Microsoft has launched Office XP, a new software suite which enables financial services employees to integrate applications and reference data into their desktop portfolios.
Microsoft has been 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 employees to take advantage of information wherever it exists.
Mike Sayers, chief technology officer, Reuters, says: "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."
Financial services organisations will be able to use Office XP as a platform for traders, analysts and risk managers to locate and capture hidden knowledge. Teams can share information through SharePoint Team Services-based websites and enhanced document and workflow collaboration capabilities.
David Slight, industry manager, financial services, Microsoft UK, says: "Office XP is a key building block for a front-office architecture. It delivers 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," he adds.
UK-based Halifax will be the first customer to implement Office XP. Initially 1,000 desktops will be rolled out across Halifax Group Technology and Operations. After this phase, Halifax will begin to roll out Office XP to the rest of the business, across its 37,000 desktops.
The group will also roll out Microsoft's SharePoint Portal Server, alongside Office XP, providing users with a single portal to integrate sources of all information.