Zions Bancorporation

Flexible, high-performance back-office solutions delivering exceptional front-line customer service

Published on 20-Dec-2013

"zEnterprise positions us to provide anything the business needs both now and in the future. We would probably not be in business without System z supporting our core processes." - Toby C. Wolf, Vice President, Group Manager – Mainframe Operations Services, Zions Bancorporation

Customer:
Zions Bancorporation

Industry:
Banking

Deployment country:
United States

Solution:
Cloud Computing, Enabling Business Flexibility, High Availability , System z Software, Virtualization, Virtualization - Server

Overview

Zions Bancorporation (Zions) of Salt Lake City, UT, operates more than 480 full-service banking offices in Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Texas, Utah and Washington. This geographically dispersed company focuses on providing truly local management teams with community identities, supported by ferociously efficient IT services based at the head office.

Business need:
As Zions Bancorporation thrived and grew, sheer volume of work threatened to overwhelm the company’s back-office, potentially damaging the bank’s reputation for outstanding customer service.

Solution:
Accelerated key business processes up to 33 percent by migrating core banking applications to an IBM® zEnterprise® BC12, and readied the company for web and mobile apps in its next expansion phase.

Benefits:
Faster back-office processes enable the bank to deliver excellent front-line customer service, enhance its reputation and grow the business without the need to add technicians or raise operating costs.

Case Study

Zions Bancorporation (Zions) of Salt Lake City, UT, operates more than 480 full-service banking offices in Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Texas, Utah and Washington. This geographically dispersed company focuses on providing truly local management teams with community identities, supported by ferociously efficient IT services based at the head office.

Meeting the demands of growth
Zions has acquired 150 branches in the past seven years—a 46 percent increase—leading to a huge jump in the number of customers and transactions. Despite heroic management of back-office data workload, it had become clear that the bank’s existing IT systems had truly run out of capacity. With the mobile channel set to take off in a major way, driving further massive growth in anytime, anywhere transactions, Zions knew it was time to act.

Toby C. Wolf, Vice President and Group Manager for Mainframe Operations Services at Zions Bancorporation, says, “All the data processing for branches, teller systems, transactions, proofing, exceptions, returns and more runs on the IBM zEnterprise platform. We had been leveraging the workload management capabilities of zEnterprise to ensure that service level agreements were never impacted, but we could see that the batch windows of some critical processes were starting to elongate.

Turning to IBM for strategic business solutions
Having wrung the last possible ounce of performance and capacity from its existing systems, Zions looked to upgrade its zEnterprise landscape and enrolled in the IBM Early Support Program (ESP) for the IBM zEnterprise BC12 server.

Wolf says, “Engaging with the IBM zEnterprise team gave us great insight into the latest technology and its capabilities, including future developments. Ultimately, it led to Zions being one of the first companies into production on the IBM zEnterprise BC12.

“With ESP, Zions received very competitive pricing from IBM that actually cut our three-year operating costs, and the decision was a no-brainer. With a neutral impact on the operating budget, we obtained the newest machine from IBM that almost instantly solved our immediate challenges and offered a genuine strategic solution.”
Zions implemented the IBM zEnterprise BC12 and migrated some 79 core banking applications such as deposits, loan processing applications, account statements, reconcilement and exception processing.

Reducing the total costs of operation
The new IBM zEnterprise BC12 environment brings advanced systems and network management functionality into Zions, helping to reduce total costs of ownership. Zions plans to transfer additional workload to the platform, and even as the total processor capacity has grown the operational costs have fallen, creating a direct competitive advantage.

Wolf says, “In many IT areas, staff numbers have increased, but we have not increased our technical staffing for the IBM zEnterprise platform for five years, even though we have more than doubled the processing capacity—additionally, we have not increased operating costs in the past five years.

Zions is currently looking at using the IBM zEnterprise BC12 as its core platform for a wide range of customer-facing applications using cloud computing concepts. To enable these developments, Zions will create virtual Linux servers on the IBM z/VM® hypervisor on the Integrated Facility for Linux (IFL) engines of its IBM zEnterprise BC12. This will allow new Linux servers to be available within minutes of a business request, calling off computing resources as required in a private cloud computing environment.

Wolf says, “Though we have not started moving these new Linux workloads to the IBM zEnterprise BC12 platform yet, our roadmap for next year includes a proof of concept to demonstrate the capabilities to the business users. This kind of flexibility shows that zEnterprise positions us to provide anything the business needs both now and in the future. We would probably not be in business without System z supporting our core processes.”

For more information
To learn more about IBM System z solutions, contact your IBM sales representative or IBM Business Partner, or visit us at: ibm.com/software/systemz

Products and services used

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

Hardware:
System z, System z: Integrated Facility for Linux (IFL), System z: System z running Linux, System z: System z running z/VM, System z: zEnterprise BC12 (zBC12)

Software:
z/VM, CICS Transaction Server, CICS Transaction Server for z/OS V5.1, Rational Development and Test Environment for System z

Operating system:
Linux, z/VM

Legal Information

© Copyright IBM Corporation 2013. IBM Corporation. Software Group. Route 100. Somers, NY 10589. Produced in the United States of America. November 2013. IBM, the IBM logo, ibm.com, CICS, Rational, zEnterprise, and z/VM are trademarks of International Business Machines Corp., registered in many jurisdictions worldwide. Other product and service names might be trademarks of IBM or other companies. A current list of IBM trademarks is available on the web at “Copyright and trademark information” at ibm.com/legal/copytrade.shtml Linux is a registered trademark of Linus Torvalds in the United States, other countries, or both. This document is current as of the initial date of publication and may be changed by IBM at any time. Not all offerings are available in every country in which IBM operates. The client examples cited are presented for illustrative purposes only. Actual performance results may vary depending on specific configurations and operating conditions. It is the user’s responsibility to evaluate and verify the operation of any other products or programs with IBM products and programs. THE INFORMATION IN THIS DOCUMENT IS PROVIDED “AS IS” WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, INCLUDING WITHOUT ANY WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY, FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE AND ANY WARRANTY OR CONDITION OF NON-INFRINGEMENT. IBM products are warranted according to the terms and conditions of the agreements under which they are provided.