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Essential resources for banking executives:enter ‘Banking Reinvented’

Backbase & Microsoft: how we’re jointly re-architecting banking around the customer

When we began our collaboration with Microsoft last year, we had one key strategic objective: to connect our category-leading Backbase Engagement Banking Platform to the trust and scale of the Microsoft Cloud in order to better empower banks and financial institutions to transform.

by Elliott Haralambous


Nine months later, we’ve more than met that goal, but we’re just getting started.

Backbase and Microsoft’s collaboration has allowed us to combine our unique strengths in both the customer and employee offering. Microsoft is the market leader when it comes to employee productivity, security, and compliance, with a market-leading solution. And when it comes to Engagement Banking, Backbase is continually recognized as a leader by top analysts and in the market. We’re known for giving banks and financial institutions the platform they need to create seamless journeys across the full customer lifecycle.

Together, we’ve created a fully integrated financial services offering that allows banks to stop spending money on legacy technology and start delivering real customer value by accelerating their digital transformation journey. In simple terms, they’ll be able to spend more time building what their customers and employees want and less time building commodity services.

But our partnership with Microsoft is much more than just technology. It’s all about breaking down the delivery, product, and commercial barriers that prevent financial institutions from re-architecting banking around the customer.

Our companies share a common, platform-focused DNA – and we exist to accelerate results for our customers.

That’s why we’re not only a launch partner for Microsoft Cloud for Financial Services, but also investing heavily in doing more across the entire Microsoft product ecosystem. This allows our customers to leverage more of their existing Microsoft investments, but also offers additional capabilities within the Backbase platform.

In the months since launch, we’ve joined Microsoft’s Azure Marketplace, removing procurement and commercial barriers by allowing banks to draw down their cloud commitments to procure Backbase software. Now it’s even easier for Azure customers to embrace customer-first banking.

We also know that transformation is hard, so we recently released an ebook and a webinar to better explain the business value of our work with Microsoft and, more importantly, guide our customers in how to scale.

Let’s explore these valuable assets before discussing what’s next for our ongoing partnership.

Winning strategies: the ebook

Microsoft Cloud for Financial Services is a best-in-class offering that incorporates Microsoft’s products and a robust industry ecosystem, coming together to help banks deliver value faster with industry-based accelerators and products. It incorporates multi-layered security, comprehensive compliance, trust commitments, and an industry data model that makes it easy for financial institutions to accelerate time to value and achieve an end-to-end digital transformation.

In our recent ebook, “Winning strategies to jumpstart your digital transformation,” we share key recommendations for greenfield, mid-market, and enterprise banks and financial institutions to re-architect around the customer on this powerful cloud solution.

For greenfield banks, we advise a “fast-and-furious” approach, allowing them to improve time to value by moving quickly and using out-of-the-box offerings. By taking advantage of Microsoft’s leading cloud infrastructure, as well as Backbase-as-a-Service capabilities, greenfield banks can remain flexible, growing total revenue and cutting implementation time down to a matter of months, rather than years.

For mid-market banks, we recommend a more “prescriptive” approach, one that doesn’t needlessly reinvent the wheel, but instead allows them to innovate where it makes sense for their customers. This involves leveraging Backbase solutions out of the box, working with our fintech Marketplace, and leveraging the breadth of Microsoft’s powerful capabilities, including Cloud for Financial Services and other business applications. Doing so enables confident innovation, faster releases, and increased flexibility.

And finally, we discuss how enterprise banks should take a “mix-and-match” approach, extending and building out differentiators while reusing existing business process capabilities. By using Backbase, whilst leveraging the existing bank’s investment in Microsoft, we demonstrate how banks can lower operational costs, reduce time to market, and leverage economies of scale across all channels.

With this ebook, we’ve given banks and financial institutions a look at how our partnership can help them exceed their digital goals – quickly and at scale. But showing is always better than telling, so we delivered more assets to further demonstrate the value of Backbase and Microsoft’s collaboration.

Winning strategies: the webinar

In our follow-up webinar, I sat down with Christian Sarafidis, Microsoft’s Chief Business Development Officer, Worldwide Financial Services, to discuss the ebook and provide further details and context. Over the course of the 30-minute session, we chatted about everything from rising customer expectations to the importance of an agile infrastructure, as well as best digital banking practices.

By combining the assets from the Backbase Engagement Banking Platform with the Microsoft solution stack, we can literally re-architect banking around the customer experience and offer really end-to-end digital journeys.

Christian Sarafidis, Chief Business Development Officer, Worldwide Financial Services at Microsoft

Digital transformation is a long-term play, and financial institutions need to have a clear vision in order to succeed. Christian shared three key things that all banks should consider when beginning their journey:

  1. Move to the cloud in order to optimize total costs and create scalability
  2. Focus on your digital operating model to increase agility and reduce time to market
  3. Rethink your business model and realize them through new, cloud-native products

As Christian says, necessity is the mother of invention, and banks and financial institutions need to act quickly if they want to remain relevant in the customer-first era of banking.

That’s another reason why our partnership with Microsoft is so valuable – it allows banks to make the biggest impact in the least amount of time. And time truly is of the essence here.

Christian also underscored the importance of remaining secure and compliant, as well as having a robust control framework in place.

“The power of our partnership is all about this [leveraging benefits in security and compliance],” he said. “We have a common foundational layer around a risk framework, security, and compliance.”

At the end of the day, Backbase and Microsoft share the same core ethos: to provide differentiating value to all of our customers across market segments, from tier-one institutions to the regional, member-focused credit unions. That’s the breadth of what our collaboration brings to the table.

Our upcoming demonstration asset

But what’s next for our partnership with Microsoft? We have a ton of exciting customer cases to share in the coming months, but before then, we’ll share a product demo that will further illustrate the product value of Backbase and Microsoft in the Cloud for Financial Services.

In the demo, you’ll see how some of our market-leading Engagement Banking capabilities extend and enrich Microsoft Cloud for Financial Services. By bringing these elements together, we’ll show how Backbase and Microsoft can get you to market faster – and with the fewest barriers possible.

I’d like to thank all of our existing customers and partners who have joined us on the journey so far. And if you’re looking for a way to increase your digital transformation project’s odds of success with two best-in-class digital innovators, Backbase and Microsoft are here to help.

Visit our website to learn more about our partnership.