First Investment Bank Cuts Day-End Close from Six Hours to Three, Processes Customer Transactions 30% Faster
 
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First Investment Bank Cuts Day-End Close from Six Hours to Three, Processes Customer Transactions 30% Faster

First Investment Bank AD offers retail, private, and corporate banking services in Bulgaria and the Balkans. It is the third-largest bank in Bulgaria with 200 branches, 650 automated teller machines, 960,000 active customers, and 1.4 million accounts.

 
 

 
 

Challenges

A word from First Investment Bank AD

  • “Oracle Exadata Database Machine transformed our core banking operations’ efficiency and performance. It also helps us meet aggressive growth goals while reducing IT costs and ensuring we can continually enhance our offerings and customer service quality.” – Svetoslav Moldovansky, Executive Director, Member of the Management Board, First Investment Bank AD

  • Cut time to complete end-of-day reconciliation that updates the general ledger and determines the bank’s treasury, cash management, and foreign exchange positions, ensuring that trading can begin at 8:30 a.m. the next day
  • Improve transaction-processing speeds for growing customer base and eliminate service delays caused by bottlenecks during busy periods
  • Scale infrastructure to offer new online banking services 24/7 to customers and assimilate the core banking operations of recently acquired MKB Unionbank
  • Reduce hardware needed to process and store 6.5 terabytes of core banking data, growing by 5 gigabytes daily, while simplifying IT support and maintenance and eliminating the risks of unplanned downtime and customer service unavailability

Solutions

  • Cut end-of-day financial close by 50%, from six hours to three, by replacing legacy HP Itanium servers with Oracle Exadata Database Machine
  • Used Oracle Exadata’s processing power to complete risk monitoring and reporting obligations that determine the bank’s overall treasury, cash management, and foreign exchange positions before the start of the next business day, ensuring trading can begin at 8:30 a.m.
  • Cut typical customer transaction processing time by 30%, which enabled corporate and private clients to complete transfers, deposits, withdrawals, and online purchases faster
  • Eliminated bottlenecks at peak times by using Oracle Exadata’s intelligent workload management capabilities to allocate and prioritize processing capacity for concurrent operations—such as customer transactions, management information reports, and daily-close activities
  • Made financial and management data available 3x faster for bank executives and shareholders, using Oracle Exadata’s online transaction processing power, which facilitated faster decision-making and improved service to shareholders
  • Resolved system problems 4x faster using Oracle Enterprise Manager to automate monitoring of entire stack—from hardware, storage, and operating system, through database and applications—and reduced maintenance and support costs
  • Boosted data storage speed and capacity by replacing HP EVA storage with Oracle Exadata Storage Server, which also helped accelerate database query processing and cut system response times
  • Consolidated workloads onto fewer servers, which cut hardware and power costs
  • Used Oracle Data Guard to ensure near-real-time replication and off-site, core-banking-data backup to ensure business continuity in the event of primary site loss
  • Reduced operational risk by using Oracle Premier Support for Systems and Oracle Platinum Services to provide around-the-clock fault monitoring, apply functionality-upgrade patches, and ensure continued availability for the core banking processes running on Oracle Exadata
  • Used Oracle Exadata’s increased processing capacity to make online banking services available 24/7 and be the first to market in Bulgaria and the Balkans with new offerings, such as loans and high-interest accounts
  • Benefited from Oracle Exadata’s scalability to consolidate customer and account data from acquired MKB Unionbank onto core banking platform without the need to purchase additional hardware
  • Began migrating noncore banking operations—such as customer relationship management—onto Oracle Exadata, which will cut costs by retiring legacy hardware

Why Oracle

After comparing HP and Oracle Exadata Database Machine Full Rack’s performance, First Investment Bank found that Oracle Exadata offered greater reliability and availability and could scale incrementally to handle the bank’s growing business. In addition, Oracle’s pre-integrated technology stack would streamline maintenance and support, and the bank knew that having a single-vendor infrastructure would eliminate any potential for incompatibility issues between software and hardware.

“Oracle Exadata comes pre-engineered for unbeatable performance, resilience, flexibility, and cost of ownership from a single vendor,” said Vesela Stoynovska, database administration, senior specialist, First Investment Bank AD. “Its no-limits scalability means we will not need to buy additional hardware for at least three years.”

Implementation Process

Oracle Consulting built the bank’s production environment and worked with Oracle Premier Support for Systems to install and configure the new solution to the bank’s needs. The IT team from First Investment Bank used Oracle GoldenGate to migrate and replicate data from the legacy system to Oracle Exadata during the implementation while ensuring continuous banking system availability to customers and employees. Oracle GoldenGate also provided a fail-safe solution by enabling the bank to restore service in minutes in the event of unexpected issues during its mission-critical data transfer.

“Oracle GoldenGate enabled us to complete the migration to Oracle Exadata with no data loss, no impact on any of our core banking systems, and no interruption to customer service,” said Svetoslav Moldovansky, executive director, member of the management board, First Investment Bank AD. “We will continue to rely on the support of Oracle Platinum Services to optimize our investment’s value as our business expands.”

Partner

Oracle Partner Balkan Financial Services helped upgrade the bank’s database in time for migrating to Oracle Exadata. Balkan Financial Services also assisted in carrying out functionality tests to ensure successful replication using Oracle GoldenGate prior to running the applications in the Oracle Exadata environment.

“Balkan Financial Services’ expertise helped us complete a smooth migration to Oracle Exadata,” Stoynovska said.