The Record Issue 11: Winter 2018

31 the cloud will enable tier three and four finan- cial institutions in the European Union and US to access the benefits that the cloud delivers – without the cost and on-premises infrastructure requirements that may previously have been a barrier to entry. It will deliver central updates, ensuring all users immediately benefit from the latest changes or new product functionalities, including SWIFT and clearing scheme updates. One of the key outcomes of our partnership is using innovations like artificial intelligence, machine learning and analytics to help existing and prospective clients to grow their businesses exponentially. To understand how Finastra can use an inte- grated set of business scenarios to bring inno- vation to life, let’s look at the example of the fictional Kate Active international chain of gyms run by Kate Henderson. Working with Astra Bank, a US-based digital bank underpinned by Finastra, Kate has now built her business from zero to 78 gyms worldwide. The tight integration between applications such as Microsoft Dynamics CRM and LinkedIn, and the banking services enhanced by various fintechs, provided by Astra Bank is a key element of Kate’s success. Beginning with a fast onboarding process and loan request approval, Kate has gone on to use services from Astra Bank to set up incoming pay- ment requests, support international trade finance and access business analytics – all underpinned by innovations enabled by “Finastra orchestrates my digital world,” says Kate. “Astra Bank is an extension to my business and provides a single view of my global opera- tions. My relationship manager has a 360-degree real-time overview of risks, cashflow and ability to repay loans – there is never any need to cover old ground.” Our platform approach, underpinned by Microsoft Azure, encourages innovation through collaboration and is changing the way financial software is developed, deployed and consumed. After just one year of working closely with Microsoft, we have become a Top 32 Microsoft Azure global partner – and we have only just started. Brian Gibson is global head of Partnerships and Ecosystem at Finastra