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The accelerating pace of change continues to bring unprecedented challenges and opportunities to the financial services industry. While financial institutions continue on their path to digital transformation, an ever-increasing number are partnering with Microsoft to maximize business opportunity and mitigate risks. At the 2019 Executive Industry Summit, Microsoft’s value as a strategic partner and industry thought leader was on full display as companies gained deeper insight into AI, the modern workplace, compliance, risk compute and cybersecurity. Five key takeaways emerged from the dedicated Financial Services breakout session.

1. AI is transforming the industry

Noelle LaChartie, Director, Digital Evangelism, Microsoft, spoke on how innovations in AI technology are becoming pervasive but require constant attention to ensure the tech works to everyone’s benefit. Specifically to the financial institution, Noelle shared the cognitive services capabilities that infuse apps, websites and bots with human-like intelligence.  From Vision capabilities that enable apps to understand faces and feelings to Language capabilities that process text and learn how to recognize what users want, AI is bringing tremendous value to the customer experience. Attendees were provided with real-world examples of how leading edge financial institutions are putting these extraordinary capabilities to work today.

2. The workplace is demanding greater flexibility and productivity

While financial institutions are all unique and have their own identities, we are seeing common trends affecting the culture of work and employee’s expectations on what a modern work environment provides. Workers are being asked to join more teams that are diverse across geographies, roles, organizations, abilities, and age. People want the option to work remotely, anywhere, at any time. To do this, they need the tools and digital workspaces to communicate, access their data, and stay productive. Doug Groncki, Director, Modern Workplace for US Financial Services; Beau Damon, Chief Investment Officer; and Marc Reguera, Enterprise Power BI Lead, Microsoft, demonstrated how new technology incorporating everyday AI in Microsoft 365 is helping employees to maximize their productivity in this new environment. Providing AI to your workforce can help to enhance productivity around routine tasks and processes, improve data analysis to drive better decisions and manage information overload, and address security issues that are caused by the proliferation of devices and workplace flexibility.

3. Compliance and Security must remain at the forefront

Financial Institutions understand that security threats and financial crime operations such as money laundering are always advancing, so new strategies and technologies must be optimized to the fullest. Tom Burt, Corporate Vice President, Customer Security and Trust, Microsoft, spoke about the work the Microsoft Digital Crime Unit is doing to enhance security and transparency to protect customers and deliver trust. Today, cloud-based security speeds up responses to threats, while AI takes intelligence and data that is gathered by securities solutions and transforms it into something actionable. In their fight against financial wrongdoing, financial institutions can use cloud infrastructure to be more successful than ever. André Burrell, Strategy Leader of Banking and Capital Markets at Microsoft, shared the importance of moving to the Cloud in a safe and regulatory compliant way. Underscoring the fact that Microsoft is best positioned to help companies on this journey is the fact that 90% of G-SIFI institutions are using the Microsoft Cloud. Microsoft employs a collaborative approach to compliance with information flow across customers, regulators and standards.

4. Partnerships are key in helping transform your business

The Summit proved an excellent opportunity for Microsoft to showcase developments from key partnerships. This included an engaging demonstration from BioCatch that highlighted innovative biometrics to identify hackers earlier than ever before using cloud and AI technology. Ed Fandrey, Vice President, US Financial Services, Microsoft, moderated an enlightening panel discussion on digital transformation. Key executives from Bloomberg, BlackRock, Zest Finance and MetLife shared their own experiences regarding how technology, AI and the Cloud are helping them transform their products and operations to delight customers. Microsoft is proud to collaborate with these and other financial institutions to bring innovative products and services to market.

5. There’s more to experience/learn: Financial Services Summit in NYC May 9

Given the continued need to learn more about these and other important topics, Microsoft announced the next Financial Services Summit coming to Microsoft’s Times Square office in New York City on May 9. Built for Business leaders and Business IT, the Summit provides you with the opportunity join industry peers for a day of thought leadership, networking, and inspiring discussion. We are happy to feature Toni Townes-Whitley, President of US Regulated Industries, Microsoft. Business leaders will have the opportunity to learn more about the future state of data and AI, regulatory compliance, digital transformation, the modern workplace, enabling the future customer experience, building a DevOps culture, Women Leaders in Financial Services Roundtable and more.