Microsoft Corporate Treasury Connects to Its Banks via SWIFTNet

Corporate-to-bank connection to provide centralised visibility for 1,200 bank accounts.

COPENHAGEN, Denmark — 6 Sept 2005 — Today at Sibos 2005 Copenhagen, Microsoft Corp announced that its corporate treasury department will link with its banking partners over SWIFTNet, SWIFT’s more reliable, security-enhanced messaging platform. Microsoft is undertaking this project, which is scheduled to begin in December, to achieve greater daily visibility of its global bank account transactions, to help ensure operational efficiency, and to help prevent any opportunities for fraud to occur, in line with industry regulations such as Sarbanes-Oxley.

The implementation will provide Microsoft with a centralised view of its 1,200 bank accounts by enabling the firm to receive daily bank account balance and transaction data electronically from all its banking partners, via their SWIFT connections, directly into its SAP R/3 Corporate Finance Management (CFM). This centralised resource is designed to reduce the number of systems and data silos currently in operation, creating a standardised and efficient approach to Microsoft’s financial processes. Furthermore, the project will allow Microsoft to transform SAP CFM into a central reconciliation tool, helping the company close its books in a more timely and accurate fashion.

Microsoft will interface with its banks over SWIFTNet using Microsoft® BizTalk® Server, Microsoft BizTalk Accelerator for SWIFT and Microsoft BizTalk Server Adapter for Web Services Enhancements. The solution will allow end-to-end straight-through processing from Microsoft’s treasury systems to SWIFTNet connectivity.

A Microsoft Office InfoPath® application hosted on Microsoft Office SharePoint® Portal Server will be used to enter information in a user-friendly format and send that data to SWIFTNet via Microsoft BizTalk Server. The result should be a significant reduction in the time and cost associated with Microsoft’s banking transactions.

"Like all corporate treasury departments, Microsoft is looking for richer and more timely information, error reduction, and better reconciliation of its financial position. With this new SWIFT-based solution, we think we will be able to achieve just that," said George Zinn, vice president, Treasury, at Microsoft.

"We are delighted to be working closely with Microsoft on this project and hope that this will encourage other multinational corporations to follow suit," said Leonard H Schrank, CEO of SWIFT. "This is a strong indicator that our corporate-to-bank strategy is really gaining traction. I am sure our Corporate Access Group, with senior executives drawn from our largest global members, will be encouraged by this important development."

"This is the perfect showcase for BizTalk Server’s Accelerator for SWIFT to demonstrate the complete range of access options it provides to SWIFTNet and SWIFTSolutions," said Ted Kummert, corporate vice president of the Connected Systems Division at Microsoft. "BizTalk Server 2006 will further help Microsoft Corporate Treasury automate business processes and integrate financial messaging while lowering costs. We expect to take advantage of the emerging standards provided by SWIFTSolutions."

"Citigroup offers a wide array of advanced application choices and connectivity solutions to address integration of ERP and treasury systems for our diverse and global client base,” said Gary Greenwald, managing director of Information Products at Global Transaction Services, a division of Citigroup Corporate and Investment Banking. “SWIFTNet is a robust, more reliable and security-enhanced connectivity option that we have been offering to our corporate clients for about two years. As a banking partner of Microsoft and other global firms, Citigroup is very pleased to be able to offer our significant expertise in transaction and messaging integration via SWIFTNet, as well as delivering liquidity-related information through other advanced platforms such as CitiDirect and TreasuryVision."

Microsoft is an active partner of SWIFT, and the company’s technology is widely used by financial institutions and corporates for their day-to-day operations over the SWIFT network.

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