Microsoft and Indian IT services provider Satyam Computer Services have joined hands to develop business intelligence (BI) applications for companies in Asia's financial services sector.
In a joint statement issued Tuesday, the two companies announced the launch of two testing and development facilities in Shanghai and Singapore, staffed by employees from both Microsoft and Satyam. The centers will allow researchers to perform tests, such as the impact of fluctuating user volumes and the use of data mining to predict credit card attrition rates, the companies said.
The new initiative is a concerted effort to push BI applications that rely on Microsoft's platforms, such as the new iDecisions BI software by Satyam, to a specific market. According to Hari Natarajan, senior vice president of Microsoft global alliance at Satyam, "a few major banks in the region are already testing iDecisions", but he declined to name them.
Saw Ken Wye, vice president of sales and marketing at Microsoft Asia-Pacific, told ZDNet Asia in an e-mail that the two companies may extend the scope of the BI testing facilities to other vertical industries or markets. However, he added that it is still "too premature" to provide more details.
This is not the first time the two companies have collaborated, noted Saw. In 2003, Microsoft's Malaysia office partnered Satyam to set up a Global Solutions Center in Cyberjaya to address the IT outsourcing needs of large corporations and government agencies in the Asia-Pacific region.
And last November, he added, Satyam signed a memorandum of understanding with Microsoft China to establish a joint Adaptive Solution Center to showcase Satyam's applications and services based on Microsoft's products to the Greater China market.
According to the statement, the new Shanghai and Singapore facilities will adopt Microsoft's SQL Server 2005 as the main database engine for reporting and data migration. It will be integrated with Microsoft's SharePoint Portal Server 2003, which provides dashboard and scorecard functionalities.
A recent report from IDC forecasted that the BI and business process management market in the Asia-Pacific region, excluding Japan, will grow at 13.5 percent over the next five years to reach US$630 million in 2010. In particular, rapid growth is expected in China and India.