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Microsoft sees big cloud business from Indian banks

business Updated: Mar 10, 2016 01:22 IST

Technology giant Microsoft sees big growth opportunities in the cloud market in India, particularly in financial services where companies are increasingly focusing on technology and offering digital services.

The company is talking with most banks in the country to offer cloud services and also sees big business coming from the new payments banks, Peter Gartenberg, GM (enterprise partner group) Microsoft India told HT in an interview.

“Banks are looking at omni-channel customer experience, which means they want to have multiple touch points to their customers and many of these channels are digital channels. We are working with banks on how they can create a seamless experience across channels and cross-leverage different channels. We are working with just about every major bank in India on this particular aspect of growth,” said Gartenberg.

A lot of services such as internet banking and phone banking are cloud-based and as banks grow in scale a lot of data storage, disaster recovery is also now moving to cloud.

Financial institutions would typically need to invest a lot to set up and manage their own data centres. Hosting data on cloud platforms such as Microsoft Azure will reduce these costs, say analysts.

Microsoft chairman Satya Nadella has said in the past that cloud computing services in India would be a $2 trillion opportunity. The Redmond, Washington-based Microsoft last September launched three local data centres in the country at Mumbai, Pune and Chennai. These data centres offer hyper-scale cloud services to customers in India.

“Microsoft has defined the Indian BFSI (banking, financial services and insurance) sector as a focus of our five year plan and a core sector in our overall strategy,” said Gartenberg.

While, Microsoft doesn’t share country specific investment figures, globally, the company has spent $15 billion on cloud computing over the last five years and India has been a key part of that.

Cloud services market in India is still small but growing rapidly. Research firm Gartner estimates that the market is estimated to reach $1.9 billion by 2018 from around $730 million in 2015.