Can you think of an industry more heavily regulated than banking?
How about private banking utilising a public cloud?
This was just one of many challenges faced by the financial clients of IBM Business Partner ERI Bancaire.
As ERI Director for Business Development Jean-Philippe Bersier explains:
“When we have these cloud discussions, there are a lot of questions: ‘Where is the data physically located? Who can access it?’”
And he adds:
“Working with IBM answers a lot of those concerns.”
Taking on the Challenge
As Jean-Philippe Bersier further explains, ERI Bancaire primarily serve the private banking industry, “which by definition are frequently small companies — 50, 100 or even more than 500 users.”
Even so, these clients need the same flexibility as the larger banks.
“They face the same compliance and security requirements, but they feel greater cost pressures, which is forcing them to reconsider how they support critical systems.”
Wishing to enhance and extend the availability of its core platform, the OLYMPIC Banking System, ERI Bancaire recognised that a cloud-based software as a service (SaaS) model would deliver a whole new roster of options and benefits.
The solution was to work and coordinate with IBM to make its landmark OLYMPIC Banking System available within the public IBM Cloud, as well as incorporating the IBM Cloud Kubernetes Service to manage containers.
“We’ve been a partner with IBM for over 30 years,” recounts Jean-Philippe Bersier. “And more than 90% of our clients rely on IBM.”
Enabling the Transformation
The SaaS offering delivers a security-rich platform, a browser-based, real-time solution capable of customising processes and workflows to meet variable business practices and regulations.
It also offers a resilient architecture designed for availability, helping eliminate planned or unplanned downtime.
“Banking is mobile now,” Jean-Philippe Bersier elaborates. “You have your bank on your phone, so our customers can’t be down for days or even hours. The infrastructure must be bulletproof.”
The resulting transformation delivers numerous other advantages too, including:
- Keeps costs low for users by aligning infrastructure size with actual and changing demand
- Hardens availability with a cloud-based platform that aligns with industry security guidelines
- Simplifies delivery and support through a unified provisioning contract
Expanding on the first point, Jean-Philippe Bersier says, “Banks have to pay particular attention to end of month, quarter, and year closures. It’s their busiest time. And with a classical structure, they would have to size for those peaks, which can be challenging for certain firms. But as a SaaS, we can let them adjust the costs of their underlying infrastructure to exactly what they need.”
And as for the last point, he explains, “Our clients don’t have to sign multiple agreements or deal with multiple procurement headaches” as the IBM Embedded Solution Agreement (ESA) allows ERI to integrate all the required technologies.
The ascent of cloud
“Years ago, a cloud approach for a banking system wouldn’t even be on the agenda,” Jean-Philippe Bersier says. “But now, the cloud is becoming extremely important for most banks. The large retail banks already have a cloud strategy, which focuses on private clouds, but a lot of our customers do not have the bandwidth to afford a private cloud. They can only move forward with a public cloud.”
As for matters of security, Jean-Philippe Bersier once again expounds on the advantages of partnering IBM.
“No banks can afford the amount of energy, money and resources that IBM puts into protecting data. Their data centres today are better protected than Fort Knox.”
“There is a big value in the elasticity and flexibility of the cloud,” he says, adding elsewhere in the conversation that, “I’m convinced that more and more banks will turn to the cloud for their infrastructure.”
A partnership generating solutions
Like to learn more about how ERI Bancaire leveraged the technology and resources of IBM to develop and deploy their innovative solution?