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Oracle Customer Success—Bank für Sozialwirtschaft AG

Bank für Sozialwirtschaft AG

BFS Increases Storage Space by 80% Without Incurring Additional Costs


Bank für Sozialwirtschaft processes transactions of every size from small donations to complex financing for institutional clients. To this end we require powerful and extremely stable servers and storage for our SAP landscape. SPARC T7-4 and Oracle FS1-Flash easily meet these requirements.

— Thomas Beneke, SAP System Technology Manager, Bank für Sozialwirtschaft AG

BFS Reduces Loan Risks, Accelerates Loan Decisions with 20% Performance Improvement and 80% More Storage Space

Bank für Sozialwirtschaft (BFS) works as a speciality bank for businesses and other organizations in the social, health care, and education sectors. It provides financing solutions, liquidity management such as factoring, investment opportunities for institutional clients, support for fundraising activities, advisory, and other services.

BFS found it was impossible to map their specialized portfolio with a standardized IT solution. As a result, BFS had been using a SAP R3 infrastructure with SPARC T5 servers and Oracle’s Pillar Axiom Storage System. BFS had to update the storage solution in order to meet the growing regulatory requirements of the Federal Financial Supervisory Authority (BaFin) and to provide additional IT resources for new services.

Business Challenge
  • Increase capacity and performance of the existing storage solution for the provision of new services—including the consolidation of relevant financial data or the transmission of those data to mobile end devices of BFS customer advisors—without incurring additional costs
  • Optimize the bank’s ability to process small transactions inexpensively and quickly and store the information on an efficient and cost-effective storage solution, since BFS receives a high number of small donations on behalf of its clients—for example, in the event of natural disasters that receives a great deal of public attention
  • Offer maximum protection of data from unauthorized access, compromise, or loss, in order to comply with BaFin requirements and to protect sensitive customer data
  • Migrate to the new storage system with no interruption to ongoing operations and within a short space of time
  • Enable BFS’s entire IT infrastructure to be operated as before with minimum human resources
  • Installed two Oracle FS1-2 Flash Storage Systems with flash and hard disk drives and performance controllers, and deployed four Oracle SPARC T7-4 servers to support the bank’s SAP enterprise resource planning (ERP) environment—operating around twice as fast and offering almost 80% more storage space than the previous storage solution
  • Consolidated server infrastructure to operate 46 SAP R3 systems on four SPARC T7-4 servers, substantially reducing total cost of ownership for the acquisition and operation of the server and storage infrastructure
  • Doubled server performance and performed day-end closings in only 4 hours compared with the previous 5.5 hours—an improvement of 27%
  • Accelerated loan decisions, minimized loan risks, and strengthened customer service once the bank expanded its SAP R3 systems on SPARC T7-4 and Oracle FS1-2 flash storage
  • Simplified and accelerated server configuration and operation with Oracle Solaris 11.3, while increasing server security with Oracle Solaris Zones, enabling a small team of four IT specialists to run the bank’s IT infrastructure
  • Used Oracle Solaris’ compliance feature to immunize the system against outside attacks, helping BFS meet internal audit requirements and facilitating the documentation of the security measures
  • Ensured business continuity by working with Oracle Advanced Customer Support to deploy SPARC T7-4 servers and Oracle FS1-2 flash storage systems within one week and outside the bank’s normal opening hours, rendering interruption to daily operations unnecessary


The new SPARC T7-4 servers and the FS1-2 Flash Storage Systems are more efficient than any other systems we know. They represent real technological progress. And Oracle Advanced Customer Support gave us outstanding assistance with their knowledge and efforts. We could not have wished for a better partnership.

— Thomas Beneke, SAP System Technology Manager, Bank für Sozialwirtschaft AG

About Bank für Sozialwirtschaft AG


Cologne, Germany



The reserves of German welfare institutions were exhausted after World War I due to high post-war inflation. These organizations collaborated, and in 1923, founded the “Kreditanstalt für die gesamten Wohlfahrtseinrichtungen” (credit institute for all welfare institutions)—known today as Bank für Sozialwirtschaft AG (BFS). Its purpose was and remains to grant loans to non-profit welfare institutions, manage their savings, and provide them with financial and economic advice. BFS put in place a sustainable business model that it still uses today: Profits are either reinvested in the bank or donated to charity. Its shareholders are mainly the central associations of the independent charitable bodies, regional charitable associations, and other non-profit organizations in Germany.

Published:  Apr 04, 2017