Bank Of Baroda Selects HP To Manage IT

by Amit Tripathi    Apr 15, 2005

The banking transformation craze among the PSU banks in India seems to be upbeat what with Bank Of Baroda (BOB), a major public sector bank embracing the outsourcing bandwagon albeit temporarily, following the footsteps of Bank of India and SBI now that it has roped in Hewlett Packard (HP) to manage its IT infrastructure while the bank expands on a global level.

Speaking to CXOtoday, Dr. Anil Khandelwal, chairman and managing director, Bank Of Baroda (BOB) said, “In this era of technology led services no enterprise can overlook the significance of appropriate technology. Since we are on an expansion mode it was decided to let experts take care of IT while we concentrate on banking.”

Termed as ‘technology enabled business transformation project’, BOB is opting for a single, portal-based IT infrastructure that is to be deployed across the bank’s worldwide operations. The bank aims to enable its 25 million customers with access to banking and financial services anytime, anywhere throughout the world through multiple delivery channels like Internet banking to call centres, ATMs and transaction kiosks.

Balu Doraiswamy, managing director, HP India, said, “We will implement and manage an enterprise-wide service-oriented architecture that will include core banking, phone banking, Internet banking, delivery channel integration, risk and performance management, customer relationship management, data warehousing, global treasury, human resources management system (HRMS), cheque truncation system among others.”

BOB has selected Finacle as it’s core banking solution (CBS) and according to Khandelwal, the uniqueness of the project lies in the fact that the same CBS will handle both domestic as well international business. The bank’s support applications will be based on the Oracle business suite, while the regulatory part will be handled by a mix of applications from Logica and Oracle (OFSA).

In the first phase the bank hopes to roll out the project to 650 out of its 1920 branches of which the pilot on 150 branches are supposed to be over within seven months.

As is well known, when it comes to PSUs, a mindset change is the foremost priority in case of any innovative initiative. Over and above, when the chairman himself is a co-founder of the National HRD Network, an emphasis on the employee upliftment was an obvious priority in the case of BOB.

Says Khandelwal, “Any dosage of technology would be fruitless until and unless we leverage that to induce a sales culture in the organization. Only then we can beat the competition.” The bank has thus roped in the National Institute of Sales (NIS) apart from IIM-Ahmedabad and MDI to train its employees, to usher in corporate culture. In 2001 Bank of Baroda had appointed Gartner for business as well as technology consulting, at a time when new business processes were defined.

Meanwhile, J K Chandar, general manager & in-charge of the project, BOB, said, “We will be taking HP’s expertise in managing the IT landscape for five years or atleast till that time when we feel that we are proficient enough to manage them ourselves.”

As the system integrator, HP will draw on its extensive network of alliances with industry leaders such as Cisco, Crisil, Infosys, Microsoft, Oracle, Reuters and other independent software vendors for the integrated deployment of more than 40 applications. This deployment will enable the Bank to provide 24×7 availability of all financial services to its 25 million customers.

As part of the contract, HP will design, build and manage tier III data centres that will host the compute, storage and connectivity infrastructure for the bank and also provide disaster recovery and business continuity solutions. Additionally, HP will also design, deploy and manage the bank’s network implementation.

Both HP as well as BOB officials were tight lipped in disclosing the value of the contract but Doraiswamy assured that according to the terms of the agreement the customer stands to benefit in case of any technology obsolescence, price depreciation etc.