, SoftGrid is expected to not only cut application migration from an average of 40 days per application to just four hours, it will also make the migration largely transparent to users and help IT remain responsive to ad hoc user requests during this major initiative. In addition, SoftGrid will enable:

--  Consolidating terminal servers
    --  Maximizes utilization of processor power because any application
        can run alongside any other, eliminating the need for siloing.
    --  Eliminates application conflict as a source of server growth.

--  Supporting rapid user and application changes
    --  Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas City's user demands for IT
        services will continue to grow in volume and need, requiring the
        ability to quickly provision and support new applications.
    --  Utility computing is gaining ground. SoftGrid enables applications
        to be treated as services rather than products, delivered
        "on-demand" as needed by the user.

--  Meeting regulatory compliance
    --  The ability to adhere to regulatory requirements is essential.
        SoftGrid enables IT to be agile enough to quickly update
        applications as regulations demand and track application usage for
        compliance reporting.

--  Supporting "Business Continuity" initiatives
    --  Applications can be rapidly directed to new devices and users with
        SoftGrid.

--  Realizing licensing efficiencies
    --  BCBS KC can capture usage data to understand usage patterns and
        concurrent use of applications, and make any alterations needed for
        licensing agreements.
"SoftGrid's combination of application virtualization and centralized management provides the simplicity and flexibility BCBS KC needs to keep IT on the cutting edge and help them remain a leading health-care institution," said Harry Ruda, CEO, Softricity. "We're pleased they have chosen to rely on Softricity for the critical application access and management portion."

About Softricity:

Softricity® helps enterprises simplify and accelerate software management with SoftGrid, the industry's first application virtualization platform. The award-winning SoftGrid utility computing solution transforms applications from products that must be installed locally into virtual services that are centrally managed and deployed on-demand to any Windows desktop, laptop and Terminal Services/Citrix MetaFrame Presentation server. By eliminating application conflicts and regression testing, and increasing change management responsiveness, SoftGrid expedites deployment, upgrades, patches and terminations. Global 2000 companies such as Mayo Clinic, Prudential, AIG, and Raytheon use SoftGrid to save tremendous time and money, enhance IT service quality, and transform into more dynamic businesses. Softricity has a multiyear Strategic Alliance with Microsoft Corp., is a Microsoft Terminal Services Industry Partner and is a Premier Citrix Business Alliance Member. More information can be found at http://www.softricity.com.

About Blue Cross Blue Shield Kansas City:

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas City, the largest not-for-profit health insurer in the state and the only not-for-profit health insurer in Kansas City, has been part of the Kansas City community since 1938. BCBS KC provides health coverage to more than 880,000 residents in the greater Kansas City area and Northwest Missouri. Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas City is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. For more information on the company, visit our redesigned Web site at http://www.bcbskc.com/. Our mission statement: We will use our role as the leading health insurer to improve the health of the communities we serve.

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