PRESS RELEASE: KBC chooses Microsoft Office 365 to allow Belgian staff to work together more efficiently
19 December 2013

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BRUSSELS, 20 December- Cloud-based collaboration will help employees connect more easily. One of KBC’s strategic objectives is to continuously enhance the responsiveness of its organisation by improving the efficiency of collaboration between its employees. KBC also wants to provide its staff with a modern workplace and enable them to work from home or the office.

KBC is currently engaged in a project to move its collaboration tools to a public cloud environment. After carefully examining various solutions available on the market, KBC has chosen Microsoft’s collaboration platform, Microsoft Office 365.

KBC’s move-to-the-cloud project has been properly validated from a regulatory perspective by the National Bank of Belgium, the prudential regulator for the financial sector in Belgium. Cloud computing has been widely adopted by businesses in the last few years.

‘The ease of use, familiar tools and enterprise readiness were key factors in our decision,’ said Frank Demonie, Senior VP and Chief Technology Officer at KBC. ‘By using a single, well-integrated platform, KBC employees will be able to more easily reach out to each other, connect and work in virtual teams. This will allow us to provide faster and better service to our customers.’

KBC has already taken the first step and provided instant messaging and conferencing services for its Belgian headquarters staff through Microsoft Lync, with usage currently at about 100 000 chat sessions and 7 000 online meetings per week. The benefits of using online meetings are clear: time savings, reduction in travel and higher employee satisfaction.

The use of Office 365 will now be expanded to e-mail with Exchange Online, as well as other applications to further facilitate remote collaboration and community working (like SharePoint Online).

KBC will take a phased approach to the switch, starting with a pilot project for a limited group of employees and gradually expanding to cover all Belgian staff over the next few months. The project is being implemented by Microsoft Services, in close partnership with HP Technology Services.

"We are very pleased with KBC’s decision to adopt our cloud platform’, said Xavier Lamote, Enterprise and Partner Group Director at Microsoft Belgium and Luxembourg. ‘This is a great example of where enterprise capabilities such as security and regulatory compliance can be combined with the expectations users and consumers have today. Thanks to the open and transparent discussion with KBC, we have achieved a major milestone in the financial industry."

For more information about Microsoft in Belgium, please visit their official site

About KBC (www.kbc.com)
KBC is a bank-insurer that focuses on its home markets in Belgium and Central and Eastern Europe. Its headquarters are located in Brussels (Belgium), the heart of Europe. The group employs around 37 000 staff and caters for nine million customers on its home markets. KBC Group NV is listed on NYSE Euronext Brussels (ticker symbol: KBC).

About Microsoft
Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT) is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realise their full potential.

For more information, please contact:
KBC: Viviane Huybrecht, General Manager, Corporate Communication/KBC Group Spokesperson
Tel.: + 32 2 429 85 45 | E-mail: pressofficekbc@kbc.be

Microsoft: Katleen Dewaele, Public Relations Manager
Tel.: + 32 2 704 30 16 | Mobile: + 32 475 78 08 66 | E-mail: katleen.dewaele@microsoft.com