Microsoft has entered into a five-year partnership with Bank of Queensland Group (BOQ) to expedite the cloud-first digital transformation of the Australian bank.

According to Microsoft, the partnership will help Bank of Queensland Group in streamlining its digital landscape. Besides, it will enable the latter in offering more modern and customised banking services for customers, and drive further innovation.

Bank of Queensland Group managing director and CEO George Frazis said: “Our purpose is to build social capital with our customers and the community, and partnerships are critical to achieving this. We are excited to have such a strong partner in Microsoft to support us in building the digital bank of the future.”

As part of the deal, the tech major will become the preferred cloud provider of the bank, which is expected to move its technology infrastructure and applications progressively to Microsoft Azure by 2025.

For Bank of Queensland Group, the shift to a single cloud environment will help in driving efficiencies and facilitating increased use of automation and other cloud-native capabilities, said Microsoft. This will enhance customer experience and speed up time to market for developing new features, added the tech major.

Additionally, the Australian bank will become the first Microsoft Cloud for Financial Services customer in Australia as well as New Zealand. Both the bank and Microsoft agreed to test and jointly design speciality products for the two markets.

The first pillar of the collaboration will see Microsoft help create the next generation cloud environment for the bank that minimises operating costs as well as give the latter the agility it requires to meet evolving customer expectations.

The second pillar will be centred on transforming the bank’s employee and customer experiences by creating a single 360-degree customer view across its brands via the Microsoft Cloud for Financial Services.

The third pillar of the partnership will focus on creating growth for the Australian bank. Microsoft will help the bank build innovative new capabilities and products, which can also be shared for wider use on the Microsoft Azure Marketplace.

Microsoft executive vice president and chief commercial officer Judson Althoff said: “Digital technologies are critical enablers for organisations to be more resilient, accelerate innovation and unlock new value for their business.

“With Azure as BOQ’s preferred cloud platform, we are helping the company maximize its existing investments through Microsoft Cloud for Financial Services to drive rapid and responsible growth, while providing new and enhanced experiences for customers.”

Microsoft and Bank of Queensland Group are said to have been collaborating since 2019. It began when the bank deployed Dynamics 365 for streamlining its customer experience.

Besides, Microsoft helped bolster the technology capability of the banking group within its branches and across the larger workforce in 2020 via the latter’s internal Banker X programme.