Standard Bank Group and Microsoft have announced a new strategic partnership that will help to 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 will see Microsoft providing cloud services for the bank’s internal corporate functions such as treasury, finance, employee productivity and human resources. This forms part of Standard Bank’s multi-cloud approach and strengthens its long-term relationship with Microsoft.
According to Jean-Philippe Courtois, EVP and President, Microsoft Global Sales, Marketing & Operations, “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.
“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,” he said.
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.