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Industry roundup: 28 December

Finastra and HCL to provide digital treasury as a service in the cloud

Finastra has announced a partnership with HCL Technologies to provide treasury management technology in the cloud to smaller banks across Northern Europe, North America, India and the Philippines. The partnership brings to market a digital treasury as a service offering, which enables banks to manage their treasury operations more efficiently and effectively.

“Market dynamics, increased regulation and competitive pressure to scale mean that the treasury market is ripe for transformation,” said Denise Parker, SVP, Partners and Ecosystem at Finastra. “Our strategic partnership with HCL lets us use our combined market reach, agility and scale, to help banks transform and grow their operations in a sustainable and cost-effective way. Banks using the solution can realise significant efficiency gains, manage risk more effectively, react more quickly to market demands and take advantage of future growth opportunities.”

Powered by Finastra’s Fusion OPICS treasury software and hosted on Microsoft Azure, HCL’s Digital Treasury as a Service is aimed at banks with a more focused target market. Fusion OPICS provides support for global treasury trading operations, compliance and risk management and enables banks to transform and automate core treasury operations. HCL’s Digital Treasury as a Service will encapsulate its contemporary digital and cloud transformation services such as FENIX 2.0, CyberSecurity Fusion Center and ElasticOps for a scalable one-stop-shop treasury solution.

Historically, many banks have been reliant on manual processes for treasury management, which can be error prone and impede growth and agility. With Digital Treasury as a Service, the two firms say banks will be able to access affordable technology that optimises treasury operations and produces cost savings.

 

Nordic economic outlook finds cause for optimism

Although the pandemic continues to hold the world economy in an iron grip, there is hope ahead, according to Nordea's latest economic outlook for the Nordics. The historically rapid development and rollout of effective COVID-19 vaccines paves the way for a more permanent reopening of communities over the spring. Economic policy will continue to be lenient and support overall growth as well as the financial and housing markets, according to Helge Pedersen, Nordea Group chief economist.

“The Nordics have been performing better than feared in 2020, and there is reason for optimism for the coming years," said Pedersen. "In all of the Nordic countries, a lenient monetary and fiscal policy supported a strong rise in housing markets. That is key for the overall economic development."

Despite losing steam in the near term, conditions are in place for a rapid recovery in Sweden later in 2021. Production and consumption of goods recovered in the autumn, services are expected to recover in 2021, and GDP growth should level out in line with the longer-term trend in 2022.  The Riksbank is expected to stay on hold throughout the forecast horizon as cost pressures are low.

Finland’s economy fared relatively well in 2020, with an expected drop in GDP of only 3%. Private consumption is expected to drive growth in 2021, fuelled by pent-up demand and employment growth. The export outlook has also improved, on the back of the recovery in world trade.

2021 kicked off with fierce headwinds for the Danish economy due to renewed coronavirus restrictions, but the vaccine rollout has sparked hopes of an easing relatively soon. This will underpin consumption and investment, even when large parts of the economy remain locked down.

Vaccines offer the prospect that life in Norway may return to a kind of normal by the summer. The economy will then be able to recover quickly. The large increase in household savings, combined with people’s strong desire to return to normal, paves the way for solid growth in service consumption this year. The rebound could be powerful, and the first interest rate hike from Norges Bank could come before the end of this year.

 

SAP and Microsoft expand partnership 

SAP SE and Microsoft Corp. have announced plans to integrate Microsoft Teams with SAP’s intelligent suite of solutions. The companies also formalised an extensive expansion of an existing strategic partnership to accelerate the adoption of SAP S/4HANA on Microsoft Azure. This builds on a joint commitment by the companies to simplify and streamline customers’ journeys to the cloud.

“New ways of working, collaborating and interacting completely transform how we operate,” said Christian Klein, SAP CEO and member of the Executive Board. “By integrating Microsoft Teams across our solution portfolio, we will bring collaboration to the next level, jointly determining the future of work and enabling the frictionless enterprise. Our trusted partnership with Microsoft is focused on continuously advancing customer success. That’s why we are also expanding interoperability with Azure.”

Much has changed in the last year as work has become more virtual, increasing reliance on Microsoft Teams for meetings, communication and collaboration. To facilitate these business and societal changes, SAP and Microsoft are building new integrations between Microsoft Teams and SAP solutions, such as SAP S/4HANA, SAP SuccessFactors offerings, and SAP Customer Experience. The two companies say this can enable innovation, increase employee productivity and engagement, deliver collaborative learning and support global growth. These integrations are planned for delivery in mid-2021.

“The case for digital transformation has never been more urgent,” Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella said. “By bringing together the power of Azure and Teams with SAP’s solutions, we will help more organisations harness the power of the cloud so they can more quickly adapt and innovate going forward.”

The companies also are expanding their endorsed cloud partnership announced in 2019, to introduce new offerings in cloud automation and integration for SAP S/4HANA on Microsoft Azure. Together, Microsoft and SAP are expanding the ability to run a mission-critical intelligent enterprise on Azure while helping customers modernise their enterprise applications.

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