AYA reaches for cloud with Mi­crosoft trans­for­ma­tion

The Nation - - BUSINESS - KHINE KYAW

AYA BANK, the sec­ond-largest pri­vate bank in Myan­mar, is tap­ping soft­ware gi­ant Mi­crosoft to bring in cloud tech­nol­ogy aimed at boost­ing staff pro­duc­tiv­ity and im­prov­ing their ser­vices to cus­tomers.

Myint Zaw, man­ag­ing di­rec­tor of AYA Bank, said at a press con­fer­ence that the Mi­crosoft Of­fice 365 soft­ware pack­age will help the bank achieve its am­bi­tious goals.

“As the fastest-mov­ing bank in Myan­mar, we are com­mit­ted to em­brac­ing global stan­dards, and the con­stant im­prove­ment of cus­tomer ex­pe­ri­ences. So, this is a very ex­cit­ing mo­ment for us, to be part­ner­ing with Mi­crosoft to em­brace cloud with Of­fice 365 as we take the next step in our dig­i­tal trans­for­ma­tion jour­ney,” he said af­ter the sign­ing of a me­moran­dum of un­der­stand­ing with Mi­crosoft Myan­mar on Wed­nes­day.

Myint Zaw said the bank started work­ing with Mi­crosoft three years ago, and the dis­cus­sions for sign­ing the agree­ment to reach a more ad­vanced level of co­op­er­a­tion be­gan early this year.

Es­tab­lished in 2010, AYA Bank has 234 branches serv­ing 1.4 mil­lion cus­tomers. As of Septem­ber 2017, the bank had 4.7 tril­lion ky­ats in cus­tomer de­posits and 150 bil­lion ky­ats in share­hold­ers’ eq­uity. The top 100 de­pos­i­tors rep­re­sent about 6 per cent of to­tal de­posits, un­der­lin­ing the public’s con­fi­dence in the bank, Myint Zaw said.

“We can rest as­sured that Of­fice 365 will scale with us as we take on more staff, or cre­ate new prod­uct lines,” he said. The part­ner­ship with Mi­crosoft was merely the first step by the bank in em­bark­ing on its much-needed dig­i­tal trans­for­ma­tion, he added.

Minn Wint Oo, deputy man­ag­ing di­rec­tor and chief tech­nol­ogy of­fi­cer of AYA Bank, said the part­ner­ship was par­tic­u­larly aimed at help­ing the bank’s em­ploy­ees to pro­vide bet­ter ser­vices, more quickly, to its cus­tomers.

“We ex­pect all the op­er­a­tions to be­come faster than ever, as ev­ery sin­gle ap­pli­ca­tion can be ac­ces­si­ble from any­where in the coun­try. Thanks to Mi­crosoft’s cloud tech­nol­ogy, we be­lieve our in­ter­nal op­er­a­tions will be faster than ever, re­sult­ing in our pro­vid­ing bet­ter ser­vices to our cus­tomers,” he said.

So­nia Kabir, man­ag­ing di­rec­tor for Mi­crosoft Myan­mar, Bangladesh, Laos, Nepal and Bhutan, said dig­i­tal trans­for­ma­tion ini­tia­tives like the part­ner­ship with AYA Bank could make a big im­pact on Myan­mar’s econ­omy. “We have seen large re­duc­tions in the poverty rate, and the op­por­tu­nity to im­prove women’s work­place par­tic­i­pa­tion and raise GDP growth, cre­at­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties for both mo­bile and dig­i­tal bank­ing. This is a promis­ing de­vel­op­ment for Myan­mar,” she said.

Kabir said mo­bile us­age has sig­nif­i­cantly in­creased in only a few short years, which is cre­at­ing de­mand for mo­bil­ity and mo­bile bank­ing ser­vices.

Sook Hoon Cheah, pres­i­dent of Mi­crosoft South­east Asia New Mar­kets, said dig­i­tal trans­for­ma­tion would im­prove peo­ple’s daily lives in Myan­mar.

“This [agree­ment] seems to be a very plain state­ment but the im­pli­ca­tion is very pro­found. We are happy to play a role in bring­ing AYA Bank and Myan­mar’s bank­ing in­dus­try to the next level of ex­cel­lence,” she said.

Ac­cord­ing to Cheah, Mi­crosoft has been “em­pow­er­ing Myan­mar banks to de­liver new value and con­nected ex­pe­ri­ences, help­ing them to thrive and win greater loy­alty” from cus­tomers in the dig­i­tal age.

“We be­lieve tech­nol­ogy to be a strong democratis­ing force for good: ca­pa­bil­i­ties pre­vi­ously only ac­ces­si­ble to the largest multi­na­tion­als are now avail­able to even small and medium-sized or­gan­i­sa­tions all around the world,” she said.

In 2017, fi­nan­cial ser­vices that fully em­braced dig­i­tal trans­for­ma­tion achieved 13 per cent to 20 per cent im­prove­ments in profit mar­gins, pro­duc­tiv­ity, cus­tomer ad­vo­cacy, cus­tomer ac­qui­si­tion rates, and rev­enue from new prod­ucts and ser­vices.

Busi­nesses ex­pect to add 70 per cent more in cus­tomer ac­qui­si­tion rate by 2020, ac­cord­ing to fig­ures from Mi­crosoft and IDC Asia Pa­cific.

Soon Hoon Cheah, pres­i­dent of Mi­crosoft South­east Asia new mar­kets, sec­ond from left, shakes hands with Myint Zaw, Aya Bank man­ag­ing di­rec­tor, af­ter sign­ing a me­moran­dum of un­der­stand­ing. Sonir Kabir, man­ag­ing di­rec­tor of Mi­crosoft Myan­mar, and Minn Wint Oo, deputy man­ag­ing di­rec­tor of Aya Bank, are on hand for the sign­ing.

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