Westpac has struck a new five-year deal with leading hyperscale cloud provider Amazon Web Services (AWS), a year after securing a similar deal with Microsoft’s own Azure cloud service.
The new deal will help accelerate the bank’s hybrid cloud transition, Westpac said, with new AWS capabilites complementing the bank’s existing mixed public/private cloud environment, overwhelmingly backed by Azure and AWS.
Westpac began its relationship with AWS back in 2015, with the cloud giant initially enlisted to host the bank’s websites. Two years later, Westpac declared it would shift as much as 70 per cent of its workloads to private and public clouds, with the goal of eventually moving all infrastructure to public cloud.
In 2018, Westpac also secured a deal with IBM private cloud to further deliver on its hybrid platform-as-a-service (HPaaS) ecosystem – a unified IT infrastructure designed to support the bank’s entire application environment, enabling systems to operate together regardless of where they are hosted.
Westpac group chief technology officer David Walker said the latest AWS deal will provide its engineers “with more choice and flexibility to deliver state-of-the-art cloud-based solutions”.
This includes tapping advanced AWS capabilities, including machine learning, compute, and data analytics, that Westpac said would “accelerate the bank’s digital transformation, drive cost efficiencies, and personalise its banking applications”.
“This collaboration will help us continue growing the use of cloud across the business so we can deliver new and enhanced digital-first experiences for our customers and employees, particularly through advanced technologies like Conversational AI, Banking-as-a-Service, and our new transaction platform for institutional customers,” Walker added.
The deal also includes a training component, with accredited AWS training available to Westpac employees.
Among these is AWS’s new Industry Quest: Financial Services module, promoted as an “interactive learning experience that teaches staff how to build cloud solutions for the financial services industry”.
Walker also welcomed these new training opportunities for Westpac staff.
“Our transformation is underpinned by great talent, so it’s a priority to ensure upskilling opportunities were available across specialty areas like cloud, AI, and data to ensure a strong future pipeline of technology talent,” he said.
“We’re looking forward to learning the latest cloud skills from AWS to keep ourselves at the forefront as digital banking leaders.”
Walker further praised AWS for helping to deliver “72 months of uninterrupted uptime” for its websites – “a game-changer for our systems and our customers”.
The deal with AWS follows a similar five-year strategic partnership secured in early 2022 between Westpac and Microsoft.
Azure hosts Westpac’s Data Driven Experience Platform (DDEP), which, Microsoft notes, is the “foundation for real-time data analytics across the bank”. The platform, drawing on data from across the business and leveraging Azure’s machine learning and cognitive computing capabilities, was created to deliver real-time and personalised insights for customers.