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IBM Mainframe Deployed in Namibia for the First Time


ARMONK, N.Y. First National Bank of Namibia Ltd has selected IBM (NYSE: IBM) to help the bank localize its banking systems and operations. Under the $5 million agreement, IBM will provide FNB with two of the latest IBM System z10 Business Class mainframes and supporting software to meet regulatory requirements and support the bank’s growth.

The deal marks the first deployment of mainframe technology in Namibia.

Implementation of the IBM system was completed this month and forms part of FNB Namibia’s $15 million project to localize its core banking systems and operations in Namibia. Previously, FNB Namibia, which is majority owned by FNB South Africa, had its server infrastructure and the data of more than 400,000 customers residing in South Africa.

FNB Namibia joins a growing list of companies in emerging economies relying on IBM System z to build their infrastructures.

For example, IBM in April announced its first System z sale to a commercial bank in India -- a $10 million, seven-year win at Housing Development Finance Corporation Limited Bank. Other growth markets where IBM has won new mainframe business include China, Korea and Russia.

Businesses and governments in these emerging markets are modernizing their IT systems in banking, retail and other key sectors to compete in an interconnected world. IBM System z mainframes provide one of the world’s highest levels of security and are unmatched in reliably managing high levels of transactions.

The FNB Namibia project responded to a directive from the central Bank of Namibia to localize all banking infrastructure and IT systems in Namibia before the end of 2009. Working with IBM, FNB Namibia has managed to complete the project, which includes all information technology systems, documents and data relating to customer transactions, the bank’s business affairs, property, assets and liabilities, well in advance of the deadline.

“FNB Namibia’s investment in the latest, industry-leading IBM mainframe systems and software has helped us to build a dynamic core banking platform as well as meet all regulatory requirements,” said Advocate Vekuii Rukoro, Group Chief Executive Officer of FNB Namibia Holdings, at a media briefing today. “Importantly, the project to localize Namibia’s banking infrastructure has brought technological advancement, knowledge transfer and created jobs for Namibian professionals.”

“The decision of FNB Namibia to select IBM for its core banking platform demonstrates the strengthening of our long relationship with the bank and its parent company in South Africa,” said Oliver Fortuin, General Manager, IBM Sub-Saharan Africa. “The mainframe solution will help FNB to accommodate growth, ensure cost effectiveness, business continuity and improve services for customers.”

Launched in 2008, the IBM System z10 Business Class helps organizations cut energy costs by up to 90 percent and simplify data center requirements.


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