Microsoft is expanding its financial services cloud portfolio with • The Register

Microsoft is looking for a slice of the financial services industry’s wallets and is talking about new features and a “compliance” program for its industry cloud ahead of next week’s Ignite 2022 trade show.

Features previewed in the US and UK include new data models for property and casualty insurance, wealth management and small businesses, and an application to streamline product onboarding that includes automated document workflows and AI analysis.

The goal is to “equip every finance organization with the digital capabilities needed to thrive in today’s challenging economic and regulatory environments,” wrote Bill Borden, corporate vice president of worldwide financial services at Microsoft, in a this week Contribution.

Borden pointed to an IDC survey of CEOs released earlier this year that found 41.1 percent of those in the financial services industry are pushing to accelerate the delivery of digital financial services and the move to the cloud.

“In this context, delivering technology that accelerates time to value and improves customer outcomes is critical – and this is where Microsoft Cloud for Financial Services and its latest updates can offer compelling business value,” Borden wrote.

The financial services-focused cloud is part of Microsoft’s growing list of industry cloud offerings, which began in 2020 with the launch of Microsoft Cloud for Healthcare.

Everything to play with

The global cloud infrastructure provider space is very lucrative, with spending growing to nearly $55 billion in the second quarter. Microsoft remains in second place with around 22 percent market share behind AWS with 34 percent. Microsoft wants to increase enterprise adoption of Azure to bridge the gap.

The Industry Clouds – which now include seven such clouds in the areas of healthcare, financial services, retail, manufacturing, nonprofit, sovereignty and sustainability – are based on Azure, the Power Platform, Microsoft 365 and Dynamics 365, which give them a common foundation. In addition, there are more industry-specific tools, standards, and guidelines.

In 2021, CEO Satya Nadella said industry customization is among the four pillars driving adoption of Microsoft technology, adding that the company has operated a cloud designed for the US government since 2014.

“Every industry is unique,” Nadella said. “Our goal is to deliver solutions that are tailored to their specific needs. We… employ experts who bring industry perspectives to all phases of our product development as well as our customer engagement.”

An April report from Info-Tech Research Group said that more than 500 industrial clouds have been created worldwide and that revenue in this space will grow to more than $20 billion by 2023, leading senior research director Ted Walker to say, “The industrial cloud market represents one of the largest vertical growth opportunities for technology providers.”

The Industry Cloud program will be a focus at Ignite, including a panel where attendees will discuss, according to the agenda, “why industry matters to Microsoft and how it enables companies to quickly unlock value, build for the future and exceed expectations.” ‘ according to the agenda.

The data models being previewed in the Microsoft Cloud for Financial Services introduce new attributes for areas such as policies, coverage information and claims (for insurance companies), as well as financial goals and investment vehicles (wealth management), and enable the linking of small businesses to individual financial holdings .

Also previewed are the onboard application for retail banking and other industries, and a unified client profile for wealth management firms.

Microsoft is also making its Microsoft Cloud compliance program a part of the Financial Services Cloud Initiative, offering organizations support for their risk, audit and compliance teams. This includes features like cloud risk assessments and Ask-the-Expert, where organizations can speak to Microsoft subject matter experts.

Microsoft is also making a Smart Scheduling feature widely available, allowing bank customers to schedule meetings themselves.

“It brings customer inquiries about financial products together with banking experts easily and quickly,” wrote Bolden. “Customers find contacts with the appropriate skills and availability for virtual or face-to-face appointments.”

The company is also expanding the reach of Microsoft Cloud for Financial Services to Brazil, Singapore, and Hong Kong, adding Brazilian Portuguese and Traditional Chinese to its list of languages. ®

https://www.theregister.com/2022/10/05/microsoft_financial_services_cloud/ Microsoft is expanding its financial services cloud portfolio with • The Register

Rick Schindler

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