Voca works with HP to link the Financial Supply Chain with TWIST

Standards-based electronic platform designed to automate and improve corporate cashflow; Pilot with HP and Office Depot expected to provide early proof of concept

6th September 2005, SIBOS, Copenhagen; Voca, the leading secure transactions processor, announced today that it is working with HP to develop a financial supply chain solution aimed at eliminating the process inefficiencies between corporate buyers, sellers and banks.

Delivered using Business eXchange (beX) from Burns e-Commerce Solutions, a provider of inter-company electronic messaging products, the solution has been deployed by HP in a pilot programme with Office Depot Europe, a leading global provider of office products and services. Once in place, the new platform will help Office Depot streamline its invoicing and collection processes, contributing to improved financial performance for both companies.

The lack of standardisation and automation of financial messages in companies is a significant source of complexity, inefficiency and lack of transparency. Industry analysts estimate that, at any time, up to €500 billion is locked up in inefficient processes, delays and errors in the global financial supply chain. As a consequence, most businesses experience substantial costs related to inaccuracies in cash forecasting and credit management. In addition, the critical activities of reconciliation and repair have remained stubbornly labour-intensive and costly to business.

Voca is working with HP to overcome these barriers by promoting greater use of electronic messaging and standardisation of those message flows, based on TWIST and ISO 20022 Unifi, whilst supporting multiple formats, including EDIFACT. The beX platform from Burns provides the technology infrastructure to support the business processes.

Through the creation of an electronic platform across which buyers, sellers, and banks will efficiently communicate, financial institutions will have the opportunity to create new payments, cashflow and financing instruments for corporates. Voca aims to create a framework for cooperation with other large corporations, financial institutions and market infrastructures across the world to support the integration of the financial supply chain on a global basis.

Marion King, CEO of Voca commented, "The banking community and corporates are increasingly realising the savings efficient payments can deliver. This initiative leverages common standards and innovative technology to streamline the wider financial processes. By combining market understanding with trusted and flexible technical excellence, this solution offers a real competitive advantage to early adopters."

"As global corporation active in 185 countries, HP is continuously working on process optimization with our customers and providers in the banking industry," said John Wallace, vice president and managing director, Global Financial Services Industry, HP. "We are keen to share this experience with the rest of the industry and Voca is an ideal company in Europe to work with, given its lead in secure corporate connectivity and the trusted relationships that it enjoys with its corporate customers."

Peter Little, Chairman of Burns e-Commerce Solutions, added, "Burns is delighted that HP and Voca recognised our expertise in financial messaging solutions and chose to work with us in the development of this pilot."
A demonstration of the new Financial Supply Chain solution will be available at Sibos 2005 on both the HP (C356) and Voca (B125) stands.

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