The Chembur Nagarik Sahakari Bank (CNSB), meaning the Chembur Citizen’s Cooperative Bank, is a 30-year-old cooperative bank, operating in the Chembur suburb of Mumbai. It has six branches spread across different locations in Mumbai - five in Chembur and one in Navi Mumbai, a newly emerging suburb of Mumbai.
The bank has consistently maintained 'A class' RBI Audit Rating over the last 25 years with close to zero percent NPA over the last five years since its introduction. In spite of its relatively small size, or perhaps because of that, the bank has not been averse to using information technology (IT) to improve its operations. In fact, CNSB was the first cooperative bank to be computerized way back in 1994.
Challenges with Existing Application Systems Infrastructure While the core banking system was still under implementation, the bank was facing a number of challenges in its back-end, non-customer oriented business operations. The existing reporting systems were disconnected and distributed. The data was managed and processed locally and then send to the Head Office by means of CDs or floppies every evening. It was then fed into a local application either manually or using a software utility. This data was used to generate the required reports every morning before starting the banking operations.
Absence of Sharing Information Across Branches: To start with, one of the biggest challenges that CNSB faced was that any information or circular from RBI that had to be broadcast to their branches could not be incorporated and monitored from a central location.
Disconnected Disparate Systems: As the data is ‘disconnected’, and comes from disparate systems, there is a high probability that data is delayed to the central location. This could eventually delay the daily report, leading to untimely response of the daily RBI regulation.
No Integration with Core Banking System: As of today the database structure in Head Office is not in compliance with the structure at the Core Banking System. Integration of data from all the branches does not exist.
Absence of Centralized MIS Reporting System: Above all, non-availability of an integrated online system has made it difficult for the bank to consolidate the data and generate a report with the quickest turnaround time. The system also does not give a provision to the decision makers of the bank to take decisions based on certain RBI regulations.
For example, according to an RBI policy at any given point of time the amount of liquidity in the bank should be as per the RBI standards. If it is less then the bank needs to get the same to the required level first thing in the morning. The bank can achieve the RBI set standards by either selling of shares, gold, or other reserves. And this requires some kind of What-If-Analysis as part of business intelligence.
Manual Systems were Redundant: Further, the bank employs manual systems for the day-to-day operations like leave application management, daily expenses management, asset management and other operations, automations of which can improve the productivity of the bank’s team.
"The highly regularized and competitive cooperative banking sector needs effective knowledge sharing with efficient business process management for both internal as well as customer centric operations,” says J.H. Bhoir, General Manager, CNSB. “Our vision towards Paperless Office demands that we optimize our knowledge resource by effective communication and collaboration among our employees to offer best services to our customers.”
To increase collaboration in its working environment, CNSB decided to create a new solution based on Microsoft Office System 2007. The proposed system for CNSB was to be developed using the features of Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007 to develop the portal connecting the head office and all the branches managing the operations and the data centrally from the head office.
J.H. Bhoir, General Manager, CNSB adds, “We decided to adopt a solution built on the Office System, which delivers simplified automated business processes and workflow management, secured documents and records management with efficient communication and collaboration at reduced operational costs."
MOSS 2007 helps to make better-informed decisions by presenting business-critical information in one central location. The bank employees can now go to a single place, a Web portal, to access the business intelligence solution, eliminating the need to maintain separate access points and databases.
“The main reason for our choice was the flexibility offered by Microsoft Office SharePoint Portal Server 2007,” says S. S. Funde, Director and Head - Computer Committee, CNSB. “The enormous range of options for integration with applications from third-party suppliers was also a significant factor in our decision-making.”
Role Based Intranet Portals
The bank implemented a collaboration portal using Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007. The portal has two subcomponents: Business Scorecards and Key Performance Indicators (KPIs), and Automated Circular Management and Distribution. Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007, an integrated suite of server capabilities, improves organizational effectiveness by providing comprehensive content management and enterprise search, accelerating shared business processes, and facilitating information-sharing across boundaries for better business insight.
Using the role based security of Microsoft Office SharePoint Portal Server 2007, the bank can control and make only relevant information available to the respective branches. The portal automates circular distribution and management system. This ensures that relevant information reaches the right audience.
MIS Reporting System
In addition, the bank also implemented a MIS Reporting System, which enables centralized information management through seamless data exchange across disparate systems.
The head office has deployed Microsoft SQL Server 2005 as the database which hosts processed data from the Branch Banking System across all branches that are pulled using the ETL (Extract, Transform, Load) features of SQL Server 2005. ETL is the process by which data is extracted from various source, transformed from multiple sources into a single format and then loaded or presented to the end user.
CNSB uses SQL Server 2005 Integration Services (SSIS), the ETL tool for SQL Server 2005, to gather and integrate the data that they need. SQL Server Integration Services, a data integration platform, can integrate data from any source. It provides a scalable and extensible platform that empowers development teams to build, manage, and deploy integration solutions to meet unique integration needs.
The solution uses the Extract, Transform, and Load (ETL) feature of SQL Server 2005 to pull data from their branch offices stored in SQL Server 2000 and Btrieve databases and then store the consolidated data in SQL Server 2005 in the Head Office. This will enable the bank to pull out various consolidated reports.
Once the data is collated at a central location, using the ETL feature of SQL, the data is then made available in a Microsoft Office Excel 2007 Workbook (one sheet per branch). This is simply done by using the Pivot Table feature of Office Excel to pull in the data. These pivot tables are used to make a consolidated sheet of a MIS report using some pre-determined formulas, which are given by the bank. The Excel sheet is then published on a given SharePoint Site and can be viewed using Excel Web Access. The sheet is viewed using a browser, just like any other site. The system can also provide the bank to build business intelligence into their reporting services using What-If-Analysis feature of Excel Services to arrive at strategic decisions. Apart from this the branch offices can use some level of customization on the Excel 2007 client interface to view reports or circulars published on the Web site.
Paperless Office Framework – “DIGITAL PAPER”
The bank has also eliminated out¬dated manual and paper-based processes. It has incorporated business process systems that encompass the day-to-day working of the bank in MOSS 2007. These include, Leave Application Management, Asset Management, and Expense Reimbursement Management. The proposed system will be installed at the head office and all information and reports pertaining to the branches will be accessed and controlled by using the role based security system of Office SharePoint Server 2007.
The new solution was deployed with support from Microsoft Solution Partner Akna Infotech Private Limited. The solution, which takes advantage of new functionality in Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007, allows employees to create shared workspaces on their own initiative and invite selected team members to share documents quickly and effectively online. Apart from enhancing project management, the solution allows employees to work together effectively from any branch. This system gives the bank the ability to connect to services offered by third party applications supporting their main business like, loan origination and management system, based on Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 and integrated with Office SharePoint Services 2007 and other complementary services. The pilot solution was developed and implemented in a record time frame of six weeks. After realizing the benefits, the bank is now looking at rolling out the solution across all its branches with centralized management from its administrative office.
Once the new solution was implemented, the bank immediately noticed a number of benefits. The new solution will allow employees to work effectively in the digital environment, improves content management and workflow, increases business insight, and empowers employees to find information and share knowledge.
Saves Six Working Days Per Month
“After the implementation of the new solution, the bank has been able to reduce the time frame in regulatory and management reporting,” says J. H. Bhoir. “Earlier collating information from all branches used to take seven days. Now the information is available at the end of the day.” With the new portal solution bank employees can perform remotely without waiting to get back to the bank, thereby saving valuable time.
The bank is experiencing secured and controlled distribution of information through the implementation of organizational role base portal for various hierarchical staff. Also, SQL Server Reporting Services has implemented a flexible, role-based security model to protect reports and reporting resources. User access is now safeguarded through roles-based security, file, and network encryption. The product includes extensible interfaces for integrating other security models as well.
Elimination of Manual Business Processes
CNSB’s vision towards paperless office demands that we optimize our knowledge resource by effective communication and collaboration among our employees to offer best services to our customers. “We have reduced the need for printed versions of documents thereby significantly reducing the paper handling and communication costs by 20 percent,” explains S. S. Funde, Director and Head-Computer Committee, CNSB. With the implementation of paperless office framework there has been elimination of manual business process for day-to-day administrative tasks. Reduced manual processing will increase employee productivity and the efficiency of work processes, which, in turn, will boost knowledge sharing.
Increased Work Force Efficiency
The ability to support a streamlined workflow and better matter management helps the employees to work more efficiently. “Having an accessible place for everyone to search saves us time and frustration,” says J. H. Bhoir. “We no longer have to keep track of information, nor do we waste time hunting down missing documents. As a result, we can provide greater value to our customers.” Percentage increase in efficiency due to time saving is about 30 % as compared to previous manual processes handling.
Document Management Improves Processes
With the implementation of the new solution, bank employees will be able to store all their documents in one place and call them up from any desktop. By implementing SharePoint Server 2007, CNSB has gained a solution that not only consolidates company data and standardises its processes, but also manages the entire information cycle.
About Akna Infotech Private Limited
Akna Infotech is a key company engineered with the key focus on Innovation through Training, Consultancy and Software Development. It provides solutions for a dynamic environment where in business and technology strategies merge. Akna Infotech intends to translate its innovative approach through technology in every field of human endeavor, thereby delivering new opportunities. It provides customized solutions of unmatched quality with reliable technical backup. Solutions of Akna greatly simplify business administration and operation.
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