BNZ signs on as flagship customer for Microsoft New Zealand datacenter region

 |   Microsoft New Zealand News Centre

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Big four bank undertakes “biggest tech migration project in its history”, embracing digital solutions for customers

New Zealand, Thursday 11 February 2021 – Microsoft New Zealand today announced BNZ will become the latest flagship customer for its forthcoming New Zealand datacenter region. The agreement will see a large number of BNZ applications migrated to Microsoft’s Azure cloud, assisting with compliance and driving the creation of better products and services.

“This is the biggest technical migration project in BNZ’s history. With this agreement, we’ll be able to create better, more reliable and more powerful experiences for our customers and pave the way for new digital tools that will allow them to do more,” said Russell Jones, Executive General Manager, Technology and Operations at BNZ.

The announcement marks the next phase in Microsoft and BNZ parent company National Australia Bank’s five-year strategic partnership to develop a multi-cloud ecosystem underpinned by Azure. Under this agreement, Microsoft will support BNZ staff with digital training and work alongside the business to engineer a custom cloud-based solution before migrating its core operations to the new datacenter. This will enable the bank’s online platforms to scale up in times of high demand without any disruption to service. A local datacenter region will also solve any latency issues that are a legacy of the bank’s growth over time.

“Complex organisations have an equally complex mix of infrastructure, operations and legacy systems, and the challenge is getting the plumbing to fit together properly. Azure mitigates this, modernising the infrastructure and connecting all our systems together in the cloud to create a much more seamless experience for both our staff and our customers, so everything is always there, exactly when they need it,” Jones said.

Microsoft New Zealand Managing Director, Vanessa Sorenson, welcomed the announcement and said it demonstrated the vastly accelerating demand for cloud services to enhance businesses’ functionality and most importantly, their customer experience.

“This past year, more than any other, has shown how crucial it is for organisations to be nimble and innovate on how they can support customers from anywhere, anytime, however people want to engage with them. I can’t wait to see BNZ consolidate all the innovations it’s already made in digital banking and take advantage of what will be almost limitless capacity to empower its customers even further. We’re delighted BNZ has begun its journey towards full cloud adoption today, so it’s ready to make the most of everything the datacenter region offers from day one.”

Microsoft’s recent Culture of Innovation research, surveying financial services leaders across Asia Pacific, shows digital products and services are already generating an average 39% of finance sector businesses’ revenues and that figure is expected to increase to more than 52% within three years.

Cloud-based systems will greatly reduce the time it takes BNZ to deploy new digital products and services. The move to the new local datacenter will rationalise BNZ’s external datacenters, further increasing its capacity to develop new innovations and enabling almost instantaneous rollout of security updates.

Jones said having Microsoft’s datacenter region located in New Zealand was attractive from a compliance standpoint as well. The world is increasingly moving towards financial institutions storing key customer data within local borders – known as data residency – to provide greater resilience to international connectivity issues or anything else that could affect people’s access to vital financial information.

“It’s about getting the settings right between governance and innovation. Currently we’re performing much of the physical admin of overseeing multiple datacenter operations ourselves, as well as regular security patching. Now our in-house IT teams will be able to focus much more on delivering and deploying new products to market, while our organisation is even more resilient than before,” Jones added.

“We have a bold ambition to fully embrace digital technologies, and Azure, available in a New Zealand datacenter, is going to be a key enabler.”

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