Published on 01-Dec-2009
"Two key requirements were responsible for the implementation of the IBM Cognos solution: on the one hand, the monthly creation of standard reports at all control-related levels, and on the other, the generation of data models produced each month for detailed analysis. All requirements were implemented in an ideal manner. " - Mag. Gernot Schwarz, Retail Sales Controlling
The Austrian branches of the Bank Austria were already using an older IBM Congos solution, so it was just a matter of upgrading the software and implementing a roll-out in the bank’s new German branches.
Implement a contemporary, powerful analysis and reporting solution to improve reporting to the parent company after a company merger.
An IBM Cognos 8 BI system deployed throughout Bank Austria for a cohesive, group-wide business intelligence solution.
Reduction of time and costs; quicker and more flexible action in response to market changes; better reporting to the parent company; flexible, efficient ad hoc reporting; controlling content now consolidated on a single platform.
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Bank Austria AG is the clear number one in the Austrian banking industry. With a balance sheet total of around €145 billion, Bank Austria is about double the size of the next largest bank. Bank Austria works with four of Austria’s five largest companies, and one in five Austrians is a Bank Austria customer. With 429 branches, the Bank Austria Group is present throughout Austria, the leader in many business lines and the market leader in corporate customer business with about 34,000 business customers.
Bank Austria was in an excellent initial position to benefit from EU expansion. As a result of its merger with the German Hypo Vereinsbank (HBV), Bank Austria took over banking interests in the accession countries. Bank Austria is now one of the leading banks in Central and Eastern Europe with nearly 900 branches in 11 countries.
The merger between Bank Austria and HVB meant that the German branches were not using the same business intelligence (BI) processes and tools as the original Bank Austria branches. The Italian parent company, UniCredit, required joint reporting from the Austrian and German branches. With IBM® Cognos® 8 BI installed in both countries’ branches, Bank Austria knew it could comply with this requirement.As a result of the current financial market crisis, another particularly relevant requirement had surfaced. Bank Austria needed a system with an independent and flexible response to be able to produce efficient ad-hoc reporting whenever it was required.
As early as 1996, Bank Austria AG had introduced the IBM Cognos PowerPlay® BI solution. Initially, the product was used to analyse the business customer information, and then, after the merger with German HVB, also for private customer controlling, which has now been divided into corporate and retail controlling. Both of these applications run on the same hardware and software platform.
An additional BI project was set up in 1998, which involved updating to IBM Cognos Series 7. This software update has now been followed by the installation of IBM Cognos 8 BI. Bank Austria’s hardware was also updated in parallel. The IBM Cognos application runs on a distributed installation with separate Microsoft® Windows® gateway and application servers, and the content store is installed on a Microsoft SQL Server®. In addition, a separate database server and two applications are used to distribute the IBM Cognos solution software. A proprietary Bank Austria budgeting solution is currently networked with the IBM Cognos analysis and reporting solution.
The bank’s next challenge was to introduce the IBM Cognos solution in the HVB branches. During the integration of the central German and Austrian units, Gerhard Lang was appointed as Retail Sales Controlling departmental manager for Austria and Germany. The first joint project is the introduction of IBM Cognos 8 BI in HVB with the support of the Austrian colleagues. The German hardware and software is being provided by UGIS Deutschland, and the roll-out is set to begin in 2010. By using IBM Cognos 8 BI in HVB, it is possible to implement the joint reporting required by UniCredit both in Austria and in Germany.
Bank Austria is responsible for installing the software, with the occasional support of IBM Cognos Professional Services, and a workshop took place with the German IBM Cognos colleagues for the conversion from IBM Cognos Series 7 to IBM Cognos 8 BI. For the future, Bank Austria is considering a corporate licence due to the large number of over 1000 users.
With the latest project complete, Bank Austria will have implemented group-wide use of the BI solution in Austria and Germany, reducing reporting and analysis costs throughout the group.
The updated BI solution has been well accepted by all Bank Austria’s users and is highly valued, in particular due to its new, additional functions. The bank’s BI users are mainly the Retail Sales Controlling department, and employees in the Mass Market, Affluent and Small Business segments. In the sales regions, it is the quality managers (regional controllers) who use IBM Cognos 8 BI as power users.
Reporting to the parent company is now uniform, and can be achieved much more quickly and at a lower cost than previously. This speed and flexibility are also apparent in the bank’s ad hoc reporting, particularly important in the current economic climate.
With all controlling content consolidated to a single platform, data discrepancies are a problem of the past – the bank can now have total confidence in its data.
About IBM Cognos BI and Performance Management
IBM Cognos business intelligence (BI) and performance management solutions deliver world-leading enterprise planning, consolidation and BI software, support and services to help companies plan, understand and manage financial and operational performance. IBM Cognos solutions bring together technology, analytical applications, best practices, and a broad network of partners to give customers an open, adaptive and complete performance solution. Over 23,000 customers in more than 135 countries around the world choose IBM Cognos solutions.
Products and services used
IBM products and services that were used in this case study.
Cognos 8 Business Intelligence
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