ME Bank Adopts SQL and Windows Server 2012

Cost Savings, Greater Flexibility Gives Windows -SQL Edge in Bank Win

Sydney, Australia – 1 May, 2013 – Today, Microsoft announced that after a rigorous comparison of licensing, support and upgrade costs, ME Bank has chosen to consolidate its mixed environment on the Windows Server 2012 and SQL Server 2012 platform versus a Linux based alternative. ME Bank, a genuine banking alternative owned by 30 Australian industry superannuation funds, wanted a cost-effective, future-ready platform for its new core banking system that its IT staff could easily manage and support.

ME Bank is dedicated to fairer banking and provides transparent, straightforward and low-cost banking products to 280,000 customers; members of unions, employment associations and industry superannuation funds. For almost a decade, ME Bank depended on two core banking systems: a Windows–SQL-based product called NTBS that managed all savings and deposits; and a Solaris-based product called ULTRACS for loans and transactions products.

“Updating our legacy banking systems was becoming increasingly difficult,” said Jem Richards, Enterprise Architect, ME Bank. “Any level of change required custom development, which meant bringing in specialists from outside. This cost us tens of thousands of dollars a year, caused delays and stymied innovation.”

The bank’s IT staff were eager to support business goals and reclaim their agility and ability to deliver turnkey solutions in a timely manner. This led to the search for a single, integrated core banking system.

“The IT environment is diverse and constantly changing and it was challenging for our team to keep up as they were always immersed in tactical and reactive tasks. We realised that if we consolidated our IT skills on one technology, we could build our in-house expertise to enable us to make strategic changes more easily and quickly,” said Richards.

In late-2011, ME Bank selected a new, platform-agnostic banking software system, Temenos T24, to manage all its core banking operations. It then began a review process to look at which operating system would be the most cost effective for its needs. There were two equally viable options to deploy it on Windows Server 2012, with the SQL Server 2012 database, or a Linux based solution.

“We conducted extremely rigorous comparisons on costs, the availability of technical support and scope for in-house IT skills consolidation. Although one operating system option was essentially free to deploy, based on our past experience, we knew that it would cost more to support than Windows. In addition, Microsoft and Windows community specialists were readily available to help us configure Temenos T24, whereas finding the relevant skills for the alternative platform with Temenos was proving to be a lot more difficult, “said Richards.

ME Bank found the running costs of a Microsoft database versus the competition also differed substantially which would affect its future growth plans.

“At present growth rates, we would soon need to upgrade the alternate platform solution, which would cost over $100,000 more. In contrast, our existing Microsoft licence will allow us to grow without additional cost. When we analysed all the costs over a five year period, it was clear that if we deployed our core banking systems on Windows-SQL, the total cost of ownership would be substantially less than if we chose the alternative.”

ME Bank made the decision to purchase Insight, Temenos’ business intelligence software, which used SQL-based reporting and analysis tools. This has allowed the team to grow their IT skills and capabilities on one technology to ensure increased agility which has enabled them to make changes to their environment themselves and introduce new customer services faster.

“Selecting Windows–SQL enabled us to consolidate internal IT skills on a single technology, and build our in-house capabilities in line with the business. Ultimately, this means we are more in control of our banking platform and reporting capabilities.”

By deploying a new core banking system using Windows and SQL Server, ME Bank can avoid major future upgrade costs, and consolidate IT skills in a way that promises maximum scope for agility in the future. It has decommissioned a mixed Windows-Solaris environment and consolidated its core banking system to one technology, reducing the dependence on external consultants, boosting in-house capabilities, and saving tens of thousands of dollars each year

ME Bank is also confident that deploying Temenos T24 on the Windows Server platform will maximize development choices over the life of the core banking system. In addition, the bank believes the all-Windows platform should give it greater flexibility. “With the core banking system on an all-Windows platform, we will be able to standardise the infrastructure more easily. This means we will encounter fewer issues if and when we move those systems to the cloud.”

-Ends-

For further information or interviews please contact: Rudolf Wagenaar, Ogilvy PR, 02 8281 3879 or 043 908 2550, rudolf.wagenaar@ogilvy.com.au

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT”) is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and business realize their full potential. More information can be found: www.microsoft.com.au

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