The Record - Issue 19: Winter 2020

90 www. t e c h n o l o g y r e c o r d . c om F E ATUR E provides a holistic and unified set of productiv- ity, collaboration and real-time communication capabilities. If you look at alternative offerings, they are all point solutions. In an industry like financial services, a holistic suite of technology solutions will enable not only a more productive and efficient workforce, but it will facilitate a consistent experience for customers too.” And that’s without mention of the security and compliance benefits that come with Microsoft’s offering. “You don’t see many of the other big collaboration platforms being used in financial services because of the sensitive nature of the work that is being done,” says Farmer. “Microsoft 365 and Microsoft Teams provide strong enter- prise security for the financial services industry including capabilities to help protect sensitive information, meet regulatory compliance obli- gations and prevent information exchanges that could lead to organisational conflicts of interest.” It’s for these reasons that Farmer believes Microsoft technologies will be instrumental to a profound transformation of the financial ser- vices industry in the months and years to come. “Microsoft technology will continue to break down physical barriers,” he says. “It will facil- itate a workplace not defined by physical con- ventions – one that flows seamlessly wherever the employee is working, whether that be in the car, at home or in a branch. While the number of branches will dramatically reduce, seamless communication and seamless productivity ena- bled by tools like Teams and Microsoft Office enables employees to not only work far more effectively, but more flexibly too.” And it’s this focus on flexibility that brings us back to Nadella’s key messaging at Sibos. “I think we will come out of this with a lot of understanding of what truly drives productiv- ity,” he said. “Not just in the narrow sense, but inclusive even of our wellbeing. We’re definitely not going to go back to the way the world was before, but we’re also not going to remain the way it is today. “We’re going to probably take the best of the two worlds and blend them appropriately. The key word for me is flexibility. One thing that we have learned from any dogma in any form is everybody needs to be in the workplace or everybody needs to be remote… We will need to have more flexibility in some of [our] digital tools, for sure.” And Microsoft will undoubtedly give us that. We asked a selection of key Microsoft partners about the key productivity tools equipping financial services staff to deliver continuing customer satisfaction in times of crisis Partner perspectives “We are unlikely to go back to pre-Covid times where work was synonymous with being in the office. The pandemic has shown us remote working knows no boundaries. This has opened a huge opportunity for financial institutions as they transition towards recovery. Throughout this time, we have seen how digital capabilities have given employees the flexibility and agility to work and engage at anytime and anywhere – and this has been crucial in improving customer engagements. VeriPark’s branch automation solution, integrated with Microsoft Teams, has provided the necessary infrastructure to make sure employees are equipped with everything they need in a remote work environment. Many financial institutions are now using Microsoft Teams to communicate and collaborate not just internally, but also to interact with their customers and business partners.” Wim Geukens Managing director at VeriPark Europe