Banque Agricole du Niger Deploys Engineered Software and Hardware Stack to Implement Revolutionary Farmer Financing Concept
 
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Banque Agricole du Niger Deploys Engineered Software and Hardware Stack to Implement Revolutionary Farmer Financing Concept

  • Oracle Customer:  Banque Agricole du Niger
    Location:  Niamey, Niger
    Industry:  Financial Services
    Employees:  64
    Annual Revenue:  Under $100 Million

Niger is a developing country with one of the lowest rankings in the United Nations’ Human Development Index. The landlocked West African country’s agricultural economy, which is regularly threatened by periodic drought and desertification, is based largely upon internal markets, subsistence agriculture, and the export of raw agriculture commodities to neighboring states. Niger’s agricultural and livestock sectors are the mainstay of more than 80% of the country’s population.

To deal with food crises resulting from poor harvests, Niger imports sometimes more than half of its food needs. In order to take efficient measures against food insecurity, the Republic of Niger’s democratically elected government established Banque Agricole du Niger (BAGRI), which initiated operations in February 2011 with the goal of financing agricultural projects for small and medium-sized farmers in the country.

From the outset, BAGRI wanted to adopt an IT system that matches the scale of its ambitions, and sought an integrated solution to support an agro-pastoral funding system for the country’s small farmers and help the emergence of micro-financed agro businesses, such as providers of seeds, tools, irrigation systems, maintenance, food distribution, and many more.

After a public bid and thorough analyses of competing systems and technologies, BAGRI selected and deployed Oracle’s Sun servers and storage in combination with Oracle Database 11g. This enables BAGRI to maintain a low total cost of ownership from the beginning, keep storage costs at the lowest possible level, and achieve superior performance and energy efficiency in an accelerated deployment with documented best practices.

 
 

 
 

Challenges

A word from Banque Agricole du Niger

  • “With Oracle’s engineered software and hardware stack, we established a state-of-the-art, stable, and secure banking data center that will help us establish a modern and reliable infrastructure to provide quality services that empower Niger’s small and medium-sized farmers. The growth opportunities that we provide to the agricultural sector will help us achieve a rapid return on this important investment.” – Maman Moutari Moutari, IT Manager, Banque Agricole du Niger

  • Deploy a state-of-the-art IT platform to support a revolutionary concept of financing small and medium-sized farmers in Niger through agro-pastoral funding systems for food production cultures, including seed and tool purchasing as well as tool maintenance and modernization
  • Establish a storage environment with very low operational costs that meets current storage needs of more than 6,800 gigabytes of data and will easily scale to meet the bank’s projected development
  • Optimize the IT system’s availability with failover management and flexible workload distribution to avoid putting strains on servers, as the organization expects significant activity growth in a very short time
  • Secure operational data at all times and establish simple, yet efficient, backup procedures to fulfill the bank’s reporting and regulatory obligations for the Republic of Niger and its citizens

Solutions

  • Deployed Sun ZFS Storage 7320 with Oracle’s StorageTek SL500 modular library system, benefitting from Oracle’s proven storage technology, market-leading file system, and more than 40-years of tape experience, to provide the infrastructure to support financing for agricultural projects for small and medium-sized farmers
  • Achieved 99.999% database uptime running online transaction processing (OLTP), online analytical processing (OLAP), data warehousing, backup, and third-party financial applications
  • Realized an immediate low total cost of ownership with Sun ZFS Storage 7320’s enterprise-class network attached storage, delivering industry-leading storage analytics and hybrid storage pools with access to dynamic random access memory and disk without user intervention
  • Used Sun ZFS Storage 7320’s easy-to-use browser user interface to establish an intuitive analytics system environment and simplify storage management substantially
  • Implemented StorageTek SL500 tape libraries to scale its storage on demand up to nearly 20 terabytes of tape storage without adding system components, keeping storage costs at the lowest level that it can achieve today and reducing energy consumption from the outset by 20%
  • Established simple, yet very efficient, incremental backup procedures that make it possible to save long periods of data on a single cartridge and get the maximum use out of the physical storage space
  • Guaranteed long-term data retention and protection as well as simple and fast access to archived data for the bank’s agro-pastoral funding projects, which include thousands of micro-financed agro businesses—from seeds and tool providers to food distributors
  • Used the seamless integration with Oracle Database 11g, Enterprise Edition—such as support for Hybrid Columnar Compression resulting in 10 times to 50 times compression ratios—to help establish the lowest storage and energy footprint
  • Used Oracle’s engineered stack by deploying eleven Oracle’s Sun Blade X6270 M2 server modules, achieving superior performance and energy efficiency with an accelerated deployment and documented best practices
  • Achieved high availability and optimized failover management with Oracle Solaris Cluster—with servers automatically switching between applications—as well as less strain on Sun Blade servers through better distribution of workloads

Why Oracle

Banque Agricole du Niger, after public bid and thorough analysis of HP systems and technologies, decided together with Oracle partner EU Technology S.A. to deploy Oracle products.

“We chose Oracle over its competitors because Oracle hardware offers better performance and reliability to run the banking platform employed by Banque Agricole du Niger.” – Maman Moutari Moutari, IT Manager, Banque Agricole du Niger

“Oracle has combined performance and ease of integration between its server products, storage products, and Oracle Database that allow for an optimized exploitation of these applications in very demanding IT environments.” – Frédéric Rouvier, Chief Executive Officer, EU Technology S.A.

Implementation Process

Banque Agricole du Niger, working with Oracle Premier Support for Systems and EU Technology S.A., performed the Oracle deployment between April and June 2011. Oracle Premier Support for Systems installed StorageTek SL500 and Sun ZFS Storage 7320, configured Sun ZFS Storage 7320 according to an environment impact statement checklist, upgraded the firmware, created the logical unit numbers and shares, and tested all components. Oracle Partner EU Technology S.A. installed the rack, the chassis, Sun Blade X6270 M2, the switches in the rack, and Oracle Solaris Cluster.

Partner

EU Technology S.A.—an Oracle Platinum partner specialized in implementing Oracle’s Sun technology for seven years across a variety of industries—implemented the solution together with Capital Banking Solutions S.A. in just four months, as requested by BAGRI.

“Throughout the project, EU Technology has demonstrated professionalism, reactivity, and technical expertise that guaranteed our successful deployment.” – Maman Moutari Moutari, IT Manager, Banque Agricole du Niger