IBM (NYSE: IBM) announced today that the National Bank of Ukraine has adopted IBM's smarter computing approach to IT to help simplify the management and protection of billions of financial records across the Ukraine.
As part of the agreement, IBM will help the financial institution store, back up and process more than 16 terabytes (TB) of information.
As the Ukrainian financial services industry expands, the need for fast, secure and reliable banking is growing ever more critical. Currently the National Bank of Ukraine is providing financial guidance to more than 176 banks, representing more than 125 million personal and corporate financial accounts. To address this rapid growth and the increasing need to provide fluid, uninterrupted transaction flow throughout the country's entire banking system, the National Bank of Ukraine decided to start at the heart of the matter, where the data resides - storage.
"We realized that if we wanted to dramatically reduce the potential impact of an IT disaster, while fulfilling international banking regulations, keeping our clients happy and our expenses under control, we had to start innovating at the heart of the process - where the financial data was being stored," said Oleksii Bilash, head of the IT department at the National Bank of Ukraine. "That is why we opted for a system capable to handle the growing flow of incoming data in a fast, reliable and secure way. The IBM solution outperformed other offerings in four key criteria: performance, fault tolerance, quick recovery and total cost of ownership."
Under the agreement signed last year, IBM and its Business Partner Integrity Vision LLC installed 16 TB of new storage disk space and server virtualization. A comprehensive storage platform based on two connected IBM System Storage DS8800 systems was established. IBM System Storage DS8800 capabilities, such as the IBM System Storage Easy Tier technology, help optimize system efficiency by automatically placing data at the most strategic storage level. For example, more commonly used data is automatically and dynamically placed on solid state drives (SSD) for fast access, while less frequently accessed data is placed on more cost-effective storage systems - all without disruption to applications. With the new solution in place, performance has improved, costs have lowered, and the bank's window for full backups has decreased twofold.
"IBM relies on the best teams, deep industry insight and first-hand experience in implementing financial solutions and improving IT security and compliance for organizations worldwide," said Penko Dinev, Country General Manager, IBM Ukraine. "The new storage platform for the National Bank of Ukraine is scalable and can easily accommodate the bank's future needs in terms of data storage or implementing new analytical approaches that will help the bank turn the stored data into financial insight."
The agreement between IBM and The National Bank of Ukraine is the latest in a string of smarter computing adoptions from financial institutions across Central and Eastern Europe (CEE), the Middle East and Africa, as banks look to improve operational efficiency and benefit from recent advances in enterprise and cloud technologies.
In 2011 alone IBM announced 10 different smarter computing agreements with top banks from across CEE including 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. In Kenya, IBM announced five strategic agreements with such leading banks as Credit Bank, Co-operative Bank, Family Bank, National Bank of Kenya and National Industrial Credit (NIC) Bank. Those deals are among more than 20 similar agreements that IBM has signed with banks throughout Africa in 2011.