Akamai Technologies (NASDAQ: AKAM), the leading global service provider for accelerating content and business processes online, is helping Dutch Rabobank to successfully enter the direct banking market in New Zealand.
The global market leader in financial services for the agricultural and food industry uses the powerful Akamai network - consisting of 20,000 servers spread over more than 1,000 networks in 70 countries - to ensure short load times as well as optimised page reproduction and uninterrupted transactions on the new RaboPlus portal. As a consequence, Rabobank offers its overseas customers maximum web performance for their transactions and a constant, 100 percent website availability right from the start. Akamai's services enable the bank to successfully compete with local service providers in the New Zealand market. From the outset, Akamai was a convincing choice for Rabobank for having all the necessary security certificates. Due to its short implementation periods, Akamai met the technical requirements for a fast time-to-market and, compared to the option of a local computer centre, Akamai was also selected due to lower investment costs.
Akamai accelerates nearly all the content of the bank's portal - ranging from the entire marketing performance to the online transaction sites that users access after log-in, except for the personal transaction data due to legal and regulatory constraints. In addition to the continuously strong web performance, Akamai offers Rabobank secure SSL encryption of data transferred via Akamai.
Akamai's worldwide servers have a global load balancing available making sure that content is transmitted on the fastest and most effective path through the Internet. In addition, Akamai uses specialised technologies for accelerating internet applications. Rabobank uses the Sure-Route technology for this purpose. It helps by speeding the data from Europe to overseas by up to 50 percent faster. For example: Akamai managed to reduce the download time of a four-step online transaction in the RaboPlus portal from 14.3 seconds - delivery via the centrally hosted IT infrastructure in the Netherlands - to 7.3 seconds.
Early in the project, Rabobank already discarded the option of establishing a local computer centre in New Zealand because it would have been too cost-intensive and time-consuming. Then, the decision for a suitable external solution was quickly taken: Akamai was the only company that could meet the high expectations and security requirements as well as guarantee a quick and smooth implementation in the face of the forthcoming market entry. After a setup phase of no more than eight weeks, including a successful performance test, the new portal went "live" in February 2006. Schuberg Philis, a Dutch outsourcing expert for mission-critical applications and a long-standing partner of Rabobank International, accompanied the technical construction of the portal and assisted in the integration of the Akamai solution with the system. The web performance of the New Zealand bank portal has so far convinced both staff and customers. "Since we deliver the web content via the Akamai network, the pages are just as fast as they are here in Europe", said Hans Klunder, Senior Architect International Direct Banking of Rabobank International. "We and the Rabobank team in New Zealand are very pleased with Akamai. Our success on the marketplace shows that our customers appreciate our service, too", added Klunder.
Rabobank is already planning on further projects with Akamai. "We aim to develop other markets as well, and whenever we need support we will rely on Akamai", said Klunder. "Akamai is in any case our first choice."