2 page Case Study - Posted 12/7/2012
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Russian Bank Creates More Strategic IT with Long-Term Support Relationship

When Sberbank wanted to better manage the PCs in its widely distributed locations, update its messaging environment, standardize a key business application, and increase knowledge within its IT team, the bank understood that it needed expert assistance. By relying on its multiyear relationship with Microsoft Services Premier Support, Sberbank enhanced its IT infrastructure, streamlined maintenance, and created a more strategic IT environment.

Business Needs
Sberbank is one of the largest banks in Russia and the Commonwealth of Independent States. It is also one of the largest lenders in the national economy and a leader in the Russian bank deposit market with total assets accounting for more than 25 percent of the national banking system. The bank’s branch network includes 17 regional offices and almost 20,000 retail locations around the country.

To better serve its customers and manage information for more than 200,000 employees, Sberbank constantly enhances its IT infrastructure by standardizing its environment, updating systems, and migrating to new technologies. The bank has recently had to plan and execute a number of large-scale projects.

* Thanks to Microsoft Services Premier Support, we can constantly improve the performance of our IT infrastructure. *

Andrey Karlov
Deputy Chief, Technical Support Office, IT Department, Sberbank

Sberbank wanted to better manage employee PCs in its widely distributed locations and update its messaging environment to provide more reliable regional email service. It also wanted to centralize and standardize a key business application. But the IT team would have to work with unique regional operations, local security requirements, and the duplication of GUID reference numbers on PCs at some sites. The custom application was deployed on a server cluster with a non-standard configuration, and to upgrade it, the IT team first had to establish Active Directory relationships and reorganize databases in the bank’s regional offices. In addition, the application required 24-hour availability, so the upgrade had to be well planned and completed quickly.

To continue providing stable and efficient banking service to its customers, Sberbank understood that it would need expert assistance to increase the server troubleshooting knowledge within its IT team and maintain system availability during these massive scale technology implementations.

For more than 10 years, Sberbank has worked with Microsoft Services Premier Support to train its IT personnel, assist with audits, optimize its Microsoft software, and realize its strategic initiatives.

The Premier Support team organized training sessions to help the bank’s IT specialists efficiently assess and update the configuration of local PC environments. Premier Field Engineers helped to install Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager 2007 R3, synchronized external and internal modules of the software update system, and set up base and supplemental roles for managing employee PCs, viewing reports, and distributing software and updates. Now the Sberbank IT team can use System Center Configuration Manager to seamlessly and automatically update employee PCs and monitor update installations throughout the organization.

In 2011, Sberbank deployed Microsoft Exchange Server 2010 in some regional offices. Premier Support services helped to install and configure Exchange Server clusters in the bank’s divisions, and trained the bank’s IT specialists to manage the Exchange Server environment for high availability, giving them the knowledge necessary to create disaster recovery plans for individual branches.

To help the IT staff at Sberbank execute the planned upgrade and standardization of its banking application, Microsoft Services Premier Field Engineers collected and analyzed data about Active Directory configurations, and developed a plan to migrate existing local databases to Microsoft SQL Server 2008 R2. They then assessed and optimized the upgraded databases, and developed recommendations for each regional bank.

“The active participation of Microsoft Services Premier Support allowed us to carry out mission-critical projects that were unique in scale for Russia and for the world,” says Andrey Karlov, Deputy Chief of the Technical Support Office at the Sberbank IT Department. “We intend to leverage Premier Support to implement other massive-scale deployments such as Microsoft Lync and Windows 7 in all of our regional locations.”

By maintaining its multiyear relationship with Microsoft Services Premier Support, Sberbank enhanced its IT infrastructure, streamlined maintenance, reduced downtime, and created a more strategic IT environment.

Efficiently Enhanced Infrastructure
By working with Premier Support to establish Active Directory trust relationships between regional banks, and to proactively plan and execute the migration to SQL Server 2008, Sberbank carried out the centralization of its critical banking application in the shortest time possible. With training from Premier Support, the Sberbank IT team successfully used System Center Configuration Manager to create a unified environment for managing PCs in all its regional banks.

“Thanks to Microsoft Services Premier Support, we can constantly improve the performance of our IT infrastructure,” says Karlov. “Downtimes of business critical systems are shortening, while new technologies are deployed with minimum risks and expenses.”

Fast Maintenance, Less Downtime
With more knowledge and increased expertise, the IT team at Sberbank can perform system maintenance more efficiently, avoid unnecessary risk, and ensure seamless operation of the bank’s IT systems. For example, when a disk subsystem malfunction at a Sberbank regional bank required the quick recovery of an Exchange Server environment, the local IT staff carried out the task in just 1.5 hours, instead of the full day it could previously take.

“With the disaster recovery plan designed by Microsoft Services Premier Support, our team could restore email operation quickly, and the downtime was shortened from 24 hours to just an hour and a half,” says Dmitry Zlobin, Head of Central IT at VolgoVyatskiy Bank.

More Strategic IT
By relying on the Premier Support team’s deep understanding of its IT and business objectives, Sberbank can move forward to develop new IT systems, upgrade existing solutions, and implement global strategic initiatives with confidence. With advanced training for its IT staff, the bank can count on regular proactive assessments of key risks related to its IT infrastructure, faster problem solving, and the continued optimization of its mission-critical technologies.

Microsoft Services
Microsoft Services is a global team of professionals who are dedicated to helping customers maximize the value of their investment in Microsoft software. Microsoft Services touches customers more than 715 million times a year, helping them plan, deploy, support, and optimize our technologies. They also work closely with Microsoft Partners by sharing their technological expertise and product knowledge on a regular basis.

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Solution Overview

Organization Size: 252000 employees

Organization Profile

One of the leading banks in Russia and the Commonwealth of Independent States, Sberbank maintains a network of 17 regional head offices and 20,000 retail locations.

Software and Services
  • Microsoft Services Premier Support
  • Microsoft Services
  • Microsoft Exchange Server 2010
  • Microsoft SQL Server 2008 R2
  • Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager 2007 R3

Vertical Industries


Business Need
Support and Services