Virtualization generates a wealth of efficiencies for Sicoob Credicitrus

Supporting business growth and customer service with an IBM Storwize V7000 data management solution

Published on 30-Aug-2011

"Storage virtualization has provided us with better speed, enhanced performance, and virtually unlimited capacity. An intuitive, centralized information management system has enabled Credicitrus to expand, and easily manage an ever-increasing volume of customer data." - Gesiel Gomes, Technical Support Analyst, Cooperativa de Crédito Credicitrus – SICOOB CREDICITRUS

Customer:
Sicoob Credicitrus

Industry:
Banking

Deployment country:
Brazil

Solution:
Energy Efficiency, Information Integration, Infrastructure Simplification, Virtualization, Virtualization - Storage

IBM Business Partner:
C&C Solucoes em TI

Overview

Headquartered in Sao Paulo state, Cooperativa de Crédito Credicitrus - Sicoob Credicitrus is the largest credit cooperative in Brazil. Providing a wealth of financial services and advice, it serves over 44,000 cooperative members through a network of more than 45 branches also known as PACs (Cooperative Service Points). A fundamental tenet of the organization is to provide customers with a sustainable, first-rate service. This principle is a significant factor contributing to the recent, rapid organic growth of the company.

Business need:
Sicoob Credicitrus needed to modernize its information management system in order to cope with increasing data volumes and continue providing an excellent quality of service to its expanding customer-base.

Solution:
IBM partnered with Sicoob Credicitrus to implement an IBM® Storwize® V7000 virtualized data storage solution, making use of thin provisioning to maximize efficiency savings and reduce future IT expenditure.

Benefits:
Improved utilization by 30 percent; centralized and simplified management of storage; enabled reuse of existing storage hardware.

Case Study

Headquartered in Sao Paulo state, Cooperativa de Crédito Credicitrus - Sicoob Credicitrus is the largest credit cooperative in Brazil. Providing a wealth of financial services and advice, it serves over 44,000 cooperative members through a network of more than 45 branches also known as PACs (Cooperative Service Points). A fundamental tenet of the organization is to provide customers with a sustainable, first-rate service. This principle is a significant factor contributing to the recent, rapid organic growth of the company.

With this expansion and a consequent explosion in the volume of customer data, it became crucially important to improve and modernize the company’s information management systems. Sicoob Credicitrus was aware that effective and efficient information storage and security is vital in providing quality service to customers. As Marcelo Martins, IT Manager at Sicoob Credicitrus, explains, “Data processing in Credicitrus is hugely important—perhaps one of the cooperative's key differentiators. When we process information, we learn more about our cooperative members: knowing what our customers’ needs are enables us to create the right products and services to help them in a fair and effective way.”

“With an ever-expanding customer base, we needed to continue to ensure the utmost security, integrity, access and availability in storing all critical customer information,” notes Martins. “IBM helped us to modernize and innovate our entire IT infrastructure in a way that would allow for the continued growth of our business and support of our customers.”

Centralizing information management

A cornerstone of the modernization strategy was storage virtualization. To transform the way it managed and accessed information, Sicoob Credicitrus partnered with IBM, with which it already enjoyed a productive, long-term relationship. Gesiel Gomes, Technical Support Analyst, recalls, “IBM really understood our business need and it could see that data management and better data organization was paramount for our organization.” Having analyzed the scenario, storage virtualization was quickly identified to be the best option. IBM helped Sicoob Credicitrus to implement a Storwize 7000 solution: “We already relied on virtualized servers, so storage virtualization became the logical next step. The storage virtualization solution that IBM implemented enabled more efficient data organization—it delivered user-friendly accessibility and information management,” reports Gomes. “Easy integration of VMware with the IBM solution also ensured a smooth transition.”

With a highly intuitive, interactive interface, the V7000 solution provided centralized data storage, enabling easy management from a single, central location. “The possibility of having data on multiple devices all managed and operated through a single platform was a significant attraction for us—it’s a simpler, easier approach to information management,” explains Gomes. “From a business strategy perspective, the ability to quickly produce charts that analyze the data storage landscape and identify trends in terms of performance and capacity planning enables us to better react to our customers’ needs.”

The adoption of the Storwize V7000 technology has brought significant efficiency savings to Sicoob Credicitrus’ IT infrastructure. Thin provisioning means that the team can now manage an ever-increasing volume of data at a lower cost through better utilization of disk space, with much less disruption. “We’ve benefited from much more efficient data storage—saving us around 30 percent in disk space—since IBM implemented the V7000,” reveals Gomes. As Infrastructure, Security and Networks Analyst, Marcio Soares Bailão further explains, “With dynamic provisioning, our storage space simply adapts to growing demand, using only the required amount of space to start with and growing dynamically when necessary. Clearly, the additional advantage of this efficiency is in the financial cost savings we make by not having to invest in new equipment until we really need to.”

As IT Manager, Marcelo Martins, observes, “Storage virtualization makes good sense to us from a ‘green’ standpoint. The V7000 makes use of all our existing storage hardware—another great aspect of IBM’s solution.” This was an important point of alignment for the alliance: “The search for smarter, more innovative solutions is an ideal very much shared between Sicoob Credicitrus and IBM, and I think that has certainly contributed to the success of our partnership.”

Business benefits of virtualization

The solution that IBM implemented with the help of its business partner, C&C Solucoes em TI, enabled Sicoob Credicitrus to expand its databases in a secure, sustainable way, meeting and exceeding the requirements of a rapidly-growing business. Without user intervention, the Storwize V7000 can analyze capacity, detect idle space and use this storage in the most efficient way.

Virtualization of data storage has brought smarter, more intuitive, centralized information management. In the past, data migration was a challenge, necessitating the scheduling of maintenance windows to effect even minor alterations. By contrast, now Sicoob Credicitrus can move data at any time with no disruption to the business or to customers.

For Marcelo Martins, the benefits are clear: “Better data management has given us a better understanding of our customers—their needs and aspirations—enabling us to customize our products and services to their requirements.” Another mutual value shared between IBM and Sicoob Credicitrus: “Technology should not be used to eliminate interaction with the customer—we don’t do that. By contrast, IBM has enabled us to get closer to our cooperative members, and that personal customer care is absolutely fundamental to our business. I think that’s what sets us apart.”

Products and services used

IBM products and services that were used in this case study.

Hardware:
Storage, Storage: Storwize V7000

Software:
Tivoli Storage Manager

Legal Information

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