Standard Bank South Africa migrates SAP cloud platform to Microsoft Azure to boost efficiency

Standard Bank South Africa is moving its core SAP Cloud Platform services to Microsoft Azure to significantly improve the experience customers have with the bank, while enabling it to introduce new solutions to market more efficiently.

This accelerates the digital transformation of SAP customers to S/4HANA by partnering with Microsoft and using jointly developed reference architectures, roadmaps, and industry best practices. Many enterprises are looking to reduce their reliance on their own datacentres and moving more of their core workloads to the cloud.

Sabelo Nkwanyana, Standard Bank’s CIO for Personal and Business Banking SA, says leveraging the computing power of Microsoft and the product innovation capability of SAP demonstrates how Standard Bank is embracing partnerships and ecosystems to develop customized solutions for its clients.

“SAP has a deep understanding of our business requirements and how we want to ensure our customers are happy with our service offering. This partnership continues our focus on innovation by leveraging the respective skills of SAP and Microsoft to transform the digitization and personalization journey for our customers,” says Nkwanyana.

Lillian Barnard, Managing Director, Microsoft South Africa says, “The Project Embrace initiative between Microsoft and SAP announced globally last year is centred around the customer journey to SAP S/4HANA and SAP Cloud Platform on Microsoft Azure. The work that we are doing with Standard Bank is the first local demonstration of this partnership, and another milestone in the journey Microsoft is on with Standard Bank, to bring innovation into every aspect of the bank’s IT system and enable enriched interactions with the bank’s customers.”

The partnership brings together SAP and Microsoft, along with a global network of selected system integrators, to move on-premise SAP ERP and SAP S/4HANA customers to the cloud through industry-specific best practices, reference architectures and cloud-delivered services.

Barnard continues, “Enterprises are migrating to cloud providers at an accelerated rate. This makes it critical for our customers to have the right cloud infrastructure in place, enabling them to unlock the power of innovation. Microsoft’s significant investment on the African continent, with our first hyperscale datacentre regions in Johannesburg and Cape Town, means many more partners and customers are enjoying the benefits of our intelligent cloud platform.”

Speaking on the SAP partnership specifically, Barnard adds, “Project Embrace has three tenets at its heart: simplify, accelerate and innovate. By accelerating our customers’ digital transformation journey, we are enabling them to become agile, efficient digital enterprises on Microsoft Azure – with a cloud platform optimised for SAP – leveraging best practice and specialist expertise.”

“Today’s announcement is the biggest partnership centred on SAP implementation in Africa. With client experience a key strategic pillar for Standard Bank, Project Embrace reflects the shared commitment of both SAP and Microsoft to accelerate our customers’ journey to the cloud,” says Cathy Smith, Managing Director at SAP Africa.

This project will deliver a unified approach to how Standard Bank runs SAP S/4HANA in Microsoft Azure. Ultimately, this will help the bank deliver a faster time-to-market on products and services, while ensuring its IT infrastructure is optimised. By moving workloads to the cloud, Standard Bank will be able to access a range of features that it can deploy instantly and scale according to demand. This will result in cost reductions, improved system performance, and access to innovation.

“This will empower the bank to create new business models and deliver more personalised outcomes in today’s dynamic business environment. By providing Standard Bank with consistent engagement and delivery models, SAP and Microsoft bring both industry-specific best practices and deep local insight to deliver a compelling value proposition for their clients,” says Smith.

“Through Project Embrace, we are now able to better identify our business pain points and effectively address them through technologies that deliver a demonstratable return on investment. Having the ability to more accurately predict where customer challenges and dissatisfaction will occur enables a more flexible enterprise environment. We can help our customers transform their businesses and their lives in a secure way. This is much more than SAP and Microsoft supplying us with products. This is about fundamentally enhancing our digital journey for the future,” concludes Nkwanyana of Standard Bank SA.

In addition to the work done with Standard Bank, the Microsoft and SAP initiative is assisting customers around the world, and in a variety of industries, accelerate their journey to becoming digital, intelligent enterprises.

www.standardbank.co.za

www.sap.com

[South Africa] Microsoft to provide cloud services for Standard Bank Group’s i internal corporate functions.

Standard Bank Group has selected Microsoft to provide cloud services for its internal corporate functions. The new strategic partnership between the two companies will help transform the bank’s technology estate and internal corporate functions, enabling the largest bank in Africa to accelerate its digital transformation journey significantly improving its employee experience.

The partnership also forms part of Standard Bank’s multi-cloud approach and strengthens its long-term relationship with Microsoft.

“Standard Bank is embracing digital transformation and the opportunities it presents. They realise that investment in digital transformation is also about investing in your organisational culture, ensuring that employees can succeed in a fast-changing world,” says Jean-Philippe Courtois, EVP and President, Microsoft Global Sales, Marketing & Operations. “Together we aim to bring innovation into every aspect of the bank’s IT systems, transform every employee experience and in turn enable enriched interactions with the bank’s customers. Being part of Standard Bank’s digital journey is particularly exciting as we share the ambition of making a positive impact on the African continent.”

The new partnership agreement adds to the work the two businesses are doing together. Microsoft already provides infrastructure, software, and platform services to the bank as well as cloud services across its productivity suite. These services continue to support Standard Bank’s expansion into Africa as well as enabling a true modern workplace.

“By providing these services, Microsoft is supporting Standard Bank Group in our digital transformation, helping to better leverage data to empower employees, create operational efficiencies, optimise our processes and transform our services and products to serve our clients with consistent excellence,” says Sim Tshabalala, Group CEO of Standard Bank. “The relationship between the Group and Microsoft has helped us execute our digitisation strategy and embark on this digital journey.”

Last month, Microsoft announced the launch of its new enterprise-grade data centre regions in South Africa. Microsoft Cloud — comprising Azure, Office 365 and Dynamics 365 — offers scalable, available and resilient cloud services to help organisations, businesses and government meet their data residency, security and compliance needs. Microsoft is the first global provider to deliver cloud services from datacentres on the continent, and there are plans in place to migrate a proportion Standard Bank’s cloud services to these local data centres.

Microsoft also provides the bank with access to its cloud expertise across its array of teams and businesses allowing it to leverage the learnings from Microsoft’s own transformation journey and its strong culture of collaboration.

In its quest to support communities and businesses on the African continent, Standard Bank is also developing a comprehensive education and digital skills programme in Southern Africa to address to critical skills shortages and to upskill the next generation of African cloud experts.

www.microsoft.com

www.standardbank.com



Standard Bank South Africa moves business to the cloud with Moody’s Analytics

South Africa’s Standard Bank Group Group has selected the Moody’s Analytics CreditLens™ solution to digitize and automate its credit processes.

Built on the latest cloud-based technology, the CreditLens platform helps financial institutions digitally transform their commercial credit processes to make faster and better-informed credit decisions.

With $148 billion in assets, Standard Bank Group is the largest bank in Africa by that measure. It offers banking and financial services across 20 countries in sub-Saharan Africa.

This extensive footprint is part of what led the bank to pursue a cloud-based platform.

“It was becoming less and less efficient to have our systems on premise across so many segments and regions, so the idea that the CreditLens platform will always be up to date with product enhancements pushed through the cloud is extremely appealing to us,” said Gordon Turnbull, Head of Credit for Business Customers at Standard Bank Group.

“It is also critical that our chosen solution gives us the flexibility to use our own in-house models for risk ratings, which the Moody’s Analytics product does.”

The bank will use the CreditLens solution to automate key components of its credit function, including data ingestion and workflow.

Using the solution’s cloud-based functionality, the bank’s vision is ultimately to provide nearly instantaneous credit decisioning from front-line staff, anywhere in the field.

“We are delighted to help Standard Bank Group transform their credit infrastructure with modern architecture and cloud technology,” said Elaine Wong, Head of Credit Assessment and Origination at Moody’s Analytics.

“As Africa’s largest bank and a standard-setter in financial innovation, Standard Bank Group is particularly poised to benefit from the flexibility and configurability of the CreditLens platform in supporting a faster, better decision process.”

www.standardbank.co.za

www.moodysanalytics.com

[South Africa] Standard Bank Group selects AWS as its preferred cloud provider

Amazon Web Services, Inc, an Amazon.com company (NASDAQ: AMZN), announced that Standard Bank Group has selected AWS as its preferred cloud provider with the intention of migrating its production workloads, including its customer facing platforms and strategic core banking applications to the cloud.

Standard Bank Group will leverage AWS services, including data analytics and machine learning, to automate financial operations and enhance customer facing web and mobile applications. The migration to AWS will take place across all business units, subject to approvals from local regulators, including Personal Banking, Wealth, Corporate Investment Banking, and Insurance, driving a more personalized banking and investment experience for customers.

Standard Bank Group says it chose AWS because of its broad and deep portfolio of cloud services, overall commitment to security excellence, and strong financial services experience. The South African Reserve Bank also confirmed Standard Bank Group can make the move to AWS while still meeting all current compliance requirements. Standard Bank Group will take advantage of advanced analytics and machine learning services, including Amazon SageMaker, to advance fraud detection and launch new business initiatives, such as machine learning-based advisor capabilities that will help customers make more informed financial decisions. As part of the move, an AWS Cloud Center of Excellence will be established within the bank, featuring a dedicated team focused on facilitating the migration to the cloud and building AWS training and certification programs to up-skill all employees. AWS and Standard Bank Group will also collaborate on building an education and digital skills program, to be launched across Southern Africa, to train the next generation of African cloud experts.

“Our vision is to be Africa’s leading financial services organization and to achieve this we have chosen to work with the world’s leading cloud,” said Sim Tshabalala, Group CEO of Standard Bank. “For Standard Bank Group to remain a leader in African financial services, we recognize we need to adopt a cloud-first approach to our business. AWS Cloud technology will create a springboard for Standard Bank Group, helping us to rapidly roll out our digitization and data strategy to better cater to customers whose needs are constantly evolving. The combination of AWS’s rapid agility and high levels of security, combined with Standard Bank’s customer obsession and desire to constantly raise the bar, will allow us to build Africa’s financial services organization of the future and to be positioned as more than a bank.”

“The cloud is transforming the financial services industry as organizations look for new ways to enhance customer experiences, and power their entire enterprise operations more efficiently and effectively on the world’s leading cloud,” said Andy Jassy, CEO of AWS. “Standard Bank Group has been a trusted financial institution for more than 150 years. We look forward to working closely with them as they become Africa’s first bank in the cloud, leveraging AWS to innovate new services at a faster clip, maintain operational excellence, and provide secure banking services to customers around the world.”

www.standardbank.com