Westpac and Microsoft team up to ‘catapult’ digital banking

Westpac has taken the wrappers off its data driven experience platform (DDEP), a Microsoft Azure-based data hub that draws on data sources from across Westpac Group to provide real-time, personalised insight to its customers.

The DDEP has been designed to “catapult Westpac to the forefront of digital banking and prepare it for the fast approaching era of open banking in Australia,” according to Westpac.

“We’ll be differentiated not by our strategy, but by our ability to execute with speed and efficiency. Our use of cloud and our partnership with Microsoft is therefore key to our success,” Westpac Group CIO, Craig Bight, said in a statement.

“The Data Driven Experience Platform gives us access to an incredibly rich set of capabilities that enable us to engage digitally in real-time with our customers in a way that’s personalised, intelligent and autonomous. Our customers will start to experience this with the rollout of our new mobile app next year.”

The platform will act as the foundation for real time data analytics across the bank, and increasingly use machine learning and other Azure cognitive services to support decision making and enhance customer interactions, with the goal of delivering more personalised services based on greater understanding of customer behaviour and preference, Westpac added. 

Meanwhile, Azure Sentinel has been specifically designed to use artificial intelligence to protect sensitive data and has the proven ability to tackle the analytics required to secure the bank’s data. 

The platform supports Westpac as it complies with the Open Banking requirements of Australia’s Consumer Data Right Legislation.

In addition to Azure, Microsoft and Westpac have been working together to access the capabilities of Microsoft 365 E5, Dynamics 365, Power BI and Windows Modern Management to enable Westpac employees.

Microsoft Australia managing director, Steven Worrall, said Microsoft is delighted to be working closely with Westpac on its deployment of cloud and new digital platforms and to support its vision of being “one of the world’s great services companies.”

“Azure, Microsoft 365 and Dynamics 365 are resilient and high performing digital foundations for modern workplaces like Westpac.

“Atop that our engineering teams are working together using an agile approach, establishing the right tooling and the integrated controls to ensure proper systems governance and the creation of platforms that are compliant by design. This helps build the tech intensity that Microsoft considers essential to successful digital transformation and enduring impact.”

Essentially, Westpac’s move to Microsoft 365 is a key component of the bank’s WorkSmarter program, which is helping increase productivity and collaboration and enable users to provide a better experience to their customers.

As such, Westpac has rolled out common desktop and cloud-based collaboration to 55 per cent of its employees and is on track to complete this next year.

Additionally, Westpac’s distributed workforce will soon benefit from the rollout of Azure-based virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) that is using Citrix Cloud and Windows Virtual Desktop (WVD), the company noted.

Westpac is Australia’s first bank and oldest company, serving more than 14 million customers. The world’s 20th largest bank, Westpac has $907 billion in assets and provides a broad range of consumer, business and institutional banking and wealth management services through a portfolio of financial services brands and businesses.

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