In the past two decades, financial services in East Africa have boomed.
Kenya alone recorded as much as nine per cent growth in previous years. And with the significant recent increase of mobile banking technology, it’s clear that the services on offer are quickly advancing. But as the sector grows, it also becomes more competitive. To remain successful, financial services companies need tools and solutions that allow them to deliver a better customer experience, while encouraging internal efficiencies. In 2019, cloud collaboration tools like Office 365 offer the best potential to make this a reality.
Here’s a look through how financial services companies can increase efficiency and revolutionize productivity with Office 365.
The challenges of financial services in East Africa
Financial services in Kenya and Tanzania are among the most sophisticated and competitive on the African continent. But that doesn’t mean that it’s plain sailing. In fact, some profound challenges have bubbled to the surface in the last three years.
As the financial sector grows, so too does the amount of regulation that governs it. Changes like The Banking Amendment Act 2016 in Kenya are making it much more difficult for businesses to rely on the same revenue streams they once benefited from. As well as this, volatile interest rates are making it difficult for companies to predict their outgoings and have significantly squeezed revenue streams for many businesses.
It’s crucial that banks, insurance providers and credit agencies find new revenue streams.
Today, the race is on to see which companies can provide the best value and the highest quality services.
A future for financial services companies in Africa with the cloud
Cloud technology has steadily gained ground in Kenya and Tanzania among a range of industries – including financial services. Cloud technology’s potential creates unique opportunities for companies to tackle the challenges that the contemporary industry faces. Here’s a look through some of the main ways that Office 365 can help you achieve your business goals.
1. Enable remote communication
In any finance company, communicating with clients, customers and potential partners is naturally a significant part of day to day life. But, people lose valuable time travelling between face to face meetings. Enabling remote collaboration cuts out this waste, which makes it one of the most important objectives for organizations.
In Office 365, remote collaboration is seamless. Through leading collaboration software like Microsoft Teams, instant communication is easier than ever. Workers can chat in real time with their clients, engage in conference calls, and easily share documents. And with Microsoft Teams you integrate your contacts seamlessly with your existing Active Directory, meaning you avoid duplication of contacts between email and collaboration software.
2. Collaborate in real time
In order to collaborate effectively, information workers need the ability to work on the same documents and access the same information. But when copies of files are shared, potentially via email, this becomes difficult to achieve. Multiple versions of the same documents cause conflicting versions of the truth to evolve. That creates inconsistencies in the data and information you process, meaning workers and customers could end up working from inaccurate or outdated information.
With cloud collaboration tools in Office 365, documents can be stored centrally in OneDrive, meaning everyone always has access to the same documents, without them having to be shared. Edits are updated in real time onto the file, which is then available to everyone in the organisation.
3. Work anywhere, on any device
Email remains central to collaboration in almost every industry – and financial services are no different. Communications between a company and its clients are almost always conducted through email – so it’s important to make sure this can be as seamless as possible.
When emails are stored on a traditional server, either through Exchange or another product, access to emails can only be granted on-premises. This means that when workers are on the go, they’re separated from the rest of the company’s wider IT environment. with no ability to check emails, view their calendars, or schedule meetings.
With email and mailbox data stored in the cloud, the problem ceases to exist. Users can check their emails anywhere there’s an email connection.
Premium cloud collaboration tools
In 2019, financial services companies across East Africa are determined to increase operational efficiency, reduce overheads, and provide a better customer experience. To achieve all of these, organizations need the ability to enable better collaboration among their workforce.
With a business premium Office 365 license, you get access to the entire range of cloud-based technology and resources, while continuing to work with the apps and tools your workforce are familiar with. Office 365 features all the cloud collaboration tools that companies need to react to the changing requirements of the modern financial sector.