Technology

Microsoft to launch financial services cloud on November 1

Microsoft is launching its next perpetual version of Microsoft Office for commercial customers today, and promising an Office 2021 consumer release on October 5th. Microsoft Office Long Term Servicing Channel (LTSC) for Windows and Mac will be available for commercial and government users today, providing a locked-in time release of Office that doesn’t require a subscription.

Microsoft has confirmed that its financial services-focused industry cloud will be officially available on November 1, 2021.

The news comes eight months after the company confirmed it was launching three new industry clouds this year, for manufacturing, not-for-profits, and financial services. Today’s announcement means that finance is the first of those three to receive an official launch date, though Microsoft has previously introduced an industry cloud for health care while its retail-focused incarnation currently sits in public preview.

Sector-specific clouds are much more than a marketing attempt to sell a generic product. The finance industry in particular often has very specific needs in terms of security and regulatory compliance, which is why Microsoft’s new industry cloud has tools and services to assess risk and combat fraud. Moreover, it will also include features to help retail banks create a unified customer profile by merging financial, behavioural, and demographic data, in addition to customer onboarding tools to streamline loan applications.

With cloud infrastructure spending hitting the stratosphere, the battle of the “big three” cloud giants is continuing apace with each ramping up their industry-specific cloud offerings. Amazon recently launched FinSpace, a data analytics service for the financial industry, while data warehousing giant Snowflake announced its first industry-specific data cloud, also targeting the financial services industry.

While Microsoft has now confirmed that its financial services cloud will be landing in a little over three weeks, it hasn’t yet revealed when its other industry clouds will be hitting general availability.

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