Payment card company moves to Oracle Cloud Infrastructure (OCI) to drive growth with high availability, elastic computing, and lower costs.
“The coolest thing that we experienced with Oracle Cloud is the cultural change that takes place once you move. The IT team now meets with business areas and discusses how to make the products viable, how to deliver more value to our customers. Before, their main concern was how to make that business fit into our data center.”
For more than 25 years, credsystem has grown in the post-paid credit card market with 150 partners represented in over 3,000 points of sale, making the company the biggest issuer of private credit cards in Brazil after the country’s major banks.
In 2019, when it was operating core business workloads on an Oracle Exadata Database Machine on-premises, the company embarked on a growth path into new markets, such as debit cards, digital accounts, and dental treatment plans. With the exception of Hadoop-based data processing, all transactional and analytical workloads generated by more than 7 million card users were running in Oracle Exadata Database.
Soon, credsystem realized that its on-premises legacy infrastructure could not meet the requirements of high availability and elastic computing. High-volume shopping days would triple its processing needs, but it needed the ability to wind down to normal operations during less-busy periods of the year.
The company considered moving to the cloud in a highly structured way. It embarked on changing its development operations by deploying containerized applications through Kubernetes technology that was horizontally scalable and compatible with cloud standards. It needed to be more than a lift and shift in order to operate optimally in the cloud environment.
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Why credsystem chose Oracle
When credsystem decided to move to the cloud, it considered a multicloud environment as the ideal solution. The company evaluated Azure, AWS, and Google, among other providers, but found that a multicloud strategy, especially when going to the cloud for the first time, increased system complexity. Most of the clouds had their own native infrastructure that required a locked-in commitment, and this would not only cause friction in a multicloud environment but also complicate moving credsystem’s legacy systems to the cloud.
The company was already using Oracle technology as a foundation, and when considering Oracle Cloud Infrastructure (OCI), it realized that Oracle required the least lock-in of all cloud providers. “We experienced two interesting things when we talked with Oracle. First, the very high level of professionals that came to talk to us. And second, that Oracle required only one commitment for its cloud, the database—which is our database of choice anyway,” says CIO Fabio Felizatti.
Originally, credsystem started its cloud journey with the intention of being security-agnostic with systems that would run on multiple platforms. It also found that OCI’s native security features covered what the company needed, substantially reducing the cost of security.
Migrating to Oracle Exadata Database Service on OCI (without any code change from its on-premises Oracle Exadata Database Machine) was smooth and quick. Setting up Exadata in OCI Cloud took a day to achieve, compared to four months to provision on-premises machines.
Data synchronization ran securely over dedicated channels from OCI data centers in Brazil to credsystem’s data center with trusted endpoints via OCI’s FastConnect.
The high availability of its card processing applications translated directly into revenue for credsystem. The reduction in total cost of ownership paid entirely for the company’s two-year cloud migration project. It saw a 50% TCO reduction as a result of avoiding the costs of enhancing its on-premises facility and using the scalable OCI environment. Operating expenditure also dropped, including tech support costs and the OCI costs based on consumption.
With Oracle Maximum Availability Architecture on OCI, the organization met recovery time and recovery point objectives for its Oracle databases and the applications running on Oracle database platforms. Currently, these workloads are split at a 30:70 ratio between OCI and Exadata on-premises, while the company has the intention to invert these values. The organization uses Oracle Identity and Access Management to securely access applications both in the cloud and on-premises.
The company started its first agile development project on OCI’s Container Engine for Kubernetes to build cloud native applications quickly and cost-effectively with its front-end payment card applications, which deliver direct value to customers. Because OCI’s virtualization stack is specifically designed to reduce the risk from hypervisor-based attacks and increased tenant isolation, credsystem benefited from Oracle’s next-generation public cloud infrastructure with always-on security. Interconnection of systems and services is facilitated by OCI API Gateway.
Using Oracle GoldenGate to replicate data in the Oracle Cloud, including all backups, credsystem abandoned its third-party tape backup system. The near real-time replication of business rules ensured the smooth operation of millions of payment cards and helped prevent fraudulent usage.
About the customer
credsystem caters to Brazil’s unbanked citizens, such as self-employed people without proof of income. The company is a major player in the private-label and co-branded credit and debit card market with over 36 million cards issued. It has also expanded into digital cards, data intelligence, and other financial products, such as dental treatment plans.