Cloud, the great accelerator

During this year’s Apsara Conference, big tech companies like SAP, Salesforce, and Temenos, were named as tech providers with solutions that Alibaba Cloud integrates with.

Temenos, one of the latest tech providers to join Alibaba Cloud’s ecosystem, is a pure banking technology company from Switzerland, that invests about USD250 million into software, annually.

Managing director in APAC, Martin Frick, said, “Complementary partnerships are very productive. Alibaba Cloud has completely different offerings and they provide scalability and cost efficiency on infrastructure while we provide the software on top of it.”

Customer experience

He shared that Temenos is currently working with banks in APAC region, on proof-of-concepts. He commented, that Temenos is able to fill certain gaps left by cloud providers who don’t have as much presence as Alibaba Cloud. “So, it’s very natural that many of our clients are very impressed with this partnership (with Alibaba Cloud).”

He noted that the coronavirus pandemic had accelerated underlying digital trends, and at the forefront of these trends is convenient consumer experience. “They expect the same experience when doing banking.”

Observing the massive smartphone penetration in this APAC region, Martin opined that as consumers’ lives play out on their phones, FSIs have to also ‘play’ (or offer services and experiences) on the same devices. “So, there is huge pressure from consumers especially consumers from APAC.”

This pressure is about to increase as new entrants will come to offer access to financial services at cheaper cost. “Competitors have not replaced banks but they are nibbling at interesting parts of the value chain, for example distribution.”

Reliance on tech

Martin foresees that there will be a massive downturn in the economy, due in part to the coronavirus pandemic. Also because of the pandemic, reliance on technology will only increase.

“Some people think cloud is cheaper, but that’s debatable and depending on the situation. But there is definitely much quicker time-to-market.

“If you are a large bank you won’t move your banking systems to the cloud, but what you can do is launch a new offering for a specific niche in South America,  and you can do this very quickly with cloud,” Martin said, adding that spinning up a new tech environment typically takes up to 2 months.

He concluded, “I see cloud as an accelerator.”