REDMOND, Wash. and NEW YORK — Microsoft and Morgan Stanley are forming a strategic cloud partnership to “accelerate” the financial firm’s “digital transformation” and advance the cloud provider’s offerings for the financial services industry.
Morgan Stanley and Microsoft plan to “unlock the opportunities” that Microsoft Azure offers, looking at challenges in the financial industry and enabling Morgan Stanley to further modernize its IT environment to enhance experiences for clients, employees and developers, according to the companies last month.
The partnership is intended to help Morgan Stanley address customer needs, a complex regulatory landscape and increasing cyber threats.
Microsoft will provide scalable solutions that will “empower” the financial firm to manage data tasks, growing risk and demand for real-time insights.
The companies plan to bring together the “engineering power” of their joint Azure and Morgan Stanley tech teams to “solve challenges within the highly regulated financial services industry.”
Microsoft is providing Morgan Stanley with a secure and compliant platform with data privacy at the center. The platform will “fuel the firm’s cloud transformation” and scale across natively integrated platforms.
“As we co-develop to shape the future of the cloud, Morgan Stanley will share its deep domain knowledge and engineering expertise to address the complexities of a global regulated financial industry and help Microsoft enhance its cloud offering to stay at the forefront of client-centric innovation,” said Rob Rooney, head of technology, operations and firm resilience, Morgan Stanley.
As part of the cloud partnership, the companies will focus on the following three areas:
- Application infrastructure: developing and co-designing to meet key requirements for financial services; bringing together common data models, cross-cloud connectors, workflows, APIs, and financial industry-specific components and standards.
- Digital transformation: aligned with Morgan Stanley’s cloud-first and multi-cloud strategy; resulting in the transition of workloads to Azure as well as Microsoft 365 and collaboration tools; and better service, insights and connectivity to clients.
- Enhancing client, employee and developer experiences: collaborate on requirements and capabilities across the latest technology to drive client- and business-centric innovation in financial services by leveraging Morgan Stanley’s engineering and domain expertise.
Morgan Stanley believes its clients, employees and businesses will benefit from the deal in several ways: a deeper breadth of services based on cloud-native offerings; tooling and resources for developers that enable faster delivery of applications and enhancements, particularly for clients and its over 15,000 financial advisers in wealth management; and data sharing with institutional clients with offerings such as the Morgan Stanley API portal, providing direct connectivity in the cloud.
“As one of the most highly regulated industries in the world, financial services organizations’ journey to the cloud is extremely complex and nuanced,” said Scott Guthrie, EVP of cloud and artificial intelligence (AI), Microsoft.
“The partnership will empower innovation for the industry, while ensuring stringent compliance and regulatory guidelines are met.”
The scope of the partnership extends beyond the cloud.
The deal will also shape the broader Microsoft portfolio and create additional “collaboration opportunities” in financial services focused on the modern workplace and the developer experience.
For instance, the partners will work on enhancing the subsequent adoption of Microsoft GitHub, enabling Morgan Stanley to use a comprehensive, fully integrated software-as-a-service (SaaS)-based development environment and DevOps tool chain.
“This partnership is a natural extension of our longstanding engineering relationship and strong collaborative bond forged in the enterprise space over the past decades,” Microsoft’s Rooney said.