A new five-year partnership between Westpac and Microsoft will see the bank "double down" on its use of cloud and cloud-based technologies, according to Westpac's chief technology officer David Walker.
In Westpac Wire's latest "Tech in 10" podcast, Walker says the partnership – an extension of the long-held relationship between the bank and the tech giant – encompasses a combination of commercial and training elements that leverage Microsoft’s Azure cloud computing services.
"This partnership is going to help us in many ways,” Walker says.
“The fundamental part of it is the way we're going to work together to adopt cloud.”
Listen to David Walker in the latest Tech in Ten podcast.
In addition to tapping into Microsoft’s expertise and rolling out training to boost cloud capability among the bank’s software engineers, Walker says the deal has been structured to streamline decision-making and take advantage of Microsoft’s ecosystem of cloud services.
He says a particular focus is to propel Westpac’s real-time data and insights capabilities, stepping up the work underway since the bank moved its data platform into Microsoft’s Azure cloud in 2019.
"We've been able to build a number of key things in that environment including our insights engine, which is brand new,” he says.
“We're just about to move it to a new level of technology... that allows us to scale and move at much faster rates... because of the way we can now work with Microsoft and the technology that underpins it.”
Looking to the future, Walker says the bank has “exciting new capabilities” in the pipeline, although a key focus is on simplification.
“This year we're going to be focusing on conversational interfaces and taking that to the next level, and there’s a whole host of what we call ‘ambient capabilities’ which is that next generation of services beyond digital,” he says.
“But a big part of what we're also doing is simplifying the back end of the bank,” he says.