Oracle Snaps Up Insurance Software Specialist AdminServer
May 19, 2008 Timothy Prickett Morgan
Database and enterprise application software maker Oracle continued its acquisition binge last week, acquiring a relatively unknown but important and fast-growing niche player in the insurance sector called AdminServer.
AdminServer, which is based in Chester, Pennsylvania (a suburb of Philadelphia), was a consultancy and programming services company when it was founded in 1998, and at that time it began developing a Java-based set of insurance policy and annuity management programs to take on the vast base of homegrown RPG and COBOL insurance applications running out there on midrange, mainframe, and other gear. AdminServer certified its Java applications, which is called the AdminServer System, to run across IBM‘s eServer platforms on its various operating systems and against its variants of the DV2 database back in May 2005. Since the launch in September 2001 of the AdminServer System, the company has also embraced Microsoft‘s .NET programming model and runtime environment for Windows and expanded to support Oracle’s 9i and 10g databases and Microsoft’s SQL Server database. The J2EE and Windows variants of the application can run on WebSphere, JBoss, or Weblogic middleware (and presumably soon Oracle Fusion), and the processing logic for the application can be implemented in Java or C#. While the software was originally certified on other operating systems, AdminServer officially supports Windows 2000 Server and Windows Server 2003, Red Hat Enterprise Linux AS3 and 4, and Sun Microsystems Solaris 9 and 10.
Insurance companies were among the first to install systems–they were called that back then, and they were generally mainframes running COBOL–five and six decades ago, so breaking into this business is not exactly an easy proposition. But according to a report in Inc. magazine, AdminServer has done a pretty good job. The magazine’s Inc. 5000 ranking of privately held companies pegged AdminServer at number 800, and said that it had 136 employees and $24.2 million in sales in 2006. (In 2006, sales at the company more than quintupled from 2003, and probably doubled again in 2007 if that is a trend.)
Oracle and AdminServer did not disclose the financial details behind the acquisition. Rick Connors, who is not one of the founders of the company but who is currently AdminServer’s president and chief executive officer, is expected to head up a dedicated Oracle business unit in the insurance area, with AdminServer’s employees and products as the foundation, once the deal is done. Oracle expects to close the acquisition before the end of June.