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An Overview of Microsoft Cloud for Financial Services
In the last few months, we've covered many of the exciting new industry-specific cloud packages introduced for Microsoft Cloud. In the last year, these types of offerings have become the most active proponents in generally available offerings in the cloud market. The last industry we will focus on in this post is Microsoft Cloud for Financial Services.
The offering includes a phased release of scalable capabilities to manage financial services data and additional improvements to make the experiences of financial services for clientele and employees more accessible and most importantly, personalized to their specific tasks or needs. Of course, there are variables to combat financial crime, along with facilitating security, compliance, and interoperability.
This set of cloud-based solutions will markedly strengthen collaboration and automation,while delivering streamlined processes to make the most of every customer interaction for enriched data insight. The data model enables Microsoft’s partners and customers to not only find more value in the platform and make the most use of innovative strategies but to become or remain agile in how they accelerate time to value.
Finally, Microsoft Cloud for Financial Services is a robust partner ecosystem that includes existing and new capabilities from Microsoft 365, Microsoft Dynamics 365, and Microsoft Power Platform.
Here is a diagram explaining the scenarios, capabilities, and technologies that make up the Microsoft Cloud for Financial Services:
Differential Customer Experience and Empower Employees
Unified Customer Profile
This part of Microsoft Cloud capabilities isn't new if you're familiar with Microsoft's Dynamics 365. It can easily be tailored to industry-specific customer experiences with a 360-degree view of the customer. In other words, a customer's financial, behavioral, and demographic data are gathered into one place and broken down into the following tabs:
Summary: An at-a-glance summary of a customer, along with their details, life moments, financial holdings, and credit and debit cards.
Connections: Here, you can create groups for a customer, such as household, and view each group's financial potential and strength. You can then link one group to another, update details, and create records of each one for a wider understanding of how they relate to each other and potential growth.
Financial holdings: This is where all the detailed information of a customer's financial holdings will be.
This is an easy one to see where it will save time and resources through automation. The onboarding experience doesn't have to be time-intensive anymore. By offering self-service tools through mobile apps and portals, relationship managers can monitor the whole process from afar, while loan officers take advantage of workflow automation. Customers can efficiently apply for and keep track of a loan and then access an automated pipeline to review and validate application information.
Collaboration Manager for Loans is an app in Microsoft Teams that helps to accelerate the lending process with automation and collaboration tools. The app lets you collaborate with meetings, customer bookings, notes, files, and approvals, all of which are attached to loan records. Streamlining these business processes not only empowers your team by providing fast and easy access to loan details, notes, and related tasks but also a dashboard for a visual overview of all loans broken down by stages for more efficient management capabilities.
Retail Banking Model
Microsoft Cloud for Financial Services relies on a dedicated banking data model and connectors to help standardize data. The retail banking data model makes Microsoft Dynamics 365 implementations for financial services customers easier, quicker, and more secure. It captures financial information, groups and relationships, life moments, and more.
This component lets the agent engage with customer by using relative information from AI models and financial insight from the customer demographic, financial measures, and more. Customer intelligence unifies important, relevant, and accurate customer information across multiple sources via Dynamics 365 Customer Insights.
Financial Crime and Protection
Financial crime is is a constant threat in financial services and Account Protection and Purchase Protection solutions through Dynamics 365 can help keep your business safer. You can customize both in Dynamics 365 Fraud Protection.
Digital account protection helps you protect your reputation by defending consumers’ online accounts and purchase fraud through advanced, adaptive AI in the following ways:
- Detect account fraud
- Use a fraud protection network to safeguard accounts
- Device fingerprinting
- Defend against bots
- Reduce false positives
- Optimize acceptance rates
- Triangulating transaction fraud
Security and Compliance
As with all other tiered authorization approach scenarios in the Microsoft Cloud offerings, Financial Services follows a role-based approach for user access and security with their online service subscription Microsoft Power Platform.
Microsoft cloud services operate using best practices outlined in Security Development Lifecycle (SDL) and Operational Security Assurance (OSA). Microsoft developers are required to validate that source code, documentation, configs, and dependencies do not cause unintended side-effects.
Microsoft also supports multifactor authentication (MFA) as a core capability of Azure Active Directory (Azure AD). All Azure AD tenants can use security defaults to easily enable Microsoft Authenticator for all users. You can also sign in without a username or password using an external USB, near-field communication (NFC), or other external security key that supports Fast Identity Online (FIDO) standards in place of a password.
Office 365 Security and Compliance Center and the Azure Security Center also provide an extensive set of logging and audit capabilities. Logging and monitoring can be enabled for each service as follows:
- Power Apps Activity logging
- Power Automate Activity logging
- Data loss prevention activity logging
- Audit data for user activity Dynamics entity logging
- Microsoft Dataverse and model-driven apps activity logging
- Microsoft Teams logging
At enterprise level, there is Azure Sentinel, a scalable, cloud-native, security information event management (SIEM), and security orchestration automated response (SOAR) solution. For security analytics and threat intelligence across the enterprise it provides a single solution for proactive hunting, alert detection, and threat response.
Encryption technology is important to protect customer data while at rest in a database and while it is in transit between user devices and datacenters. Connections established between customers and Microsoft datacenters are encrypted, and all public endpoints are secured using industry-standard Transport Layer Security (TLS). TLS effectively establishes a security-enhanced browser-to-server connection to help ensure data confidentiality and integrity between desktops and datacenters. After data encryption is activated, it cannot be turned off.
Dynamics 365 uses standard Microsoft SQL Server cell level encryption for a set of default entity attributes that contain sensitive information, such as user names and email passwords. This feature meets the compliance requirements associated with FIPS 140-2. Field-level data encryption is especially important in scenarios that leverage the Microsoft Dynamics CRM Email Router, which must store user names and passwords to enable integration between a Dynamics 365 instance and an email service.
Compliance is a whole beast in and of itself. Healthcare organizations are entirely responsible for maintaining compliance and it can be a daunting task. Lucky for you, Microsoft maintains the largest compliance portfolio in the industry. Compliance offerings are grouped into four segments: globally applicable, US government, industry specific, and region/country specific.
You can benefit from a compliance framework that aligns both the Microsoft and partner ecosystem. Assessing risks and meeting regulatory compliance requirements can be simplified with vendor due diligence to assess enterprise application readiness.
Microsoft Cloud for Financial Services includes trial licenses for the following programs:
Compliance Program for Microsoft Cloud A fee-based premium service where you get dedicated support from subject-matter experts or one on one engagement. Educational resources and networking opportunities round out this service for addressing financial services regulatory compliance, cybersecurity, and privacy.
Microsoft Purview Regulatory compliance assessments with templates to help you stay up to date with regulations and certifications. From data protection risks to managing control implementations, it's easier to manage requirements to assess and improve your compliance score.
Overall, there are plenty of capabilities built into the Microsoft Cloud for managing financial services, but these industry-specific offerings bring together a partner ecosystem to make it easier for organizations to deliver the highest level of innovation and sustainable growth at scale. It isn't easy keeping up with technology at this rate but Microsoft isn't slowing down any time soon. If you want to learn more about Microsoft Cloud for Financial Services or any other industry-specific packages, or if you've got an idea or code audit you need from a Gold-certified team you can trust, reach out today and talk to your friends at CSW Solutions for other finance software solutions!