IBM announced a series of customer engagements in the big data, analytics and cloud arenas that signify the company’s commitment to take its cloud strategy global.
For instance, IBM announced that Ujjivan Financial Services, a microfinance company in Bangalore, India, has selected IBM’s private cloud resilience services to ensure continuous business operations for its clients’ financial transactions. Under the terms of the agreement, IBM’s private cloud will help create a dedicated infrastructure for its primary setup. The cloud-based Virtualized Server Recovery (VSR) offering will provide the company with a fully managed, around-the-clock solution designed to support application continuity, reduce business expenses and data loss.
Ujjivan focuses on urban areas across India. Established in 2005, Ujjivan has 375 branches, more than 5,000 employees and 1.3 million customers. The company provides a range of loans and services for business, education, housing and livestock, among others, to the urban and semi-urban poor, especially women.
The company approached IBM for a managed cloud service to support its always-on operations. With IBM’s Cloud VSR solution, Ujjivan will be able to provide its customers with faster and streamlined recovery and manage its complete IT application infrastructure through a remote monitoring center in Bangalore.
“Uninterrupted customer engagement is imperative for businesses to succeed in today’s market environment,” said Samit Ghosh, managing director of Ujjivan Finance, in a statement. “Protection and access to the company’s data during service interruptions and unforeseen incidents can make or break a company. IBM’s proven expertise in cloud-based virtual recovery provides us a highly resilient infrastructure that will help us mitigate downtime risks and ultimately ensure that we are able to meet the around the clock needs of their customers.”
IBM’s Cloud VSR is a managed service that offers automation to help enterprises recover applications, servers and cloud-based data in the event of an outage or disaster. With VSR, Ujjivan will be able to replicate entire systems in real-time including system files, databases, applications and user data in a way that is independent of the make and model of the underlying hardware. In addition, Ujjivan is now able to plan for the wide range of issues that could affect operations. In the event of unexpected downtime, Ujjivan can gain 100 percent functionality within minutes as opposed to an average of eight to 12 hours.
“In the last few years, cloud technologies have rapidly transitioned to a strategic requirement for organizations to ensure business continuity and resilience,” said Lingraju Sawkar, director of Integrated Technology Services at Global Technology Services for IBM India, in a statement. “Through IBM’s VSR solution, businesses can significantly alleviate their exposure to data loss, decrease server downtimes and thus allow for faster turnaround during times of disaster.”
Meanwhile, IBM also announced that Westpac New Zealand, another financial services institution, has selected IBM’s private cloud technology to support its goal to be New Zealand’s leading digital bank. The new five-year agreement is part of an extensive services and technology contract that includes Westpac migrating some of its IT systems into IBM’s state-of-the-art Auckland data center, enabling enhanced customer service.
IBM Serves Up Cloud, Big Data, Analytics Globally
The agreement supports Westpac as it embarks on a transformation from a traditional bank to one that uses cloud computing enabling it to address key market trends such as social and mobile adoption to influence the way consumers prefer to bank today. Westpac is also one of IBM’s long-term strategic outsourcing clients.
With almost 4,700 employees looking after 1.27 million customers, Westpac is one of New Zealand’s largest banks, IBM said. By adopting IBM private cloud capabilities to develop and test tools within a dedicated environment, Westpac will be able to deploy new online and mobile banking services faster and across multiple devices and platforms in response to customer demand, IBM said.
“The platform provides a robust and advanced infrastructure enabling a seamless online banking experience across multiple devices,” said Jason Millett, Westpac’s interim CIO, in a statement. “This supports our goal of being New Zealand’s leading digital bank. In addition, IBM’s local and global expertise, commitment to work within our regulatory framework, deep knowledge of our business and industry, and responsive commercial models provide a market-leading offering that can support our changing needs over time.”
Westpac will also optimize its IT infrastructure by renewing IBM mainframe services, midrange and storage platforms and migrating some services, IBM said.
“Westpac’s underlying IT systems must operate uninterrupted, be secure and be able to support future needs as customers increasingly engage on mobiles and tablet devices,” said Rob Lee, IBM New Zealand managing director, in a statement. “Our relationship with Westpac New Zealand is one of our longest and closest, marked by a high degree of innovation and collaboration. We continue to invest in skills and advanced technologies including our cloud solutions to help deliver on their vision to be New Zealand’s leading digital bank.”
IBM New Zealand launched its hybrid cloud in March to offer local customers greater visibility, transparency and control of data security and placement.
In yet another deal, IBM announced it has signed a five-year multimillion dollar agreement with Veda, a provider of credit information and analysis in Australia and New Zealand. The agreement extends Veda’s existing outsourcing relationship with IBM, which continues to provide Veda with support that includes cloud services.
“The contract reflects the deep partnership between IBM and Veda, and the value that the partnership has delivered to our business,” said Veda’s CEO, Nerida Caesar, in a statement. “Being a business based on using data and analytics to provide insights, we are constantly looking at the best way to manage and deliver the most accurate insights to our clients. To this end, we have already deployed one of our systems that supports comprehensive credit reporting (CCR) on IBM’s flexible infrastructure.”
Veda’s customers range from financial services organizations, utility companies and telecommunications providers, with its core product offering being the provision of credit reports in relation to individuals and businesses. It carries credit information on 20 million individuals and 5.7 million commercial entities in Australia and New Zealand.
“The ability to support clients during phases of critical growth in a complex business environment is what differentiates IBM as the leading infrastructure and cloud service provider,” said Jeffrey Rhoda, general manager of IBM Australia and New Zealand, in a statement.