KPMG International and Microsoft Corp. have announced the launch of joint Blockchain Nodes, which are designed to create and demonstrate use cases that apply blockchain technology to business propositions and processes.
The first joint Blockchain Nodes are in Frankfurt and Singapore, with future plans for a location in New York.
The KPMG and Microsoft Blockchain Nodes --innovation workspaces-- will expand on a global alliance, which combines Microsoft's technical expertise with KPMG's deep industry and blockchain application knowledge, together with strong connections to the start-up and developer communities.
"The Blockchain Nodes will play a critical role in identifying new applications and use cases that blockchain can address," said Eamonn Maguire, global and US leader for KPMG's Digital Ledger Services. "They will enable us to work directly with clients to discover and test ideas based on market insights, creating and implementing prototype solutions that use this innovative technology."
With a priority focus on applications for financial services, plans are for the Blockchain Nodes to further examine how blockchain technology can optimize business processes and models for healthcare and the public sector, and potentially other industries in the future.
"Together with KPMG's experience in successfully transforming business models, we are pursuing innovative applications of blockchain technology that will help our customers worldwide achieve their strategic goals," said Marley Gray, principal architect program manager, Azure Blockchain Engineering at Microsoft. "The global availability of our Microsoft Azure cloud platform, the hybrid cloud architecture, and multi-tiered security address the specific compliance requirements of clients and help accelerate the use case process."
Jens Rassloff, KPMG's global head of Alliances, added, "The Blockchain Nodes and the Microsoft alliance enable fresh approaches to solving clients' complex issues as well as opening the door to new opportunities. We are also inviting the start-up ecosystem to participate in use case development, which will help enable a greater range of solutions for the challenges blockchain implementation presents for financial institutions and other industry players."
Last September, KPMG announced the introduction of its Digital Ledger Services, a comprehensive suite of services designed to help financial services companies realize the potential of blockchain capabilities -- providing faster and more secure transactions, streamlining and automating back office operations, and reducing costs by utilizing blockchain-based technologies.
KPMG also announced the expansion of its strategic alliance with Microsoft to work on blockchain initiatives - with Microsoft providing the Blockchain as a Service platform on Microsoft Azure and KPMG providing its comprehensive suite of services - which will help clients efficiently and securely move to the cloud for storage, while adopting disruptive blockchain technologies.