Microsoft partners with Satyam in China, Singapore

Microsoft and Satyam opened two business intelligence software centers in Asia on Tuesday, hoping to usher in a new era for Chinese financial applications.

Microsoft and Satyam Computer Services opened two business intelligence software testing and development centers in Asia on Tuesday, hoping to usher in a new era for Chinese financial applications.

The centers, one in Shanghai and the other in Singapore, are taking direct aim at banks and other financial services business with growing customer demand for multiple services. Researchers from Satyam will use real-life scenarios and data to test and localize financial software that's already available on global markets, as well as develop new applications specifically for the Chinese market.

"The opportunity [in China] is staggering. The demand for more sophisticated financial products is expanding," said Ken Wye Saw, vice president of sales and marketing for Microsoft in the Asia Pacific region, in a telephone interview.

The companies plan to use iDecisions business intelligence software from Satyam, of Hyderabad, India, to build the market for Chinese financial services applications. The software is designed to sift through an organization's information and transform data into useful information, tools and ideas for better services.

For example, a bank could use iDecisions in its existing database to sift through a customer's past credit history, job information, choices on banking and stock picks, and more, to understand their appetite for risk and more intuitively design a personalized long-term investment plan.

The deal between Microsoft and Satyam also highlights their growing collaboration on China. Last year, the two companies agreed to work together in the enterprise solutions market in the Greater China region, which includes China, Taiwan and Hong Kong, as well as loosely associating Singapore.

The iDecisions software at the heart of the current Microsoft and Satyam partnership runs on Microsoft server software, including Microsoft SQL Server 2005. Satyam gained iDecisions through its purchase of Singaporean software maker Knowledge Dynamics last year.

Satyam is one of India's biggest software developers. The company will take charge of day-to-day operations at the centers, while Microsoft will make available its engineers when necessary, Saw said.

The companies would not disclose the amount of their investment.

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