SBI Networks 10,000 Branches

by Hanil Manghani    Feb 24, 2006

SBI announced today that it has networked 10,000 of its branches and its seven associate banks - the largest network of its kind in India.

The SBI Connect project, executed in three phases, networking 1,400, 3,400 and 6,100 branches (currently being implemented) was initiated in 2002. Costing SBI Rs500 crores and accomplished in 42 months, the bank has partnered with the leading independent IT solutions and services company Datacraft India to achieve this task.

The networking initiative has helped the banks to offer customers cashless transactions nationwide, reducing costs and treasury applications

R N. Ramanathan, Dy. Managing Director - IT, SBI said, “This is a very challenging task if you consider the total number of branches which are required to be networked run to almost 14,000. The branches are geographically spread across country making it extremely difficult to build a very reliable network. The network will become the nerve center for the State Bank Group and will run all the key applications including core banking, trade finance, ATM, Iinternet banking, treasury solutions etc.”

Dilip Kumar, COO, Datacraft, said, “The network was formed to address the on demand requirements of the bank’s 100 million corporate and retail customers - of which 46% were in rural areas. It was a challenge to first deconstruct and the reconstruct the entire network.”

It was a challenge to create an open standards based, integrated and virtualized network. Datacraft addressed this with a network that integrated IP, telephony, call center, ATM and Internet processes, combining voice, video and data, he informed.

The project is supported by a disaster recovery center in chennai to address business continuity issues, and a centralized data center in Bangalore.

The project has won the “Technology Award 2005 - Outsourcing project of the Year”, by The Banker, the Financial Times Group’s premier publication for the finance industry.