Microsoft today announced at Sibos 2010, the industry's premier global financial services forum, that BizTalk Accelerator for Swift has been awarded the SwiftReady Financial EAI label for 2010 - achieving seven continuous years of Swift certification.
BizTalk Accelerator for SWIFT is included in the license of Microsoft BizTalk Server 2010 and is used by global banks and corporate treasuries, including Microsoft's own treasury function.
For years, banks and corporates have struggled to implement standard formats. Microsoft is taking a leadership role in Common Global Implementation (CGI), along with SWIFT and partner banks, to define a standard implementation of ISO20022 XML for transaction exchange over the SWIFT network. This leverages BizTalk Accelerator for SWIFT and will reduce the cost and complexity of operations for treasuries and banks alike.
"Banks and other financial institutions are faced with a daunting challenge - a multitude of applications and systems that need to be integrated with customers, partners and external financial networks, including SWIFT," said Karen Cone, general manager, Worldwide Financial Services, Microsoft. "To address this integration complexity and to simplify adoption of mandated format changes, BizTalk Accelerator for SWIFT, an integral component of BizTalk Server, provides a highly extensible yet cost-effective implementation of financial messaging using the SWIFT format and network."
"Through its global alliance with SWIFT, Microsoft and its partners expand the market for SWIFT and financial services interconnectivity around the world," said Elie Lasker, head of corporate market, SWIFT. "Microsoft has a full understanding of the rapidly shifting payments environment, and our partnership is invaluable in helping to set industry standards and cut costs and complexity of banking and treasury operations."
BizTalk Accelerator for SWIFT natively supports ISO20022 XML schemas and represents the next generation of payments and cash reporting. Major benefits include improved operational efficiencies and risk mitigation at banks and treasuries and lower total cost of ownership. This solution also facilitates migration of SWIFT processing away from bank legacy technology and enables implementation of the global messaging standards being defined for the next generation of payments messaging worldwide.
Microsoft's treasury department is implementing this capability, as well as piloting the Citi eBAM solution for electronic bank account management offered through a Citi solution, Citi Direct BE, developed jointly with Microsoft on Microsoft SharePoint 2010. Launched in 2009, Citi Direct BE represents a move to next-generation portals and white labeling of treasury services that leverage Web 2.0 technologies to provide seamless banking experiences.
"Recent developments in business-to-bank (B2Bank) integration including eBAM, CGI and next-generation portals represent a quantum leap in technology designed to support the global treasury management function," said Susan Feinberg, senior research director at TowerGroup. "We expect that client demand for these solutions will help drive the technology priorities for global transaction banks in 2011 and beyond."
Microsoft and its technology partners continue to develop solutions that are mission-critical and enable the next generation of payments using ISO20022 XML. Microsoft treasury is a leading corporate treasury that has won several innovation awards and continues to work with global banks and SWIFT to generate efficiencies that will benefit the payments industry using Microsoft technology, such as BizTalk Accelerator for SWIFT.
"The biggest benefit of Microsoft's partnership with SWIFT is knowing where our cash is at any given time," said George Zinn, corporate vice president and treasurer, Microsoft. "SWIFT allows us to have flexible relationships with multiple banking partners, enabling us to better measure, quantify and mitigate risk with a 360-degree holistic view of our exposures and, if necessary, to move money among banks with relative ease. Visibility to cash from a single portal is critical to us, and we hear the same from other large multinationals."
"Microsoft's treasury department links with its banking partners over SWIFTNet, SWIFT's reliable, security-enhanced messaging platform," said Anita Prasad, general manager, Treasury Capital Management at Microsoft. This allows Microsoft 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 provides Microsoft with a centralized view of its bank accounts, enabling it to receive daily bank account balances and transaction data electronically from all its banking partners, via their SWIFT connections, directly into its SAP R/3 Corporate Finance Management. This centralized resource is designed to reduce the number of systems and data silos currently in operation, creating a standardized and efficient approach to Microsoft's financial processes.
Microsoft interfaces with its banks over SWIFTNet using Microsoft BizTalk Server 2010, Microsoft BizTalk Accelerator for SWIFT and BizTalk Server Adapter for Web Services Enhancements. This allows end-to-end straight-through processing from Microsoft's treasury systems to SWIFTNet connectivity. BizTalk Server also offers interoperability to the desktop environment, and so the familiar products of Microsoft Office and SharePoint Server will be used to enter information in a user-friendly format for onward delivery to SWIFTNet via Microsoft BizTalk Server. The result should be a significant reduction in the time and cost associated with Microsoft's banking transactions.