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Keystone Bank, IBM tie smart computing deal to drive business transformation

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By Technology Times Reporter

Lagos. April 4, 2013: Keystone Bank says an ongoing and successful transformation of its business as a result of its acquisition of new technology from IBM, is ushering in a new era of innovative service delivery culture, and customer-centric operations of the Nigerian bank. 

Keystone Bank says it decided to make technology the key driver and a cornerstone of its business transformation and growth agenda moving forward
Keystone Bank says it decided to make technology the key driver and a cornerstone of its business transformation and growth agenda moving forward

Keystone Bank says it deployed a range of IBM software and hardware systems and technology solutions enabling the bank to significantly upgrade its computing and service delivery capabilities.

According to Keystone, its back-end operational processes have significantly improved to higher efficiency levels hitherto unseen in the history of the bank and its ability to provide service to internal and external stakeholders has been strengthened.

“The new IBM systems deliver a 90% increase in process performance and have resulted in a 60% reduction in operating costs for the bank”, Keystones says in a statement.

According to the bank, within the first month of implementing the IBM solution, the bank’s end-of-day processing time for its daily customer transactions reduced from between seven to eight hours to less than three hours.

Its IBM-enabled ‘computing capacity’ has also resulted in faster turnaround times for interdepartmental transactions, and boosted its ability to meet and exceed regulatory and customer obligations, it adds.

Phillip Ikeazor, CEO, Keystone Bank says the bank decided to make technology the key driver and a cornerstone of its business transformation and growth agenda in 2012, hence its decision to deploy smarter banking concepts and principles.

As a result of this initiative, and investment in IT, the bank’s in-house systems, processes and capabilities have been overhauled, he adds.

“Our decision to go with IBM’s technology offering has paid off handsomely for the bank. Almost overnight, we experienced very significant cost savings and improvements in our data and transactions processing times,” Ikeazor adds.

According to him, “IBM provided Keystone Bank with superior technology, a better strategic roadmap going forward and lower cost of operations. Our goal of enabling our personnel to deliver prompt, cost effective and efficient service to customers and help transform our market perception and the way we function as a bank is well on course.”

Keystone Bank is one of several Nigerian-owned banks on the sales block for possible acquisition by investors. The bank’s current management team was appointed by Nigeria’s apex bank and industry regulator, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) in 2011.

Taiwo Otiti , Country General Manager for West Africa, IBM add that, “we provided a scalable, bespoke suite of systems and solutions for Keystone Bank, and the best-in-class smarter banking technology that IBM deployed and implemented for the bank will cater for its current and future data management and transaction processing requirements.”

Otiti adds that, “Banking and technology have become inseparable. No financial institution can survive today’s harsh market conditions without a robust technology platform.”

Keystone Bank joins more than 26 banks across Africa that are working with IBM to drive the growth of the financial services sector in their respective markets. IBM is rapidly extending its capabilities to a growing number of clients across the continent where it has locations in more than 20 countries.

IBM says it provided the bank with IBM Power 795 and Power 770 enterprise-class servers.  Supporting the bank’s mission critical core banking, database and information management applications, the new Power Systems severs run IBM’s AIX operating system, PowerVM Virtualization technology and PowerHA software for disaster resiliency. Additionally, IBM provided Keystone with high performance IBM System Storage DS8800 to meet the banks’ growing data and storage needs.

The agreement was facilitated by local business partner, Net Solutions Ltd and the IBM systems went live in 2012.

IBM recently announced two key banking agreements: the delivery of a state-of-the-art data centre for Ghana’s Fidelity Bank and the successful implementation of the core banking systems of Kinshasa-based Rawbank, the largest bank in the Democratic Republic of Congo, as it sought to grow its customer base in the largely un-banked Central African country.

Smart technology decision making will increasingly be the differentiator in the continent’s financial markets, adds Otiti, who confirmed that many of Nigeria’s 20 banks currently run on IBM’s enterprise server systems.

Five of Kenya’s leading banks (Credit Bank, Co-operative Bank, Family Bank, National Bank of Kenya and National Industrial Credit Bank) also recently turned to IBM to help them deliver world-class IT solutions tailored for their markets.

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