By Daniel Hunter

Global professional services company Towers Watson (NYSE, NASDAQ: TW) has expanded their alliance with Microsoft Corp. to adapt some of its software applications for the Windows Azure platform.

As part of the expanded relationship, Towers Watson has been working closely with Microsoft’s technology centres to develop new processes for its risk-based modelling applications and solutions to exploit the flexibility offered by cloud computing.

Mark Beardall, Global Application Leader - Risk & Financial Services - at Towers Watson, said: “We have been working with Microsoft for many years covering different technology areas and this takes the relationship to a new level. Cloud computing offers unique benefits in flexibility and cost effectiveness and we are delighted to have access to the Microsoft labs to optimise and fully test our products for the cloud. We are one of the very few global companies in this position and believe it is a compelling differentiator and the alliance underscores our commitment to be a technology leader.”

Over the years, Towers Watson has developed a wide range of software solutions to complement and support its capabilities in actuarial, investment, human resources and risk management. The technology is currently used by many clients including pension funds, insurers, multinational companies and sovereign funds. The alliance with Microsoft will strengthen the modelling software developed by Towers Watson’s risk management businesses and specific applications are already in the pipeline.

“We are delighted to be strengthening our relationship with Towers Watson in this way. They are a company offering a powerful combination of deep consulting expertise and excellent software solutions across multiple industries. Their innovative use of Windows Azure in high-end computing and analytical modelling will offer customers exceptional value,” said Dewey Forrester, senior director, Global Partner Team at Microsoft Corp.

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