ME Bank Selects Cisco, NetApp and VMware to transform its data centre to increase business agility and streamline operations
SYDNEY, Australia – ME Bank, the only bank in Australia 100 percent owned by Australia’s leading industry super funds, has selected a Cisco® and NetApp FlexPod® for VMware solution to help transform its information technology (IT) and operational excellence functions and accelerate the speed with which it can introduce new business applications and services to customers.
ME Bank, which provides customers with fairer banking services (straightforward and low-cost), embarked on an IT transformation strategy in 2011 to improve efficiencies and support the Bank’s aims to significantly increase customer numbers and provide better value to members of Industry Super Funds and Unions over the next three years.
“The IT transformation strategy, which is scheduled to be completed in June 2015, includes building a next-generation data centre platform with Cisco, NetApp and VMware that will help provide us with the ability to both create innovative new services and rapidly respond to changing business demands,” said Jem Richards, enterprise architect for ME Bank.
ME Bank selected in February 2012 to deploy a private cloud built on the FlexPod for VMware and Cisco Unified Computing System™ (Cisco UCS®), Cisco Nexus® switches, NetApp MetroCluster Solution and VMware vSphere 5 Solutions. The IT solution will support transformation in the following ways:
• Business agility to hasten delivery of new services to customers. ME Bank expects to quickly create test and development environments that will hasten the delivery of new business service applications to customers. While today it may take two weeks to create these environments to test new services before launch, the expectation is this will be reduced to minutes. ME Bank aims to accelerate the pace it can deliver new application services, reflecting customer demand for even more capabilities in Internet banking, smart phone applications and social media.
• Flexibility to rapidly respond to changing market demands. ME Bank launched its Workplace Banking strategy in 2011, which capitalises on its longstanding relationships with industry super funds and unions, to provide banking where its customers are located – in their workplace. An initiative designed to help grow its customer base, ME Bank is piloting Workplace Banking Kiosks that enable customers to have virtual face-to-face conversations with banking specialists via Cisco TelePresence® endpoints. Piloted in Melbourne Central in the third quarter of 2012, the kiosks have received very positive initial customer feedback. The FlexPod for VMware platform has the capability to seamlessly scale to support these Workplace Banking Kiosks as they are rolled out across Australia. The FlexPod for VMware platform will also support many of ME Bank’s business critical applications including its Internet banking application, customer call centre and core banking applications.
• Expand corporate commitment to the environment to the data centre. With the selection of FlexPod for VMware, ME Bank is integrating and converging its compute, networking and storage on a highly secure single platform that it expects will enable a reduction of its physical servers in production from 200-plus to less than 30, and as a result aims to achieve a significant percentage of carbon emission savings.
• Eliminate complexity and achieve operational efficiencies. With just-in-time provisioning of highly scalable and virtualised compute, network and storage, the company will be able to self-provision services and have them available on-demand, greatly accelerating the faster pace of change across the organisation. The automation capabilities of Cisco UCS will also enable ME Bank to be more proactive and spend more time focused on strategic initiatives and less time on maintenance and routine tasks
“Increasingly, organisations are looking to solutions which inaugurate a new era of agility within their business. By simplifying its data centre infrastructure deployment, ME Bank has brought about a move from fragmented application silos to shared, virtualised and cloud environments. ME Bank’s choice of Cisco and NetApp FlexPod for VMware has helped the bank to reduce cost, risk and time through high-availability of data and new storage capabilities. ME Bank’s improved workflows and asset utilisation help it to deliver better business outcomes for the benefit of its members,” said Michael DeLandre, Professional Services and Systems Engineering Director for NetApp Australia.
“VMware has been working with ME Bank for more than eight years as they virtualise their infrastructure and continue their journey to the cloud. We are excited that ME Bank is teaming with VMware and our partners Cisco and NetApp to deploy Flexpod for highly secure and flexible cloud infrastructure for their next generation of banking services,” said Duncan Bennet, MD and VP, VMware Australia and New Zealand.
“ME Bank plans to grow its business by continuing to provide customers with innovative products and an unrivalled service experience. By selecting Cisco and NetApp FlexPod for VMware for its private cloud computing platform, ME Bank will gain new levels of business agility that will make it easier to support this growth and speed delivery of innovative new services to customers,” said Mr. Courtney Dodds, Data Centre Practice Manager for Cisco Australia and New Zealand.
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