IBM (NYSE: IBM) today announced that Zitouna Bank has selected cloud capabilities consisting of IBM systems, software and services to transform its core banking platform and develop new services for customers.
As in many developing countries, more than 50 percent of the Tunisian population does not have access to modern, reliable financial services and more than a quarter have no bank accounts at all. This project will support Zitouna Bank’s objectives to open up to 18 new branches per year and roll out of new mobile and Internet banking services. Benefits are expected to be reduced waiting times for customers, a greater choice of banking channels and services, and extending services to the nation’s unbanked and underbanked citizens.
Today’s announcement marks Zitouna Bank’s latest investment in IBM capabilities to help expand its operations and services to take advantage of growth opportunities in Tunisia. Zitouna Bank has been using IBM systems and software since it was founded in 2009. Adopting a cloud model will provide an enterprise that is secure, scalable and can handle mission-critical workloads, and create the greater flexibility, performance, economy and resilience the bank requires to support its growth objectives.
“Our aim is to provide a diversified portfolio of modern banking services to enterprises and individuals, and establish ourselves as a leader in Tunisian banking,” said Lasaad Jaziri, CIO for Zitouna Bank. “IBM’s cloud capabilities will help us roll out a wider range of services and products, such as new mobile and Internet banking services, while also improving efficiency of internal banking processes and reducing our operational footprint.”
The new cloud infrastructure is based on IBM Power Systems and other servers, IBM PowerVM virtualization software, IBM Storwize V7000 storage systems, and IBM Cloud Manager with OpenStack cloud management software. IBM Global Technology Services is providing implementation, maintenance and disaster recovery services, as well as training for the bank’s staff.
The new cloud capabilities are expected to allow Zitouna Bank to improve application availability and reduce end-of-day batch processing time for daily transactions by more than 85 percent, from over 13 hours to 70 minutes. Greater operational efficiency will allow the bank to focus more on introducing innovative banking products for their customers and less on managing daily business operations.
Since the bank’s inception, IBM has provided with a range of solutions and services for Zitouna Bank’s IT infrastructure, including Power Systems servers, DS5000 storage systems, Tivoli Storage Manager software, unified collaboration, networking and network security, and telesurveillance for ATMs and office branches.