5 min read

Microsoft Azure: Setting the Tempo For Financial Services

Laura Watkins

At 11:FS we’re always talking about digital transformation in banking – why it’s so important, what the challenges are and also the opportunities for both banks and fintechs. In partnering with Microsoft Azure, we’re teaming up with industry experts who share our vision, our expertise and our enthusiasm for truly digital products and services that better benefit both banks and their customers.

Digital Transformation for Banking

Digital transformation is not just one single effort. Like a finely tuned orchestra, many musical elements come together to drive a successful symphony. As banks strive to create differentiated customer experiences, drive real-time payments, optimize risk management across the enterprise, and meet financial crime regulations, they need an agile platform and creative partners they can trust. As a conductor ensures all the instruments of the orchestra work in harmony, so does the right set of partnering services. Azure is the platform of choice for industry innovation, especially to accelerate new banking ecosystems and highly personalized experiences. Azure enables banking and other financial service organizations to:
  • Ensure security and compliance
  • Speed up decisions with rapid risk analysis and deep insight
  • Simplify data management and reduce costs in order to leverage advances in artificial intelligence
Azure and its leading financial services industry solutions, will help “orchestrate” your business - accelerating your journey to the cloud. To find out more, visit their website.

11:FS and Microsoft

Any time an organization looks to modernize their services and offerings, it's not just simply about adopting a set of new technology and solutions; companies look towards a leader in the industry to build partnerships with deep industry experience. Not just a company, but people that can be trusted advisers, mentors and guides when taking this journey. At 11:FS we constantly say that having a team of specialized individuals is the best approach to anything. People who understand client needs can help drive innovation faster, and lower the risks and challenges to your origination. Through an on-going series of blogs and podcasts, our unique partnership with Microsoft will showcase the massive opportunities for banking and financial institutions to be disrupters within their competitive landscapes today.

Azure: Cloud services from those in the know

The Azure platform is quickly becoming the trusted cloud for industry, especially finance. It is being delivered by people who know what the financial world needs. They know what you need because they’ve been there themselves. Combining that expertise with the cloud-based services Azure offers, means you get a team that can drive digital transformation faster, and at less risk to your organisation. To help guide you through the upcoming series of activities, let us introduce you to some of the key people behind the industry orchestration within Azure:

Paul Maher, General Manager Industries Experiences

For a passionate football fan (soccer), who once played in the youth team of his home town club Tranmere Rovers, strategy is no small issue for Paul Maher. From both his footballing passion to his extensive career in industry, having worked for the last four years in insurance building one of the largest solutions on Azure for financial modeling and reporting, Paul boasts quite an impressive strategic history. Acting as conductor across so many teams in his long career requires an empathetic perspective. It’s necessary in order to find what works for each collaboration. Paul understands that the financial services industry is facing a score of new challenges, and is working tirelessly showcasing Azure as the global standard that will help industry digitally transform.

Peter Hazou, Director, Business Development - Worldwide Financial Industry Solutions

Peter is a career banker who, when he’s not in the garden or listening to classical music, he’s thinking up new ways to tackle the payments industry. After spending years working in the EMEA (Europe, Middle East & Africa) group at Citi GTS, Peter developed an in-depth understanding of transaction banking. His time spent at HSBC, Unicredit, and BNYM led to his past 3 years at Microsoft. Peter was hired for his banking expertise, he knows where a bank’s pain points and tech limitations are, specifically in its core processes and systems that date from the Victorian era. He’s worked tirelessly at Microsoft to help banks overcome their issues and survive in a changing technological world.

Howard Bush, Principal Banking & Capital Markets Lead

Every orchestra needs someone to keep the beat. Howard Bush is skilled with tech operations and customer relationships and knows exactly what to do to make sure each piece comes in on time. A jazz lover at heart, Howard knows how necessary it is to keep to a firm rhythm. Starting his 25+ year career as a commercial lender, he is deeply familiar with the needs of both end users and banks. He has worked multiple roles across HR, sales, IT and operations, specifically focused in investment, retail and core banking. Today Howard, as one of Microsoft’s banking and capital markets industry leads, spends over half his time listening and understanding the core problems faced by the financial industry and having them solved in a meaningful priority order. Continually focusing on improving customer relationships, a skill he honed while leading call centre, branch banking and ATM tech at Bank of America. Through his most recent years of expertise building financial services solutions, coupled with Azure’s high-performance power, Howard is able to enable business strategy with technology These are just some of the people who make Azure work for Financial Services, and through this series will be introducing you to many more. People who you can lean on, interact and guide your organisation as you continue to adopt modern services.

Step into the future with Microsoft Azure

11:FS and Microsoft are very excited to bring their richness of resources and knowledge together. For more information in the meantime check out the Microsoft Financial Industry website; subscribe to their banking blog; learn more about banking solutions from Azure and also dive deep into Risk Grid computing and Data management, focused exclusively on financial institutions. Don’t forget to follow @IndustryXP on Twitter, or follow Paul, Peter and Howard personally, to stay up to date on all the latest news from the Azure team. Stay tuned for more blog posts coming very soon!

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 Laura Watkins
About the author

Laura Watkins

Laura is Head of Content Creation for 11:FS. At 11:FS she writes and produces the content for the Fintech Insider, Insurtech Insider and Blockchain Insider podcasts, as well as live events, video content and sponsored content for global clients including Microsoft, RBS and many more.

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