Pepper Money aims to future-proof with Microsoft Azure and Office 365 shift

The company wanted to take back control of its technology environment from a high reliance on third-party providers.
Written by Aimee Chanthadavong, Contributor

In a move to keep up with customer demand, financial services firm Pepper Money has spent the last two years shifting what it has described as a "significant portion" of its workload into Microsoft Azure with the help of Harbour IT.
According to Pepper CIO Jeremy Francis, one of the main motivations was to allow employees to focus on servicing customers rather than wasting time maintaining older technology. 

"We wanted to take back control of our technology environment from a high reliance on third-party providers, particularly in the areas whereas a business we want to differentiate using that technology," he said.

"That's led us to shift towards building our own proprietary applications where it makes sense, run those applications on platforms like Azure and be able to work in an agile way so that we can not only create that differentiation but do it in a really rapid way.

"Key to that has been creating unique 'Pepper-styled' solutions that brokers and customers use, with access to these applications streamlined by Azure Active Directory."   

See also: 10 digital transformation tips to help your business compete in the modern age (TechRepublic)  

Francis added the shift for the 19-year-old business has helped redirect internal efforts to focus on building the business.

"We're in a position now where we're able to spend our time focusing on exploiting opportunities appearing in the market and identifying new innovations we can bring to our brokers and customers. It also allows us to respond quickly to regulatory and industry change," he said.

In addition, Microsoft Office 365 and Teams have also been deployed at Pepper. Francis said doing so gives employees the ability to communicate and closely work with one another.

"We realise that there's a direct link between the experience that our employees have and the experience that then flows onto our customers and so we're always conscious of both," he said. 

The company added the digital transformation journey has also introduced the company to new ways of making use of data and analytics, access to artificial intelligence technologies, and integration and API frameworks. 

"We've been able to see a lot of benefits across everything from security to productivity, and capabilities around collaboration and application development," Francis said.

"That's been really useful. But it's not always a cost play, I think some of the biggest wins have come from the increased interaction and collaboration across the organisation that we've had through the move to Office 365 and Teams."

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