Bankia gains innovative insights to boost competitiveness

Staying ahead of the competition with a Smarter Computing framework from IBM

Published on 19-Nov-2012

"The support provided by IBM has been fundamental in allowing us to master the challenges we faced during the project. The IBM solution was one of the leading elements that helped us to achieve our goals. IBM has been our fellow traveler on all the important stages of this journey, and we definitely want them to stay at our side in the future." - Maria José Álvarez Tapias, Director of the Quality Management Systems Department, Bankia

Customer:
Bankia

Industry:
Banking

Deployment country:
Spain

Solution:
Energy Efficiency, Smarter Computing, System z Software, Virtualization, Virtualization - Server

Overview

Bankia was established in 2011 as a joint venture of seven Spanish banks: Caja Madrid, Bancaja, Caja Insular de Canarias, Caja Ávila, Caja Laietana, Caja Segovia and Caja Rioja. The group has more than 11 million customers and is the third-largest Spanish banking group in terms of total assets.

Business need:
Founded in 2011 as a joint venture of seven Spanish banks, Bankia wants to become one of the most competitive and trusted financial groups in Spain. Bankia’s strategy is to win the information war to improve business operational decisions and provide superior customer service.

Solution:
To analyze huge quantities of business, market and customer data in near-real time, Bankia chose to implement IBM® InfoSphere® software to collect and integrate data from multiple sources, running on a highly scalable IBM System z® mainframe platform.

Benefits:
Enables the real-time integration of data seamlessly and securely to provide trusted information for crucial analysis on ever-increasing and rapidly changing data. Facilitates monitoring and mitigates risk. Boosts productivity by an estimated 400 percent.

Case Study

To read a Spanish version of this case study, please click here

Bankia was established in 2011 as a joint venture of seven Spanish banks: Caja Madrid, Bancaja, Caja Insular de Canarias, Caja Ávila, Caja Laietana, Caja Segovia and Caja Rioja. The group has more than 11 million customers and is the third-largest Spanish banking group in terms of total assets.

Bankia’s business model is based on a multi-brand and multi-channel management strategy, covering every market segment, from private individuals and small companies to large corporations and public institutions.

Brand new bank, brand new challenges
As a joint venture of some of the major Spanish banking corporations, it was essential for Bankia to maintain a reputation for excellent customer service if it was to compete with rivals who enjoyed long standing client bases. Bankia needed to gain the confidence of potential clients, convert them into loyal customers and maximize customer satisfaction. Ensuring an exceptional banking experience depended to a large degree on Bankia’s ability to manage customer data and guarantee fast response times to customer demands.

As a result of the merger, Bankia had inherited a large number of disparate systems, which made it difficult to manage customer data as a single information resource. Without a unified view of customer information and standardized processes, Bankia would be unable to effectively cope with the demands of the business and ensure high levels of service. The company needed a way to streamline its processes without completely redesigning its information infrastructure.

Creating a smarter banking platform
Bankia’s IT team decided to integrate and consolidate its information resources to a single, centralized platform. The team selected the existing IT infrastructure at Caja Madrid to form the core of this complex project.

Maria José Álvarez Tapias, Director of the Quality Management Systems Department at Bankia says, “We chose Caja Madrid as our starting point because its IT systems offered us the ability to scale to meet our growing needs. In fact, the Caja Madrid IT environment was based on IBM System z technology, which would enable the massive scalability and resilience that we required.”

Bankia engaged IBM Software Services to design a cost-effective platform that could meet the business need for standardized and streamlined data management. Maria José Álvarez Tapias explains. “We have had a long-term and close relationship with IBM, and we trust that the IBM team knows us and our business to the fullest. When facing this ambitious project, who would be better than IBM to understand our needs?”

IBM proposed IBM InfoSphere DataStage software running on the IBM System z servers. IBM InfoSphere DataStage is a core module of IBM InfoSphere Information Server software, designed to help organizations understand, transform and deliver data for critical business initiatives. Bankia uses InfoSphere DataStage to collect and integrate customer data from multiple source systems at all seven of the joint-venture banks, and to ensure the reliability and consistency of information across the entire business.

“This IBM software is one of the best tools currently on the market in terms of data integration. It has paved the way to innovative types of analyses that will greatly help our business to understand what our clients’ requests are and how we are positioned within the industry,” states Maria José Álvarez Tapias.

“An ETL [extract, transform, load] solution like InfoSphere DataStage was vital for our business, as we wanted to make sure that data from each of the seven joint-venture banks could be gathered and analyzed by a single central system, instead of having our analytics function scattered across several different tools and data sources. A reliable method of collecting, cleaning and standardizing data was critical to ensure consistent, accurate group-wide analysis, which would help us manage the business as effectively as possible.”

Additionally, using InfoSphere DataStage does not require changes to the source systems, which reduces costs and business risk. If local systems are changed, Bankia can simply reconfigure the connections and continue to benefit from the centralized data aggregation without complex re-coding.

Bankia chose to run the IBM InfoSphere software on Linux on System z, which combines the open standards of Linux with the power and resilience of the IBM System z mainframe. “Deploying Linux on virtualized System z servers represents an enormous advantage for us: in fact, it allowed us to carry out an extremely rapid deployment, saving us a considerable amount of money, time and resources,” explains Maria José Álvarez Tapias.

Bankia is also leveraging advanced IBM z/VM virtualization capabilities to maximize the scalability and simplicity of its server environment. It is able to run many virtual Linux servers on the single physical server, which significantly reduces the time and effort to provision new server environments. The virtualized Linux on System z solution plays a crucial role in helping Bankia to roll out new IT systems at each of its banks rapidly, and to adhere to a strict deployment deadline.

To store and manage vital financial and customer data, Bankia selected IBM System Storage® DS8700 for its exceptional flexibility, reliability and performance. The DS8700 is designed to manage a broad range of storage workloads efficiently, making it the ideal choice to support Bankia’s complex IT environment.

A determining factor in the company’s decision to implement the DS8700 device was the solution’s Global Mirror function, which enables data to be replicated over extended distances between two sites without affecting performance.

Virtual environment, concrete results
The InfoSphere DataStage software offers greatly increased control over a vast range of information processes. Data from all systems will now be standardized and accessible from a central repository on System z, eliminating manual data collection and consolidation processes. Bankia expects that the solution will boost overall productivity by as much as 400 percent.

Maria José Álvarez Tapias adds: “The IBM InfoSphere DataStage software helps us to fully exploit the information that we collect, hugely facilitating our analysis and boosting the synergy between different pieces of information.”

The ability to host multiple virtual Linux servers on the System z server has helped Bankia to maximize resource utilization and reduce data center complexity. Bankia estimates that by consolidating more solutions to the System z platform, it will be able to significantly reduce its server footprint, and generate considerable savings on energy and cooling costs.

With a single source of integrated, validated data, Bankia can develop innovative analyses and create forecasts on business expectations, secure in the knowledge that the data is accurate and current.

For example, before the solution was implemented, Bankia was unable to assess operational risks – such as exposure to mortgage commitments – at group level. This type of risk assessment is of major importance in the Spanish banking industry because of the impact of the current global financial situation.

With the new solution, Bankia has gained an integrated view of all client-related data across the whole group, and can detect the risks related to mortgages and other factors. This capability enables the company to assess interest rates and repayment terms in each of its business units, and ensure that operational risk is kept to a minimum.

Another example of the advantages of the solution is its ability to enhance the bank’s marketing campaigns. The marketing team can analyze clients’ behavior for various factors – such as total profitability, likely future spending and exposure to risks – and place clients into different segments that can be targeted with new campaigns.

Previously it was not possible to perform segmentation on a group-wide basis because the data was held in numerous different systems; now, with a single repository for all client data, it is possible to gain an integrated view. As a result, the bank can adjust its commercial strategy and meet its clients’ needs more effectively.

Ultimately, Bankia intends to use the solution to strengthen its position in the market and establish itself as a key player in the Spanish financial industry.

“The support provided by IBM has been fundamental in allowing us to master the challenges we faced during the project. The IBM solution was one of the leading elements that helped us to achieve our goals,” states Maria José Álvarez Tapias. “IBM has been our fellow traveler on all the important stages of this journey, and we definitely want them to stay at our side in the future.”

Products and services used

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

Hardware:
Storage, Storage: DS8700, System z, System z: zEnterprise 196 (z196)

Software:
InfoSphere DataStage, z/VM

Operating system:
Linux

Service:
Software Services for Information Management

Legal Information

© Copyright IBM Corporation 2012. IBM España S.A. Santa Hortensia 26-28 28002 Madrid Produced in Spain November 2012 IBM, the IBM logo, ibm.com, DataStage, InfoSphere, System Storage, System z, zEnterprise and z/VM are trademarks of International Business Machines Corporation, registered in many jurisdictions worldwide. A current list of other 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. Other company, product or service names may be trademarks, or service marks of others. References in this publication to IBM products, programs or services do not imply that IBM intends to make these available in all countries in which IBM operates. Any reference to an IBM product, program or service is not intended to imply that only IBM’s product, program or service may be used. Any functionally equivalent product, program or service may be used instead. All customer examples cited represent how some customers have used IBM products and the results they may have achieved. Actual environmental costs and performance characteristics will vary depending on individual customer configurations and conditions. IBM hardware products are manufactured from new parts, or new and used parts. In some cases, the hardware product may not be new and may have been previously installed. Regardless, IBM warranty terms apply. This publication is for general guidance only. Photographs may show design models.