Sun | Jan 16, 2022

Big bank Wells Fargo partners with Microsoft, Google Cloud

Published:Tuesday | September 21, 2021 | 12:06 AM

Big United States banking conglomerate Wells Fargo & Company has announced its new digital infrastructure strategy, combining a multi-cloud approach with third-party data centres to drive technological speed, agility, and scalability for its customers and employees. Central to the digital infrastructure strategy is Wells Fargo’s selection of two industry leaders as its public cloud providers: Microsoft Azure as its primary public cloud provider and Google Cloud providing additional business-critical public cloud services, the company said this week.

The announcement comes as calls grow louder from several quarters for US financial regulators to break up the big banking conglomerate separating its traditional banking arm from its investment and other financial services.

Wells Fargo has been fined billions of dollars for a series of regulatory breaches related to a long-running scandal involving the sale of what could run into millions of fake customer accounts.

“Launching our new digital infrastructure strategy is a critical step in our multi-year journey to transform Wells Fargo, making it easier for customers to do business with us and creating a better working experience for our employees,” said Saul Van Beurden, Wells Fargo’s head of Technology.

“The Wells Fargo of tomorrow will be digital-first and offer easier-to-use products and services, and all of that starts with driving speed, scalability, and enhanced user experience through the next generation digital infrastructure strategy we’re announcing today,” the official added.

Wells Fargo says it will leverage the Microsoft Azure platform to empower the creation of innovative solutions across all bank functions and provide a trusted and secure foundation for strategic business workloads. The two companies are expected to partner to use critical data and analytics services to accelerate Wells Fargo’s digital transformation, including delivering enhanced customer experiences and enabling increased employee collaboration. Google Cloud will drive advanced workloads, and complex artificial intelligence and data solutions, allowing the company to move faster on driving personalised experiences for its customers and clients.

An integral part of the digital infrastructure strategy is what the company is touting as a secure and compliant cloud platform that will provide protections to safeguard the data, privacy, and financial assets of Wells Fargo’s customers, with a focus on data confidentiality.

“Wells Fargo and Microsoft have a long-standing relationship, and we are excited to build on that foundation to accelerate Wells Fargo’s digital transformation journey,” said Judson Althoff, Microsoft’s chief commercial officer.

“Microsoft Azure is empowering financial services institutions with its secure, compliant, and scalable platform for industry cloud solutions needs, including for advanced and complex workloads. By standardising on the Microsoft cloud and trusting Azure as its most strategic and primary cloud platform across all lines of business, Wells Fargo will be able to advance its key business and technology transformation priorities across core areas like managing risk and control, personalised banking, and the digital branch of the future.”

“We’re proud to support Wells Fargo on its multi-cloud journey, with artificial intelligence and data solutions that will not only transform the business but also power the future of personalised experiences for its customers and clients,” said Rob Enslin, president, Google Cloud. “Google Cloud is committed to providing financial institutions with cloud technology that empowers banks to evolve, and to create digital experiences that customers demand.”

As an additional element of the new digital infrastructure strategy, Wells Fargo is set to transition to a set of third-party-owned data centres, while the company’s longer-term aspirations, it said, are to rely predominantly on public cloud with these facilities expected to complement the public cloud offerings of Microsoft and Google Cloud.