Misys plc (LSE: MSY), the global application software and services company, announces a new strategic alliance with Microsoft Corp.
This new initiative builds on last year's mission-critical applications development alliance and will deliver Misys' banking and capital markets applications via the Windows Azure cloud platform. The technical collaboration with Microsoft, announced at Sibos 2010 in Amsterdam, will provide financial institutions with the choice and flexibility they need to maximise the return on their IT investment and deliver innovative services to their customers more rapidly.
Today at Sibos, Steve Ballmer, chief executive officer of Microsoft, released the following comments on the significance of this collaboration to the industry.
Financial institutions typically depend on a multitude of applications and systems that are integrated with customers, partners and external financial networks. Running these applications requires complex data centre and support structures that are expensive to operate. Cloud computing, and specifically Windows Azure, enables banks to move from a capital intensive cost model to one which is based on the consumption of technology.
No longer will banks need to over-order computing resources because the scale of the Azure platform allows high volume workloads such as end-of-day processing to be consumed on demand.
Misys and Microsoft have successfully deployed instances of the Misys BankFusion Universal Banking solution to the Windows Azure platform. The Misys solution is built on state-of-the-art BankFusion technology, which adheres to a rigorous set of standards but is unconstrained by proprietary infrastructure, which makes it possible to run the solution in the cloud. Both companies have received significant interest from banks looking to reduce complexity and operational risks by running their banking systems in the cloud.
"The combination of BankFusion, the most advanced financial services platform on the market today, and the innovative Windows Azure cloud computing infrastructure is world-beating," said Al-Noor Ramji, EVP and General Manager, Misys. "New banking solutions must reduce operational costs.
By making our solutions available in the cloud, we are enabling our clients to benefit from increased agility with lower TCO and risk, while simultaneously providing them with unprecedented speed and flexibility with access to the latest solutions. The initiative lets banks concentrate once again on the business of banking."
"This is a very exciting time for the financial services industry," said Karen Cone, general manager, Worldwide Financial Services, Microsoft. "Our enterprise cloud computing expertise, coupled with the industry-leading solutions from Misys, brings a unique value proposition to the sector. Through strategic engineering alliances with industry leaders such as Misys, we are focused on delivering both the on-premise and cloud-based solutions that our customers need to gain the benefits of cloud services on their own terms. They are able to leverage and extend their existing IT investments to take advantage of cloud computing, resulting in a reduction of cost and the ability to enhance operations through cloud-based improvements and build transformative applications that create new business opportunities."
"Globally, large banks face increasing demands for innovative, scalable services across business units to meet both competitive forces and marketplace expectations. At the same time, smaller banks are beginning to understand the value of investing in operations, processes, and technologies that make them more flexible and nimble," said Rodney Nelsestuen, Senior Research Director, TowerGroup. "Whether large or small, today's financial institutions must seek to improve operations while not losing sight of the need to manage costs closely. "To that end, TowerGroup has witnessed a growing interest in new variable cost models and on demand service models such as those emerging in cloud computing, or newer forms of managed and shared services, and outsourcing across a variety of technologies and services. These emerging approaches offer large banks the opportunity to leverage scale while smaller banks can compete effectively through shorter time to market and lower upfront investment."
The collaboration between Microsoft and Misys demonstrates that the financial services industry is now moving to the next generation of banking platforms. Many financial institutions already run finished services in the cloud such as Microsoft Exchange, Microsoft Office and Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online solutions. This news extends the Microsoft cloud capability to banking applications.
Mike Lawrie, Chief Executive of Misys, believes this is an innovative step forward for the financial services industry.