London - Microsoft today announced the launch of Office XP, its new suite of desktop software that has been designed to greatly boost productivity in financial services organisations by revolutionising how people can access and use information. Microsoft is working with key partners in the financial services industry, such as Reuters, to develop industry-specific smart tags, real-time data and instant-messaging solutions that will enable financial services employees to take advantage of information wherever it exists.
Office XP removes obstacles to major productivity gains by making it easier to locate and capture hidden knowledge. Financial services organisations can use Office XP as a platform for traders, analysts and risk managers to integrate applications and reference data into their desktop experience. Teams can share information through SharePoint Team Services-based web sites and enhanced document and workflow collaboration capabilities.
"We are in the final stages of testing Microsoft Office XP as a platform to reduce the time required to acquire information and provide access to multiple disparate data sources from one single application", comments Mike Sayers, Chief Technology Officer, Reuters. "Initial response from clients who have seen potential Reuters Office XP applications has been positive and we are currently exploring the possibility of developing further financial services solutions based on Office XP technology."
"Office XP delivers the next generation of productivity advancements by enabling people to easily unlock hidden knowledge," says David Slight, industry manager for financial services at Microsoft UK. "Office XP is a key building block for a front office architecture, delivering higher productivity to trading floors to support the integration of real-time data and customer and risk information into the trader's familiar Office-based desktop environment. Intermediaries across financial services can use Office XP to match the services from brokers with the needs of their customers by consuming and providing web-based services. For a retail organisation, customer information is key - Office XP not only supports the traditional functions required in a financial services organisation but also facilitates on-line learning, rich collaboration and integrates and exposes hidden knowledge about the customer.
"We have recently undertaken research with Cranfield School of Management that showed financial services employees spend up to 5 hours a week searching for business information, with an additional 5 hours spent searching for contact information such as telephone numbers and email addresses. With Office XP, we aim to help financial services organisations minimise time spent searching for information by enabling people to capture, locate and harness hidden knowledge. Built-in tools such as smart tags, SharePoint Team Services and XML integration make Office XP a crucial step toward delivering our .Net vision," Slight continues.
Office XP is broadly available in retail stores today in 15 countries, and
more than 100 Office XP launch events are being held around the world.