This article first appeared in the Autumn 2015 issue of OnWindows magazine.
Every year, the global financial services and technology communities gather together at Sibos – the annual financial services event organised by global standards and messaging services provider SWIFT. 2015 sees the event head to Singapore where, between 12-15 October, financial leaders will discuss key topics and trends driving change across the industry, including cybersecurity, technological evolution, virtual money, and compliance and regulation.
A regular exhibitor and major advocate of the event, Microsoft will take the opportunity this year to present its strategy and solutions centred on digital banking, risk and analytics, and compliance and cybersecurity.
In particular, the company will focus on how it is positioned to help some of the leading financial institutions in the world make the transition from simply managing transactions to becoming true digital information businesses.
According to Peter Hazou, director of business development, Financial Services at Microsoft, the urgency for banks to transform into digital businesses has become more acute than ever.
“Retail and institutional customers alike are more informed, increasingly mobile and expect consistent service across all channels,” he explains. “As a result, there is increased pressure for new customer engagement models, transparency and the ability to demonstrate business integrity.”
At the same time, the gap between customer expectations and adoption of new technology versus banks’ system capabilities is widening. Financial institutions are also finding it increasingly difficult to compete with new entrants from adjacent industries such as internet-only services, telecommunications and retail. “Indeed, without legacy systems and processes, new entrants are disrupting heritage business models by pushing the innovation envelope, offering lower pricing, and improved customer experiences by capitalising on technology,” explains Hazou.
However, Microsoft believes banks can turn these market pressures into an opportunity for business growth and long-term sustainability, particularly in the following three areas.
Deliver more value to customers
By engaging them in natural, highly personal and innovative ways throughout the customer journey, banks can gain deeper insights into their customers’ wants and needs. This helps them to not only improve the customer experience, but provide clients with relevant offers, which, in the long run, will allow them to drive increased relevance, loyalty and profitability.
“Microsoft supports financial institutions with omni-channel delivery solutions, underpinned by advanced analytics and automation, to reduce cost, improve efficiency and better serve customers by creating compelling experiences across all channels,” says Hazou. “With our broad range of solutions that are integrated by design across devices and cloud services, we provide banks with a complete platform that allows them to focus on driving customer acquisition, improving customer loyalty and accelerating time to market while at the same time ensuring full compliance with today’s banking requirements.”
Work and collaborate as a team
Banking professionals today need to be able to work from anywhere and on any device with modern productivity tools that provide seamless access to company data.
“Microsoft supports financial institutions with mobility, productivity and analytics solutions to fuel growth, improve customer satisfaction, and differentiate products and services in the market by enabling the workforce to drive customer intimacy, improve sales performance and improve business insight,” says Hazou. “At Sibos we will be showcasing our ability to support the online, on-premises and mobile productivity needs of financial services employees through effective content delivery, enterprise social, collaboration, communications and mobility solutions.”
With rich cloud-based systems and efficient, highly-automated digital processes, banks can be better prepared to meet the security, privacy and transparency expectations of customers, regulators and shareholders. This modern infrastructure allows them to address quickly evolving customer preferences and the persistently challenging business climate.
At Sibos, they will have an opportunity to learn more about Microsoft’s cloud platform, which is differentiated by its enterprise grade, hybrid model, optimal cost, hyper-scale and simplicity of use to support legacy and ecosystem transformation, improve IT cost ratios and put in place new capabilities to fuel future growth.
“As we will be demonstrating, our end-to-end solution portfolio enables banks to engage customers through seamless and contextual experiences across channels, enable a connected and collaborative workforce, and transform the business with connected and open systems,” explains Hazou. “We look forward to meeting with banks and showing them how, through a combination of Microsoft and partner technology, they can turn data into insight, transform ideas into action and turn change into opportunity.”
Share this story