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MCB Bank ltd
Bank Deploys Messaging and Collaboration Platform to 10,000 Users in Just Five Months
Internal customers and users at MCB Bank in Pakistan experienced productivity slowdowns post deployment of a new messaging software solution due to the shift over and steep learning curve. It was a challenging
job for the IT function to implement and took 18 months. The bank has now opted for Microsoft Exchange Server 2010 and Microsoft Office 2010. The migration for 10,000 MCB Bank users by Microsoft Gold Partner Premier Systems took just five months.
MCB Bank is one of the largest banks in Pakistan, with around 4.9 million customers, assets of approximately US$7 billion and more than 1,150 branches nationwide. It has a variety of alternate delivery channels and one of the largest ATM networks in the country.
The bank employs more than 10,000 people.
In 2010, MCB Bank decided to standardize on the IBM Messaging Solution. The bank was using Microsoft Exchange Server 2003 for the back office and Microsoft clients for users. Due to the substantial change in the interface and operations, the users were impacted
with productivity losses due to the learning curve and previous familiarity with Microsoft based products. As a result, MCB Bank users wanted to return to the familiar Microsoft Outlook interface and Microsoft Office. It was one of the reasons that MCB Bank
decided to move away from the previously installed base.
“Acquisition of the latest technologies and moving towards integrated and centralized solutions are the core strategies adopted by the bank, which has the largest online branch setup in Pakistan,” says Imtiaz Mahmood, Head of the Information Technology Group
(ITG), MCB Bank. “This helps the ITG Group to deliver the best quality of services to its internal as well as to the external customers, while improving their experience and productivity.”
Aasim Ashraf Chaudhry, Division Head of IT Service Management /Information Security, MCB Bank, says: “A major challenge was the user acceptance of the previous solution and the Symphony office applications. MCB Bank employees had used Microsoft Outlook for
email and managing calendars in an integration model similar to Microsoft Office. Many of us in Pakistan are familiar with Microsoft Office features and functionalities and change in the interface brings a learning curve for users which usually affects productivity
and creates discomfort.”
Ashraf added: “We believe that opting for Microsoft Exchange Server, Active Directory, Office, Virtual Desktop Infrastructure, and System Center is a major step which will not just enhance MCB Bank employees’ productivity. It will also help us to change the
dynamics of the Infrastructure Optimization model from “standard” to “rationalized” within the Microsoft Operations Framework benchmarking tool, in a phased approach.” Critically, MCB Bank also lacked a complete inventory of the IT assets at each branch and
wanted to improve integration, enhance controls, and reduce support time to manage the messaging infrastructure.
MCB Bank replaced its IBM products with Active Directory 2008 R2, Microsoft System Center 2012, Microsoft Exchange Server 2010, and Microsoft Office 2010 running in integrated mode.
Premier Systems deployed the solution in just five months to 10,000 users. The implementation uses the Configuration Manager feature of System Center 2012 for software updates.
Since 2012, MCB Bank has enjoyed a Microsoft Services Open License Agreement that ensures a cost-effective solution based on the bank paying only for the software it needs. This encouraged MCB Bank to implement other Microsoft technologies, including Windows
Server 2008 R2 with Hyper-V technology, and the Windows 7 operating system.
Arshad Abrar, General Manager Sales, Premier Systems, says: “The timeline set by MCB Bank for project completion—five months for 10,000 users—was a major challenge. We used an additional third-party contractor skilled in Microsoft products as well as having
a presence in remote locations. And we implemented the changeover in each branch with sign off and quality assurance from our own engineers as project managers. The highly coordinated approach gave MCB Bank complete visibility of its IT assets in branches.”
Mahmood says: “With this deployment, MCB Bank would like to explore the other products of Microsoft with a similar integrated model. Microsoft Lync 2013 is one of the stack to have a proof of concept (POC) for the introduction of Microsoft unified communications.
“The experience of implementation of Microsoft Exchange 2010 in the bank by Premier Systems is commendable and the bank would like to continue this relationship through the POC and by experiencing other Microsoft technology products. Lync 2013 may give employees
access to instant messaging, presence awareness, and audio and video conferencing on their desktops as well as smartphones to improve collaboration.”
Premier Systems implemented the Microsoft messaging infrastructure for 10,000 users geographically dispersed throughout Pakistan. The bank no longer pays for external IT support because it has centralized management tools and reduced support time. Mahmood says:
“The change in email and related communication infrastructure to Microsoft Integrated Technologies has become one of the contributors to achieve strategic goals and objectives of the bank’s IT function.”
• User acceptance of Microsoft Outlook grows, enhancing productivity. Mahmood says: “While it’s difficult to quantify exact user productivity gains, the change to Microsoft Outlook and related technologies has made a huge difference
to staff morale. Our people are working smarter with familiar Microsoft products.”
• Microsoft Partner email platform migration takes just four to five months. Ashraf says: “Premier Systems managed the migration from the email infrastructure to Microsoft collaboration and messaging technology in just four to five
months. The previous system took 18 months to deliver.”
• MCB Bank saves money on IT support. Mahmood says: “The Microsoft email platform is highly cost effective. This is both in licensing terms through our Microsoft Open License Agreement and because we’re no longer dependent on expensive
• Inventory work by Premier Systems ensures easier compliance.
MCB Bank has a complete inventory of the IT assets in each branch due to the Configuration Manager component of System Center 2012. It gives the bank peace of mind about licensing compliance.
• Microsoft supports future IT roadmap for MCB Bank. Microsoft and Premier Systems are now supporting MCB Bank on its future IT roadmap because of the ease of integration using Microsoft products. It also involves the potential for
introducing Microsoft Lync 2013.
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