In 2006, we presented a case study of Microsoft Corporation and how the company started its implementation of SWIFT. Two years later, we talk to Ed Barrie, Group Manager for Treasury, Microsoft Corporation, to look at how Microsoft’s use of SWIFT has developed.
Microsoft Treasury, based in Redmond, Washington is a centralised operation responsible for all elements of cash management, FX, corporate finance, risk management and credit and collections. The company has around 100 banking partners and 1,000 accounts of which 400 are managed by treasury. Seven staff manage the Treasury Operations and four manage the subsidiary Cash Planning function. Microsoft started a project in 2003 to consolidate and streamline its back office cash management operations using SAP, which is used throughout Microsoft. This included bank communication, payments, bank account reconciliation, FX transactions and creating an in-house cash centre to manage intercompany transactions and subsidiary funding.
We implemented a connection to SWIFT because we wanted to spend less time managing transactions and more time managing our assets.
The global SAP cash management implementation was the starting point for a project to implement direct SWIFT connectivity through MA-CUGs, which is achieved using Microsoft’s own BizTalk Server and BizTalk Accelerator for SWIFT. Six pilot MA-CUGs, covering 100 bank accounts are going live this October and the company intends to connect with nearly 30 banking partners covering close to 90% of its bank accounts via SWIFTNet by June 2007. Prior to this, Microsoft Treasury did not have daily electronic visibility over these accounts and had hundreds of users across the company accessing numerous third party banking applications with their associated direct and indirect costs. There were also problems with consistency of security across the various banking systems across a widely disbursed organisation.