Thursday, 18 October 2018

Ultradata has worked with the financial services sector for over four decades, delivering digital solutions to streamline operations and provide innovative, customer-facing banking solutions.

From its unique vantage point, the velocity and volatility now being experienced across the sector are unheralded. Margins are being squeezed by historically low interest rates, banking incumbents are being disrupted by digitally charged newcomers, regulators are sharpening their focus and tightening their rules, and customers are demanding new classes of products and experiences in order to stay loyal.

Add into the mix the advent of the New Payments Platform, the looming Open Banking regime, and the fallout from the Royal Commission and it’s clear that financial services is facing what amounts to a perfect storm of change.

Instead of battening down the hatches, Ultradata is ahead of the storm, well progressed in transitioning its flagship Ultracs solution to Microsoft Azure in a move that will allow it to offer clients a more superior, flexible solution than the bureau-delivered service of the past.

According to Christopher Pullen, Ultradata’s Chief Operating Officer; “Our objective is to offer clients a complete solution that offers ease, value and trust.” At the same time users will have access to a computing environment that is more flexible, scalable and resilient.

“It gives clients a competitive advantage by making the day to day easy and allowing them to focus on strategic objectives that differentiate them in the market.

Since 1977 Ultradata has supplied state of the art software solutions for core banking, trustee and funds management. This includes a comprehensive range of channel solutions such as internet and app based banking, as fully integrated components of the banking system, and with a single view of the customer. Local clients include Teachers Mutual Bank Limited (Retail Banking) and IOOF (Wealth Management).

Offering Ultracs on Microsoft Azure allows Ultradata to offer a fresh alternative.

Cloud maturity

The timing is right not only because of the challenges facing the banks – but also the maturity that cloud computing has achieved. Pullen notes that only a few years ago regulators might have baulked at the idea of banks moving their core processing systems to the cloud, concerned about issues such as reliability and data sovereignty.

Microsoft Azure’s performance track record and certified security along with the four Australia based Azure regions has alleviated earlier concerns, opening the gate for wholesale cloud adoption across the financial services sector.

“In the last 12-18 months we have seen the crystallisation of this, making cloud a real option that we have clients actively pursuing,” says Pullen.

The company has been running Ultracs in the Azure cloud for several years, using it for client conferences and similar activities. The technical part of the puzzle was solved, while Microsoft’s investment in local trusted cloud services had alleviated earlier regulator concerns regarding data sovereignty, and suddenly customers recognised the potential of a migration to Azure.

Now, according to Pullen; “Clients are the ones driving the opportunity – we’ve seen it’s technically possible and regulatory wise. We are seeing an industry that is starting to push for it.”

Future banking

Built using the Rocket UniVerse enterprise development platform, and written using Microsoft .NET, Ultracs delivers core functionality such as loan origination and management, savings accounts and term deposits, fraud prevention, process automation and CRM. Flexibility is assured through API services allowing clients to plug in additional applications.

“We are good at what we do – a turnkey solution. You can build an entire bank on one system or plug in new front ends. And always there is a single point of reference to any one customer in the database,” ensuring enterprise transparency and clarity says Pullen.

“The systems we run and support are for critical financial purposes so they have to be secure and reliable. We have to have the right partners, it’s another reason we are a strong Microsoft partner – it brings the strength and trust we need.”

It also injects additional innovation opportunity for Ultradata, which will have instant access to the array of intelligent Azure services to continually enhance the Ultracs platform.

Ultracs Cloud, backed by Ultradata and Microsoft, is an outstanding strategic opportunity for financial institutions to position themselves for the future.