Richard Holmes, CIO of Westpac’s BT Financial Group, gave a live interview
with Bloomberg TV during the 1 p.m. ET hour on Bloomberg WEST. The four-minute interview was conducted by anchor Cory Johnson, who began the interview with an overview of the technological changes many industries are facing, noting it has caused firms like Australia’s Westpac to get in front of issues like mobility, security and the cloud.
In choosing the Surface for its employees, Holmes said Westpac calls it “banking at the speed of life.” He explained their customers want to be able to transact at home or when they’re on the road, noting Westpac is rolling out the Surface devices to its employees who can then see customers wherever they want to do business.
When asked “why Surface?” Holmes noted Westpac is leveraging its investment in the Microsoft platform with products like Exchange, Office and Lync, adding that it’s important to maintain a consistent user interface for staff who have relied on Windows over the years.
Regarding smartphones, Holmes explained that Westpac has a BYOD policy, but predominantly uses Nokia devices, noting they deploy internal applications that allow Surface and phones to connect around key scenarios. Johnson also asked if Office – particularly Excel – was a big draw for a bank, with Holmes noting its usefulness for financial planners in not only capturing a lot of information but also in aggregating information with its CRM tool to prepare client plans.
Holmes and the CEO of Airstrip, Alan Portela, also met with CNBC technology reporter Jon Fortt at CNBC in the NYSE to provide snapshots of each company and their association with Microsoft. Holmes specifically discussed his background with financial products and services, Westpac’s partnership with Microsoft and the importance of going paperless in the financial world. And, as a result of this conversation, CNBC is interested in a follow up conversation once Westpac receives customer and employee feedback on the rollout of its mobile strategy.