EY and Microsoft alliance

The EY and Microsoft alliance combines EY’s insights and experience in disruptive industry trends, new business models and evolving processes with Microsoft’s scalable, enterprise cloud platform and digital technologies.

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EY Microsoft Services Group

The EY Microsoft Services Group is focused on helping companies realize long-term value through end-to-end Microsoft powered digital transformation. Our capabilities form the foundation to deliver innovative Microsoft-based solutions across the broad functional and industries.

Our digital solutions, powered by Microsoft technologies, help clients unify data and workflows to boost innovation, empower their people, engage their customers and optimize their operations. These innovative solutions digitalize enterprise strategy, transform customer and workforce experiences, create data-driven business processes, build intelligent, automated operations and are secure, compliant and trusted.


Repeatable enterprise solutions

Client-proven EY enterprise solutions, replatformed on Microsoft technology, create an innovative offering that can help clients achieve truly transformational outcomes that make them more agile, more innovative and better equipped to respond to market disruption.


Enterprise Strategy Enablement

EY Enterprise Strategy Enablement solutions, on Microsoft technology, help companies achieve transformational outcomes that make them more innovative and better equipped to respond to market disruption. Our solutions include:

Workforce Experience Transformation

EY Workforce Experience Transformation solutions, supported by Microsoft, help unlock workforce productivity, accelerate organizational change, help empower seamless virtual team collaboration, and make the most efficient use of talent. The solutions include:

Digital Operations Transformation

EY Digital Operations Transformation solutions, supported by Microsoft technologies, help businesses automate and accelerate operational processes, leverage machine learning to increase quality and productivity, and tap into the power of analytics to generate insights that fuel process improvement and cost savings. Our solutions include:

  • Blockchain

    Manages Microsoft’s end-to-end process for rights and royalties to its Xbox gaming partners, using machine learning to digitize and onboard contracts.Designed to deliver transparency, faster payment processing and near real-time calculation of royalty payments, with integrated data visualization for insights across contracts, statements, invoices and accounting records. Learn more about EY Blockchain.

    Press release
    • EY and Microsoft announced they have expanded Microsoft’s blockchain-based solution for gaming rights and royalties management. Read press release on ey.com/us.
  • EY Document Intelligence Platform

    Combines our business knowledge with leading-edge machine learning technologies from Microsoft computer vision to help companies extract critical insights from a wide range of business documents making document review and processing faster, more consistent and more accurate.

  • EY Tax and Finance Operate (TFO) Managed Services

    A cloud-enabled, multisided platform provides a new way of providing tax services. The platform is about scale, efficiency and time to market, leveraging Microsoft Azure apps, to meet market demands that otherwise would’ve been impossible.

Digital Trust

EY Digital Trust solutions, based on Microsoft technologies, help clients proactively respond to emerging threats, secure the fast-growing number of Internet of Things (IoT) and mobile endpoints, and realize the benefits of the cloud with the peace of mind that systems and data are compliant and secure. The solutions include:

  • EY Cyber-as-a-Service

    Innovative service that enable scalable, secure, cloud management and security monitoring services and protection through Microsoft advanced security solutions.


Sector-led solutions

Our innovative, highly configurable digital transformation platforms can help clients target specific industry issues and opportunities.


  • Financial Services

    EY Paycheck Protection Program (PPP)
    • A client-centric flexible platform that addresses the complexity of the loan forgiveness guidelines.
    EY Fuse Open Banking Solution
    • This innovative solution, built on Microsoft Azure, helps authorized deposit-taking institutions comply quickly to Consumer Data Rights open banking regulations and standards
    EY NexusTM for Insurance
    • Insurance platform-as-a-service helps companies launch new products faster and enhance the customer experience with advanced digital and analytical capabilities.
    EY Insurwave
    • Marine insurance blockchain platform that dynamically reprices and reduces claim administration effort and processing time by leveraging secure distributed ledger, IoT and analytics.
    EY Financial Crimes
    • Robust platform for financial institutions that uses robotic process automation, machine learning and AI to help further advance efficiencies in the financial crime detection process. Learn more about EY Financial Crimes Operations.
  • Healthcare

    EY PointellisTM
    • Private, secure information exchange and related end-to-end services that help the reliable delivery of individualized therapies for cancer and other chronic diseases.


  • Manufacturing

    EY Digital Turnaround Accelerator
    • A new digital platform born from the collaboration between EY and Microsoft can help operators optimize turnarounds for chemical companies and refiners.
    EY Smart Factory
    • People-centered digital platform provides manufacturing clients with dynamic predictive data analytics, virtual reality and AI to provide unprecedented performance.
  • Energy

    EY Digital Energy Enablement Platform (DEEP)
    • Open platform that integrates all key processes in the upstream oil and gas value chain to enhance innovation, support better decision making and improve efficiency. Learn more about EY DEEP.
    EY UtilityWave
    • Managed smart metering and billing service that helps utility clients reduce costs and risk while increasing operational efficiency.  Learn more about EY UtilityWave.

Our 15 Microsoft partner awards over five consecutive years are testament to EY excellence and innovation in areas including Advisory Services, Digital technologies, Analytics, AI, Blockchain and Dynamics CRM

EY Smart Factory

Enriched by P&G Integrated Work System, leveraging Microsoft Azure, EY Smart Factory harnesses the power of people and technology to drive resilience, agility and business results.

Race car in yellow frame in middle of traffic

Case study: How curating ecosystems enables self-disruption

Nationwide Insurance required a new brand and a new technology platform to access a customer segment that may otherwise have been unobtainable.


Discover more

The better the question. The better the answer. The better the world works.

How blockchain is reducing the fluidity of risk in marine insurance

EY and Guardtime are providing greater transparency and efficiency through blockchain technology in marine insurance.

The better the question. The better the answer. The better the world works.

When risks ebb and flow, how can insurance premiums adjust?

Marine insurance has not kept up with the digital era. Now’s the time for blockchain innovation to manage dynamic risk and boost global trade.

How many industries can you name that are still based on the same working practices and business models that they had in the 17th century?

Despite the wealth of modern technology now available, marine insurance, a critical component of the global trade ecosystem, is still an industry based on the certainty of paperwork, emails, weather forecasts and a large amount of guess work. 

EY and Guardtime are working with Microsoft and key industry players to bring the industry into the next wave, to reduce risk and friction in global trade and thereby facilitate global economic growth.

A risky business

Marine insurance is characterized by the dynamic nature of the risk taken on by insurers.

“There are a lot of paper contracts written between insurers, brokers, shipping companies and captains of ships that often won’t be in place in time until the ship has left Belgium and arrived in Sydney,” says Shaun Crawford, EY Global Vice Chair – Industry. “It’s all based on experience and historical examples. The risk can change markedly as a ship travels from A to B. It may sustain damage, enter war zones or change its flag or captain.”

Any such variations require all parties connected to a policy to update their records. With all that paper floating around, this process is slow, open to errors and fraud. Error and uncertainty adds cost for all stakeholders at every stage of the value chain.

To keep pace with the next wave of the industry, marine insurance needs to modernize through digitalization, automation and increased transparency.

“From an insurer’s point of view they don’t have access to all the information underpinning the risk they’re taking. As a result they have to put a fair chunk of capital on balance sheets in case of the worst scenario ­­– a ship going down,” says Crawford.

Beached container ship
The better the question. The better the answer. The better the world works.

Implementing blockchain on the high seas

A new blockchain-enabled platform is automating the insurance process to meet the needs of all stakeholders.

EY and Guardtime, an enterprise blockchain company, collaborated with Microsoft’s Azure Blockchain team to develop a groundbreaking blockchain-enabled platform that can meet the needs of all the different parties involved in a marine insurance contract.

The platform digitizes the rules between buyers and sellers. “We’re automating the entire process by using smart contracts to minimize paperwork,” says Crawford. “Insurance companies can immediately update information online or see where a ship is anywhere in the world at any point in time, or how it’s changed.”

In an industry with so many stakeholders, collaboration is key. The platform is being developed in consultation with the world’s largest shipping company Maersk; a major international broker; ACORD (insurance industry standards body); as well as multiple specialty insurance firms.

Working directly with the end clients and parties throughout the supply chain, EY, Guardtime and Microsoft were able to gain the insights needed to not only develop a 20-week proof of concept trial, but to calibrate the real-world platform on Azure that the parties had developed so it has the potential to transform insurance beyond just the seas.

The strengths of blockchain

Blockchain and distributed ledgers’ strengths lie in their core ability to connect every party involved and make a collective database completely transparent and visible to all. It offers a solution that could be applied across the entire insurance industry, beyond the specifics of marine insurance.

The visibility of near real-time data, connected directly to smart contracts also improves decision-making, security and transparency, with third parties such as regulators or auditors also able to view the database.

“This more exact information means less liquid capital on paper and allows brokers who spend most of their time doing costly administration to be free to work on value-added services,” says Crawford.

But successfully integrating blockchain technology to its full potential across the industry is hugely complex. Multiple jurisdictions and regulators are an inherent part of marine insurance and make it challenging to implement widespread change across the entire ecosystem.

To successfully drive the industry toward this digital solution, EY worked directly with the insurers’ end client, in this case Maersk.

“If we only worked with insurance companies and brokers, nothing would have happened,” says Crawford. “But for a shipping company that spends hundreds of millions on insurance each year, a blockchain solution offers the opportunity for tighter premiums and better claims processes. There’s a much clearer value for them. We’re going to the end client to transform an entire industry process.”

Beyond a proof of concept

After the conclusion of the 20-week proof of concept, EY and tech collaborator Guardtime established a joint venture, working closely with Microsoft, with the aim of servicing clients with the resulting product. Getting to this end result was a learning process for EY and its collaborators.

“Our blockchain platform has been specifically tailored to the business issues facing clients,” says Crawford. “Through workshops with clients we gained a deep understanding of the practical needs of the community who wish to benefit from the platform and we were able to deploy that understanding so that the solution is practical and intuitively fit for purpose. This was a major learning step for us, but at the end of the day what we built was for the clients.”

Developing the platform required a globally connected effort:

  • Guardtime's teams were based in Estonia, the UK, Netherlands, and the US and the nature of the shipping industry required coordination across EY teams on both global and local levels.
  • EY has teams working directly with end users, insurers and reinsurers in Europe, the US and Japan.
  • EY tech production teams based in India and Poland are working closely with Microsoft to coordinate the platform’s implementation within client environments.
Container ship on the high seas
The better the question. The better the answer. The better the world works.

Taking blockchain beyond marine insurance

This new platform will transform marine insurance by generating trust between all players in the value chain of global trade. And it has the potential to fuel innovation across every industry where trust and transparency are critical.

The service that resulted from the proof of concept has added significant value for businesses throughout the value chain of marine shipping. Maersk, the end client for insurance services, will benefit directly from more accurate premiums and faster claims processing. Insurers and reinsurers see the accuracy and quality of their data dramatically improved, with automation vastly reducing time-consuming administration.

This frees up employees to develop value-added services and push forward innovative solutions for clients and their own business. The visibility and transparency created by the blockchain-enabled platform generates a greater level of trust between all companies in the value chain, opening the door to more collaboration and innovation.

Beyond the insurance world, there’s no doubt blockchain is rapidly entering the mainstream, with other types of financial institutions around the world beginning to implement services based on the technology. However, understanding of blockchain and its potential is still a major barrier to greater implementation in businesses.

Until recently, the technology was perhaps most-often associated with bitcoin and other digital currencies, but for the insurance industry it’s the flow and visibility of data that makes distributed ledgers and blockchain technology so potentially revolutionary.

Introducing a hugely disruptive technology to any long-established industry with existing databases and relationships will inevitably be challenging. This is why collaborations with Maersk, who are actively looking to drive innovation and identify digital transformation opportunities in their industry, proved so crucial in bringing the platform to fruition.

“We’re disturbing the status quo culturally and all the existing processes that make up that culture,” says Crawford. “Why would the industry want to change and be the first movers? The industry won’t move unless you bring the client to the table.”

The potential of this platform goes beyond specialty insurance and sets a precedent and method for companies and sectors to converge and fuel the next wave of innovation.

“This is not just about insurance,” says Crawford. “It’s about connecting sectors together with convergence around new ecosystems. We’re leveraging shipping data to allow insurers  and brokers to create new products and service propositions. What we’re doing with shipping now, we see growing into other sectors.”

The ability of blockchain to create a digital record of a real-world objects lends itself to any sector where there is a supply chain of physical goods – from automotive to aircraft manufacturers to diamonds.

“Businesses should think about a completely new value chain,” explains Crawford. “This is not automating or digitizing an existing system; this is about connecting people, sectors and different industries, and helping them to find ways to disrupt the current model for the benefit of all.”

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Contact us

Like what you’ve seen? Get in touch to learn more.

More Press releases

EY announces new innovative digital solutions for the energy industry built on Microsoft Azure

LONDON, 4 SEPTEMBER 2019. EY announces the launch of two digital solutions built on the Microsoft Azure cloud platform – EY Digital Energy Enablement Platform (DEEP) and EY UtilityWave – designed to help energy companies improve performance, gain efficiencies and support better decision making.

4 Sep 2019

EY new solution Pointellis™ to support delivery of individualized cancer therapies to patients as personal as the therapies themselves

NEW YORK, 30 JULY 2019. EY announces the launch of Pointellis, a new solution that supports the provision of individualized therapies that target each cancer patient’s specific treatment needs.

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EY announces global tax and finance managed services agreement with Nokia

LONDON, 26 JUNE 2019. Ernst & Young LLP (EY) today announces a new global tax and finance agreement with Nokia Corporation to deliver tax and finance, data and technology managed services across 127 countries.

26 Jun 2019


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