KPMG Financial Services and Microsoft push deeper into blockchain space

28 September 2016

KPMG and Microsoft have joined forces to deliver a suite of blockchain services through a cloud-based platform. The alliance sees KPMG integrate its broad operational footprint, including more than 80 partners and a suite of blockchain services, within Microsoft’s Blockchain as a Service offering.

Blockchain remains an intriguing proposition for financial services firms seeking to develop a disruptive proposition. The technology, if scalable, offers considerable benefits to security, transparency and efficiency. Among consulting firms, competition to support startups and develop relevant propositions remains fierce – PwC recently established a blockchain team at its Belfast office, while Accenture opened a practice focused on the technology. On the practical side, Cognizant supported Mizuho with a blockchain implementation for smart contracts.

KPMG, in a bid to further broaden its offerings to clients seeking to leverage blockchain technologies, has launched a Digital Ledger Services offering. The proposition provides full-lifecycle support for projects considering whether blockchain technologies provide a strong use case in a range of situations, as well as their integration into wider operations.

KPMG Financial Services and Microsoft push deeper into blockchain space

As part of its offering the firm has formed an alliance with Microsoft. KPMG provides its comprehensive suite of services, while Microsoft offers a Blockchain as a Service (BaaS) platform. The combination provides clients with a cloud-based platform through which to deliver blockchain applications to their wider operations.

The Big Four says that it currently has around 80 partners and (senior) advisers dedicated to blockchain technology across its global operation. The partners run teams across various fields within the technology’s sphere, focused on “development in support of proof of concept, prototyping and integration of blockchain capabilities.”

Bill Cline, KPMG’s US Financial Services lead for technology and innovation, says, “Blockchain represents not only a dramatic shift in how financial services organisations will manage transactions in the future, but also how they structure their internal operations going forward. This is something that all financial services companies must be considering and accelerating.”

Marley Gray, Director of Business Development & Strategy for blockchain at Microsoft, says he is excited to be joining forces with KPMG, adding "The global availability of Microsoft Azure, with its hybrid cloud capabilities, extensive compliance certification portfolio, and enterprise-grade security help to enable blockchain adoption, especially in highly regulated industries like financial services, healthcare and government.”