How Financial Services businesses can make the most of their Microsoft Licences

Digital transformation might not be a new concept in the world of financial services, but it’s just as relevant and crucial today as it was five years ago. Studies show that by 2026, spending on digital transformation services and technologies worldwide will increase to around $3.4 billion.

Financial companies are discovering endless ways to modernise and enhance their operations, with unified communications, cloud-based contact centres, automation, and even artificial intelligence. 

While a comprehensive digital transformation strategy may require some investment in new technologies and solutions, there are ways businesses in this industry can unlock additional opportunities and revenue, using existing ecosystems. 

Why Financial Services businesses need digital transformation

Digital modernisation has become critical to success in virtually every industry in recent years. Unfortunately, in the past, many financial services companies have earned a reputation of being slow to adopt new, and transformative technologies.

It’s easy to understand why financial companies have lagged behind other early adopters of solutions like AI, automation, and cloud-based communications. After all, the industry is heavily governed by strict regulations, and many companies already have deep investments in legacy technologies that would be expensive, and complex to replace.

Fortunately, technology providers like Microsoft are streamlining the road to digital transformation, ensuring their products are agile enough to adhere to changing trends, flexible, and compliant with stringent regulatory and governance requirements.

Unlocking Innovation with the Power Platform

One of the most exciting and scalable solutions available to digitally transforming companies in the financial sector is Microsoft’s Power Platform. Offering access to easily accessible solutions for workflow automation, and no-code/low-code applications like Microsoft Power Apps, the Power Platform gives organisations unique ways to manipulate data, and address common challenges.

With the Power Platform, companies can discover new ways to provide authentic and personalised experiences to customers, reduce business process efficiencies, and innovate. Plus, they can maintain existing core and legacy systems, reducing expenses and complexity.

For instance, one Microsoft company, Metro Bank, used the Power Apps service from Microsoft to create a mobile-focused application for capturing customer details and streamlining appointments. Elsewhere, William Russel in the UK created a Power App solution to automate quotations, delivering faster services to customers.

The Power Platform simplifies the deployment of business process automation, applications, integrated reporting and even chatbots that can be used internally within Teams or as a customer-facing service. Plus, it integrates natively with the entire Microsoft stack.

What’s more, Microsoft’s Power Platform is often included with existing Microsoft licenses, offering a budget-friendly approach to innovation.

The Microsoft Cloud for Financial Services

In the past, financial services companies have often struggled to move beyond inefficient, legacy business practices, due to concerns with adopting the cloud. Fortunately, Microsoft’s dedicated cloud solution for Financial Services eliminates these issues.

The flexible platform offers highly secure services through Azure and Microsoft, allowing companies to create differentiated experiences for customer service, empower remote and hybrid employees, and even combat financial crime, all while retaining compliance.

Microsoft Cloud for Financial Services is flexible enough to enable you to design a bespoke solution that meets your organisation’s specific needs. 

You can benefit from an end-to-end solution designed for even the most complex control frameworks and regulatory requirements. By integrating existing and new capabilities in Microsoft 365, Azure, Dynamics 365, and Microsoft Power Platform, Microsoft Cloud for Financial Services is able to unlock unprecedented value for your business. 

Microsoft Cloud for Financial Services even offers access to workflow automation and AI tools, unified customer profiles, and self-service mobile tools for customer onboarding.

A strong partner ecosystem further increases the value of the platform with additional solutions to address the most urgent challenges the financial services industry is facing today.

Building your business around data

Financial services companies have always been subject to strict legislation and data governance guidelines. As consumers move more of their financial processes online, the standards set for data security are growing increasingly complex. What’s more, companies need to fight against an evolving collection of highly sophisticated cyber-attacks.

Microsoft’s commitment to serving the financial services industry has led to the development of tools intended to improve governance and compliance while minimising risk. With Microsoft tools, companies can modernise payments and core systems to create new revenue streams, while simultaneously protecting against crime.

Microsoft’s innovations in the AI and automation landscape help to reduce the risk of fraud and cybercrime. At the same time, the company’s innovative collaborative and communication tools pave the way to reduced data silos, improved productivity, and stronger customer experiences.

For instance, Microsoft 365, which combines Microsoft’s productivity solutions like OneDrive and Word, with collaboration solutions like Microsoft Teams, empowers financial teams to accomplish more with their data, while keeping it protected.

Features like automatic data classification make it easy to organise data shared in the cloud or through teams, for governance purposes.

Banks can also take advantage of built-in Teams policies, which use Artificial Intelligence (AI) to create extra processes around data storage. So, Teams can pick up on keywords and automatically file documents or monitor the data kept in certain folders to ensure it’s safe, secure, and compliant. Teams also helps financial services providers meet security requirements through multi-factor authentication, Azure information protection and Microsoft Secure Score.

Unlocking new levels of productivity

More than just an ecosystem for managing and protecting data, Microsoft’s cloud-based tools and solutions give companies in the financial services industries more scope to empower their teams. For instance, NedBank uses virtual assistants powered by Microsoft to handle 80% of inquiries at just 10% of the cost of hiring live agents.

ABN-AMRO uses Microsoft Teams to enhance its portfolio of omnichannel capabilities, offering video banking solutions and intelligent financial support to consumers.

Microsoft Teams provides a holistic and unified set of productivity, collaboration, and real-time communication capabilities. This can make your financial services business more productive and efficient. Better still, it can help deliver a more consistent experience for customers too. 

Microsoft’s recent investments in the AI landscape and the introduction of tools like Microsoft Copilot for Teams Chat and Phone, even empower agents to automate more tasks, from summarising calls to responding quickly to consumer messages.

And, unlike many of the other big collaboration platforms, Microsoft 365 and Microsoft Teams provide strong enterprise security for the financial services industry. They will help you protect sensitive information and meet regulatory compliance obligations.

Expert support for your transformation

Digital transformation is a strategic necessity for virtually every financial services company. However, even if you’re launching your strategy using existing licenses and tools in the Microsoft ecosystem, it’s still important to access the correct guidance and support.

Without an effective strategy, you risk missing out on the potential efficiencies and cost savings that digital transformation has to offer.

To truly make the most of your existing investments, and your future technology, you need the support of experts who can help you to navigate the evolving digital landscape.

The right partners can help you leverage the latest AI technologies, automate slow processes, and increase the ROI of every investment.

If you’re not 100% sure what your current Microsoft licence supports, get in touch and we’ll give you all the guidance you need.

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