Banks in Growth Markets Turn to IBM to Support Business Transformation

IBM Announces Details of 10 Smarter Computing Deals with Leading Banks across Central and Eastern Europe

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ARMONK, N.Y. - 29 Aug 2011: IBM (NYSE: IBM) announced details of several major deals in the financial services industry as part of a move by banks to improve operational efficiency and benefit from recent advances in mobile and internet technologies.

The agreements from across Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) and with a combined value of over USD 130 million are part of a broader trend of similar deals that IBM has signed with banks across growth markets in recent months. The banks include Sberbank in Russia, PKO Bank Polski in Poland, Erste & Steiermarkische Bank in Croatia, PRAVEX-BANK in Ukraine, Garanti Bank in Turkey, JSC Rietumu Banka in Latvia, Societe Generale in Serbia, NovaLjubljanska Banka in Slovenia and Raiffeisen Bank in Romania and Czech Republic.

IBM will provide new hardware, software and services to support efforts by the banks to modernize their core banking systems to prepare for growth, increase efficiencies and take advantage of new market opportunities – both at home and abroad.

"In 2011 there has been a resumption of IT spending in the financial services sector across growth markets," said Alex Kwiatkowski, Banking Research Manager IDC-Financial Insights EMEA.  "This is not only driven by the need to reduce IT running costs and architectural complexity, but the desire to significantly improve the overall customer experience with better integrated digital channels. While foreign ownership has created an inextricable link between many CEE institutions and the Western European banking sector, it is encouraging to see this has not acted as a major impediment to operational and technological investment in the last twelve months."

Driving Efficiencies

In Russia, IBM has helped to design and launch a new software architecture for the country's largest lender Sberbank to integrate the bank's IT infrastructure. The new system enables faster decision-making and more efficient management of financial data helping to improve customer service, unify service delivery through different channels and reduce credit risk. The total value of the contract via selected business partners is in the region of $25 mln USD. The solution -based on over 20 IBM Power servers - enables Sberbank to integrate more than 80 different systems across all Russian regions covering 9 time zones. The flexibility of the system allows IT specialists of Sberbank and IBM's partners to constantly upgrade the system in line with business needs.

In Poland, the country's oldest and largest bank, PKO Bank Polski signed an agreement for IBM to provide four of the latest IBM zEnterprise mainframe servers to improve the performance and efficiency of the bank's systems and improve customer service. IBM has also provided software to help better integrate critical business processes and improve the management of financial and customer data.

In Croatia, Erste & Steiermarkische Bank (Erste Bank), the third largest bank in the country, successfully migrated its core banking system to IBM technologies to reduce maintenance costs and ease the development of new financial services. With the new system, Erste Bank has successfully lowered the time needed for batch processes and significantly improved the performance of online processes as compared to the previous Unysis system.

In Romania, Raiffeisen Bank selected IBM to provide a new IT infrastructure as part of an effort by the bank to increase competitive advantage and improve customer service. The new Enterprise Content Management platform will allow Raiffeisen to rethink business processes and improve operational efficiency.  IBM will provide IBM hardware, software as well as consultancy and services for the implementation, integration and maintenance of the new system. In another project with Raiffeisen Bank in the Czech Republic, IBM has provided the IT infrastructure for a new core banking system and the services to maintain the system over five years.

Slovenia's largest bank NovaLjubljanska Banka (NLB) has turned to IBM to help to improve the performance of its IT systems in order to better manage data and provide timely and accurate financial reports to the European Central Bank. IBM has provided the bank with a new zEnterprise mainframe server as well as business analytics software to dramatically speed up the processing times of financial data. Complex queries that had previously taken up to 1-1/2 hours to complete will instead be processed in seconds. IBM will also provide technology services to design and implement the new system.

"The global banking crisis has served as a catalyst for a drive towards greater efficiency and the need to differentiate," said Eray Yuksek, Director of Financial Services Industries, IBM CEE. "We are seeing the effects of this in the financial services sector today as leading banks are turning to smarter banking systems to simplify business models, boost profit and break away from the rest of the pack. They are also investing in IT to improve the management of information – helping to create customer-centric services and ensuring the highest possible standards in risk management."

Tapping New Business Opportunities

In Latvia, JSC Rietumu Banka, one of the leading banks in the Baltic States, migrated its mobile banking systems from Oracle and Sun to an IBM workload optimized system. As a result, the bank has improved database performance by 300 percent, boosted data availability by 200 percent, and lowered administration costs more than 20 percent.  

In Ukraine, IBM has signed a five-year agreement with PRAVEX-BANK to provide technology and facility management services for a new data center based in Kiev. The new system will enable PRAVEX-BANK to automate its banking processes, improve service for over a million customers in the country and support the rollout of online and mobile banking services. The bank is one of the first in Ukraine to comply with the National Bank of Ukraine's (NBU) directive for banks to host customer data within Ukraine and ensure the highest levels of business continuity on the market.

In Turkey, Garanti Bank has selected IBM System z mainframe servers as the foundation of its banking infrastructure.  The increased performance of the new system will help Garanti Bank provide banking services to more than 950,000 customers across the country and process more than 200 million transactions a day.

In Serbia, IBM has signed an agreement with Societe Generale to provide a new smarter computing solution to help the bank to simplify business processes, improve customer satisfaction and decrease the time to market for Innovative new products and services.

The client engagements are part of a movement to what IBM refers to as Smarter Banking, which uses intelligence to drive operational efficiencies, customer centricity and better risk management. A "smarter bank" anticipates client needs and delivers innovative products faster and more consistently than the competition. It has full visibility, in real-time, of its risk position and responds quickly and nimbly to changes in market conditions.

About IBM

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Agreement with Sberbank Russia includes 20 IBM Power System servers, over 280 BladeCenter servers and IBM WebSphere software.

Agreement with PKO Bank Polski includes 4 IBM zEnterprise mainframe servers, IBM DB2 database software and IBM WebSphere software.

Agreement with Erste & Steiermarkische in Croatia includes IBM Power Systems and IBM System Storage and IBM Storwize technology.

Agreement with Raiffeisen Bank in Romania includes IBM FileNet Content Management, IBM DB2 database software, IBM WebSphere and Tivoli software, IBM Power Systems and IBM System Storage infrastructure as well as consultancy and services for the implementation, integration and maintenance of the new system.

Agreement with Raiffeisen Bank Czech Republic includes IBM Power Systems, IBM System Storage, IBM BladeCenter Systems, IBM Tivoli and WebSphere software and related services to integrate and maintain the system over five years.

Agreement with NovaLjubljanska Banka (NLB) in Slovenia include an IBM zEnterprise mainframe server, and IBM Smart Analytics Optimizer software.

Agreement with JSC Rietumu Banka in Latvia includes IBM Power Systems and IBM DB2 database software.

Agreement with PRAVEX-BANK in Ukraine includes IBM Power Systems, IBM BladeCenter Systems, IBM System Storage, IBM Tivoli Storage Manager and related services.

Agreement with Garanti Bank in Turkey includes IBM System z mainframe servers and DB2 database software.

Agreement with Societe Generale in Serbia includes IBM Power Systems.

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