First Alliance Bank Zambia Cuts Daily Close from Six Hours to Two Hours and Reduces IT Support Costs by 70%
 
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First Alliance Bank Zambia Cuts Daily Close from Six Hours to Two Hours and Reduces IT Support Costs by 70%

First Alliance Bank Zambia Limited is one of the largest commercial banks in the Republic of Zambia, a country in Southern Africa with more than 13 million people. The bank serves 3,000 corporate customers at its branches in the Zambian capital Lusaka and other major cities.

 
 

 
 

Challenges

A word from First Alliance Bank Zambia

  • "Running Oracle FLEXCUBE on Oracle’s SPARC T4-1 server and Oracle ZFS Storage Appliance eliminates complex integration issues between hardware and software and enables us to improve the customer banking experience and position ourselves to enter new markets, while reducing costs." – Nyawengo Mwale, Head – ICT, First Alliance Bank Zambia Limited

  • Reduce end-of-day financial close times to avoid risk of delay to start of business operations the following morning
  • Cut time required to process inquiries regarding customer deposits, withdrawals, and account balances to improve customer satisfaction in an increasingly competitive banking environment
  • Reduce IT support costs and eliminate need for staff overtime during the period close, when processing could take all night, while maximizing system performance and reliability
  • Cut power consumption and optimize space utilization in the data center
  • Gain the scalability and resilience to roll out an ATM network across Zambia, issue VISA cards, and launch retail banking operations

Solutions

  • Cut daily close from six hours to two hours and guaranteed ability to open for business at 8:00 a.m. by migrating Oracle FLEXCUBE from HP servers and Sun FC3510 storage to high-performance SPARC T4-1 servers running on Oracle Solaris and Oracle ZFS Storage Appliance
  • Reduced processing times for customer transactions, both in branches and online, from 20 minutes to between 3 and 5 minutes, thanks to Oracle’s pre-engineered hardware and software platforms
  • Improved customer satisfaction by achieving one of the highest transaction processing speeds for banks in Zambia
  • Reduced IT support costs by 70% by selecting a single-vendor platform, which also ensured integration at every layer of the pre-optimized software and hardware stack and simplified system support and management
  • Benefited from unrivalled reliability, speed, and resilience to avoid need for IT staff to work overtime to monitor and manage end-of-day and period closes
  • Reduced hardware power consumption significantly through server consolidation and SPARC T4-1’s eco-efficient cooling that enabled the bank to switch off data center air conditioning overnight
  • Benefited from SPARC T-4-1’s small footprint and capacity-efficient architecture of Oracle ZFS Storage Appliance to consume considerably less rack space in the data center
  • Resolved technical issues faster using My Oracle Support as a one-stop, self-service troubleshooting portal and to download patches and upgrades—reducing dependence on external support
  • Benefited from ease of use and scalability of Oracle Solaris 10 to simplify software maintenance tasks and reduce downtime and reboots when applying patches
  • Eliminated need to continually upgrade storage to manage data growth and comply with Zambian regulations to store customer data for 10 years, using Oracle ZFS Storage Appliance’s next-generation application-engineered storage
  • Benefited from unrivalled performance, scalability, and resilience of SPARC T4 to enhance customer offerings by rolling out ATM machines, issuing VISA cards to corporate customers, and entering the retail banking sector without upgrading the hardware platform

Why Oracle

First Alliance Bank Zambia evaluated hardware solutions from HP but chose SPARC T4` server and Oracle ZFS Storage Appliance after a presentation by Oracle partner Neurotech that highlighted the cost-saving benefits of running Oracle FLEXCUBE on Oracle’s pre-integrated hardware and software.

"SPARC T4 offers unmatched performance for our mission-critical customer operations while simplifying implementation and support through a single-vendor IT environment," said Nyawengo Mwale, head – information and communication technology, First Alliance Bank Zambia Limited.

Partner

Oracle Partner Neurotech implemented SPARC T4-1 and Oracle ZFS Storage Appliance at First Alliance Bank and worked with Oracle to migrate the bank’s Oracle FLEXCUBE applications in three weeks. Neurotech’s expertise and coordinated approach enabled the bank to migrate seamlessly to the new platform. Neurotech’s consultants shared knowledge with First Alliance Bank’s IT support team, which has enabled the bank to manage the system with minimal external involvement

"Neurotech’s skills enabled us to migrate from HP servers to SPARC T4 and Oracle ZFS Storage Appliance in a very tight timeframe, without business disruption," Mwale said. "We will continue to rely on the group’s expertise as we enhance our range of commercial banking services and enter the retail banking sector."