Infotech Consulting Services | Samba Bank gears up for growth
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Samba Bank gears up for growth

Samba Financial Group is the largest banking group in Saudi Arabia and considered one of the stable and safest in the Middle East because of its prudence, philosophy and management. In  2007 Samba Financial Group acquired 68% of Crescent Bank renaming it Samba Bank. Since then it has rapidly grown both its assets and coverage yet without compromising its reputation as one of the safest places to put your money in. Samba Financial Group’s shareholding has also increased to 84.51% reflecting the owning group’s confidence in Pakistan operations.

Samba Bank was looking from increased agility and efficiency in its information technology operations and specifically for its core banking application. With growth of 266% in assets in last 5 years Samba bank and offering more services like credit cards it needed technology that could match its scale, growth and increasing complexity in its products portfolio. It was looking for a solution that would address current compute and data needs immediately but also be powerful and flexible enough for future needs even if those needs were not immediately clear in a dynamic market. It was also important that the new solution make a dent in data center energy costs that had ballooned.

Working with IBM InfoTech created and implemented a solution that addressed immediate operational needs as well as allowed IT to respond to business needs with more agility and intelligence. The entire core banking solution was moved to powerful yet efficient IBM Power S824 servers and IBM Storwize V7000 storage technology. The hybrid storage solution consisted of IBM FlashSystem 900 and the TS 3100 Tape library. To get the best ROI and increase agility IBM’s flagship middleware product Websphere Application Server and its messaging middleware Websphere MQ were a part of the solution.

This solution ticked the boxes on what the customer had wanted. They got Improved customer experience management response because of the system’s speed. Compliance with local regulation was done. The web application platform became enhanced and far easier to manage with simplified workloads that could easily be moved in a hybrid cloud environment and improved data sharing across the enterprise. Power usage went significantly down. Virtualized storage and enterprise grade thread processing capability meant dramatically more powerful and lightning quick infrastructure. Samba’s legacy investments integrate and communicate seamlessly with its newer systems as Websphere Application Server and MQ enable a middleware architecture that allows Samba’s heterogeneous data center to shine. Samba Bank’s ambition of a robust core banking infrastructure enabling a process and information management system was fulfilled with this solution. This was not just a technology project. It was a key part in the innovation chain that would help launch new products faster and get better market insights quicker to business executives.

InfoTech was the perfect partner for this. With some of the deepest core banking implementation expertise in the country as well as Systems Integration experience in the IBM ecosystem it understood the present state of Samba’s ecosystem as well as how to define, build and implement a roadmap to the future state. The ability to understand both business and technology stakeholders, previous experience integrating legacy and hybrid cloud infrastructure for core banking and extremely high levels of customer service excellence were reasons InfoTech was chosen as strategic implementer.