How Barhead is approaching the financial services sector

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How Barhead is approaching the financial services sector
David Hodgson (Barhead)

Microsoft partner Barhead Solutions is set to capitalise on the general release of Microsoft’s Cloud for Financial Services with a range of solutions that aim to help traditional financial services industry (FSI) companies compete in a modern, digital landscape.

Cloud for Financial Services is one of Microsoft’s latest industry-specific clouds focused on core banking services, deep analytics, expanding customer contact options, and meeting strict compliance requirements. It has been in public preview since 31 March of this year and was made generally available as of November 1.

Amongst the benefits that the FS Cloud brings, the ability to see an aggregated representation of all of the data an organisation holds about its customers, known as single customer view, will provide significant value for FS organisations, Barhead head of FSI David Hodgson told CRN.

“Single customer view is an aspiration for most FS organisations, we see the Unified Customer Profile being very exciting as a part of Microsoft's FS Cloud. With this, there is a better way to reflect householding that most organisations will benefit from as well,” he explained.

Hodgson said that the company has a history of helping financial services organisations “transform their stakeholder, customer and member engagement, enabling everyone from banks to Super funds to leverage their investment in Microsoft."

“Stakeholder engagement for super funds is evolving as funds are finding new digital-first ways to interact. Barhead has also deployed contact centre solutions leveraging omnichannel and enabling customers to interact with their financial institutions through whichever channel they prefer,” he said.

Superannuation, in particular, has seen a flurry of recent activity that has caused many Super-focused organisations to rethink their approach to technology.

“With the COVID-19 pandemic, there was a lot of focus on superannuation in the first year, with people drawing on their own superannuation. Regulatory changes are happening thick and fast, so businesses within the sector are having to deal with those changes. The last thing they need to do is have to think twice about the technology behind them.”

Hodgson said for the financial industry, a big part of the opportunity is in helping the larger, more established organisations stay on top of the digitalisation trends and compete with emerging digital native companies.

“There's a huge number of fintechs out there all solving different problems that businesses or individuals face. Another part of what Barhead does is look at some of those solutions and how to leverage them so that larger FSI organisations bound by constraints can move more rapidly and adopt a more digital-first approach to customer engagement. When you plug that into the fabric of Microsoft, you get a really good outcome.”

Hodgson has 20 years of experience in the financial services industry across ANZ, AMP, Commonwealth Bank, BNP Paribas, and JP Morgan.

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