Westpac and Microsoft launch data hub to personalise the customer experience

The bank claims the platform will help it prepare for the open banking regime and is part of its digital banking strategy.

Westpac has partnered with Microsoft to announce its Data Driven Experience Platform (DDEP), a real-time data hub with artificial intelligence and machine learning, which will be used by the bank to provide more personalised services to its customers.

Built on Microsoft Azure, the DDEP is underpinned by Azure DevOps, as well as Azure Sentinel and Security Centre to secure any data located in the hub.

According to Westpac Group CIO Craig Bright, the DDEP is part of the bank's wider digital-only banking strategy, and touted the platform has also been built with the open banking regime -- due to be enforced on February 1 and predicted to cost the bank AU$200 million to implement -- in mind.

"The Data Driven Experience Platform gives us access to an incredibly rich set of capabilities that enable us to engage digitally in real-time with our customers in a way that's personalised, intelligent and autonomous," he said.

Bright said the bank will use the data in the DDEP as part of its new mobile app due to be rolled out next year.

In addition to the co-investment, Westpac announced that the company has been shifting to Microsoft 365, which has resulted in the roll out of common desktop and cloud-based applications, including OneDrive, SharePoint, Yammer, and Teams, to 55% of its employees. The bank said the roll out puts the bank on track to complete the transition to Microsoft 365 by next year.

Westpac added it is also leveraging Microsoft 356 E5 suite to further enhance its security capabilities, and plans to shortly adopt Microsoft's Azure-based virtual desktop infrastructure to allow its workforce to launch new workloads arbitrarily onsite and in the public cloud. 

In its financial results announced earlier in the month, Westpac's statutory net profit for 2019 financial year slipped 16% to just shy of AU$6.8 billion. Operating expenses increased by 6% to AU$540 million compared to the same period a year prior.

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