Business Impact Article - Posted 6/8/2010
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Bank Builds a Service-Oriented Architecture to Enhance Agility and Reduce Costs
KAS BANK provides wholesale securities and investment services to global banks and other organizations. To reduce costs and facilitate transaction processing between internal and external systems, the bank built a service-oriented architecture (SOA) with the Microsoft Application Platform. With its fully integrated solution, KAS BANK has saved 60 percent in yearly licensing costs and increased its ability to create innovative offerings. It has also simplified the processes required to connect its infrastructure to third-party systems and the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication (SWIFT) network.
Every day, KAS BANK processes approximately 100 million time-sensitive transactions that involve hundreds of third-party systems and hundreds of millions of dollars. To achieve this, every IT component at the bank needs to be highly available, reliable, and secure.
||By using the Microsoft Application Platform, we have a suite of standardized components that boost our efficiency and flexibility. We have also been able to reduce our licensing costs by 60 percent compared to our mainframe solution.
||Pim van der Horst
Chief Information Officer
In 2006, KAS BANK decided to migrate its mission-critical business applications from its mainframe to a new Intel-based platform. The previous architecture restricted innovation because it was inflexible, difficult to scale, and expensive. Annual licensing costs totaled several million dollars; developing new business processes required great effort and time; and replacement hardware was costly. After evaluating solutions from Microsoft, Oracle, and IBM, KAS BANK chose the Microsoft Application Platform. “We had a third party conduct tests to evaluate how the different platforms handled large transaction volumes, and Microsoft SQL Server running on the Windows Server operating system was the best in terms of performance and cost,” says Pim van der Horst, Chief Information Officer at KAS BANK.
In 2006, the bank engaged Atos Origin, Inter Access, and Microsoft Services to help design and build a SOA. Since that time, KAS BANK has migrated most of its mission-critical applications to the SOA. It has also created business offerings─such as a customer portal and dashboards─that were not possible with the previous infrastructure. Key components include:
Business Pain Points Addressed
- Microsoft SQL Server 2008 Enterprise data management software. Stores approximately 70 terabytes of transaction and account data used by the bank’s business applications.
- Microsoft SQL Server 2008 Reporting Services. Facilitates the creation of customizable reports.
- Windows Server 2008 Enterprise and Windows Server 2003 operating systems. Provide the foundation software for the SOA.
- Microsoft BizTalk Server 2006 Enterprise Edition. Connects SOA components and third-party systems. It also automates transaction processing.
- The Microsoft BizTalk Adapters. Provide off-the-shelf connectivity to internal and external resources through protocols such as FTP, SMTP, and MSMQ.
- The Microsoft BizTalk Accelerator for SWIFT. Connects the SOA to the SWIFT network.
- The Microsoft .NET Framework 3.5 and Microsoft Visual Studio 2005 Team Foundation Server. Provide an integrated development environment to rapidly create offerings.
- Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007. Supports the corporate intranet, customer portal, and dashboards. Customers use it to manage their portfolios; employees use it to share information and monitor transactions and accounts.
- Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager 2007 R2 and Microsoft Forefront Identity Manager 2010. Help administrators maintain high availability and manage access privileges.
For a financial institution such as KAS BANK, any system downtime is unacceptable. Not only must the bank comply with service level agreements and industry regulations such as the Markets in Financial Instruments Directive (MiFID) and the Statement on Auditing Standards No. 70 (SAS 70), but high availability is also critical to the bank’s success. In addition, global customers need easy access to account information and transaction-processing tools. Delivering new, innovative business offerings is also critical—and impossible without a flexible, cost-effective IT infrastructure. With its SOA built on the Microsoft Application Platform, KAS BANK has been able to:
Technical Pain Points Addressed
- Expand its business offerings to include around-the-clock services.
- Simplify business processes and data access with in-depth reports, easy-to-use dashboards, and automation.
- Speed the time-to-market of new services.
- Improve employee productivity and efficiency.
- Comply with industry regulations.
- Earn a five-star rating for its systems by TüViT, a German company that provides testing, assessment, and certification services.
- Hire from a larger pool of potential IT employees.
To deliver its services effectively, KAS BANK needs to quickly connect to third-party systems with technologies that include the SWIFT network. Customers expect transaction processing to always be secure, reliable, and conducted in real time. The bank also needs to maintain strict data-access policies—and make it easy for employees, customers, and applications to access information. In addition, IT personnel must meet budget requirements and have the ability to quickly customize and scale the system. With the Microsoft Application Platform and other Microsoft products, KAS BANK has been able to:
Top Reasons Why KAS BANK Chose Microsoft
- Reduce yearly licensing costs by 60 percent.
- Process approximately 100 million transactions a day.
- Maintain 99.7 percent availability.
- Create customizable reports, dashboards, and a customer portal.
- Increase IT agility and simplicity.
- Provide high levels of security and data protection.
- Scale the system and minimize expenses.
KAS BANK built its mission-critical SOA on the Microsoft Application Platform because:
- Third-party tests revealed that the Microsoft Application Platform provided better price and performance than competitive solutions from Oracle and IBM.
- It delivers the reliability, flexibility, and scalability that the bank requires.
- Microsoft provides and maintains components such as adapters for BizTalk Server, which reduce the bank’s development and maintenance requirements.
- Developers can take advantage of integrated tools and products to quickly create customized, value-added services.
- A large pool of developers is trained on the Microsoft platform.
By implementing a SOA built on the Microsoft Application Platform, KAS BANK has transformed the role of its information technologies. Rather than designing offerings that are restricted by the capabilities and costs of its infrastructure, KAS BANK has a flexible SOA that it can easily modify to support innovation and changing business requirements—while also reducing costs.
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