Staying ahead of the technology curve is now essential.
To stand out in the digital age, any bank needs state-of-the-art technologies that allow it to respond quickly and securely to customer demands. But with the mobile internet and financial technology (FinTech) giants beginning to throw their weight behind them – offering ever higher levels of data processing, analysis and customer service – the storage systems of data from many banks are pushed well beyond their limits.
Established in 2006, Unity Bank of Nigeria is one of the leading commercial banks in the country, so it is no stranger to the challenges of information and communications technology (ICT). Unity has a singular and unifying vision that is at the heart of everything it does: to be the retail bank of choice for all Nigerians. With banking transaction spikes causing core system performance bottlenecks across its legacy network, affecting service efficiency and customer experience, Unity knew it was time to act.
Performance issues are the top priority
Unity has two data centers: one is located in the capital, Abuja, and the other in the country’s largest city, Lagos. In 2014, the bank deployed storage and networking equipment from a range of traditional vendors. This legacy equipment has not stood up to the massive increases in transaction data of recent years. Devices in its legacy network faced slow transaction application response times, long service deployment times and a range of other issues, failing to meet the service performance requirements of the technology network. information (IT) from Unity.
Unwilling to let problems escalate, or make sacrifices that would impact customer experience, the bank committed in 2020 to upgrade its core system infrastructure, to meet development needs. business for the next five years and beyond.
“Given the long-term growth of the business, we had to act and revamp and upgrade our IT systems,” explained Ebenezer Kolawole, Executive Director and Chief Financial Officer (CFO) of Unity Bank. “Therefore, the first thing we wanted to do was to build a faster and more stable core banking system at the network and storage layers.”
Boosting IT Efficiency with Huawei, Today and Tomorrow
To find the best IT solution, Unity conducted proof-of-concept (PoC) testing with a range of vendors. The results speak for themselves: Huawei’s OceanStor Dorado all-flash storage outperformed competitive vendors in every area. For example, in the POC test environment, core banking system processing time was reduced from 10 hours to just 30 minutes, well beyond Unity’s expectations.
The Unity team wasn’t just impressed with Huawei’s technological prowess. Its customer service also stood out. “Huawei’s people are very much like their corporate culture says – always customer-centric,” Kolawole noted. Such benefits made Unity’s decision easier: Huawei’s solution was the best option to replace legacy storage systems and host back-end systems.
This decision is already bearing fruit as Unity continues its sustainability process. Huawei provided high-performance OceanStor Dorado systems to carry multiple core applications, such as the transaction database, to accelerate core data processing and analysis while reducing system latency. It also allowed more users to simultaneously access the transaction database, which greatly increased the number of transactions per second (TPS).
“Before deploying the OceanStor Dorado systems, all of our banks’ systems had to set aside one day per month to process monthly settlements. But with OceanStor Dorado, we can complete our monthly settlement in 1 hour instead of the 8 hours it used to take,” Kolawole noted. “This means that we no longer need to close the business for a day, which we had to do before. We are therefore impressed with the quality of Huawei’s all-flash storage technologies, which have made our computing systems much more reliable and efficient.
Unity’s new storage solutions haven’t just helped it overcome past challenges. They also help it to prepare for the future development of its activities. The bank has implemented active-passive disaster recovery (DR) between its Abuja and Lagos data centers, ensuring reliability of up to 99.9999%. And this deployment also provided room for future upgrade if needed, to active-active or geo-redundant disaster recovery at three data centers (3DCs). Additionally, OceanStor Dorado supports online performance and capacity expansion as demand grows, protecting Unity’s long-term investment and ensuring the bank can handle higher data loads. heavy over the next 5 to 10 years. This, together with Huawei’s three-year warranty, puts Unity in a good place for the future and ensures that the core applications Service Level Agreement (SLA) can always be met.
Huawei’s all-flash solution helps Unity create a cost-effective flash resource pool. It is also improving the performance of its IT infrastructure and helping it move towards more customer-centric services, including credit cards, online payments and mobile banking. Equipped with its upgrades, Unity will go further on its financial digital transformation path and create a future-proof new business landscape, from which it can claim success.
Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Huawei.
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