Angolan bank uses VMware to build agility, digital-centricity
Banco Angolano de Investimentos (BAI), a premier full-service bank in Angola that serves over 1.5M retail and corporate customers, has begun a technology infrastructure modernisation journey, aimed at meeting the increasingly digital demands of its growing customer base.
According to Paulo Domingos, information systems architect at BAI, there were three main problems the bank faced. It was trying to solve Angola’s informal sector banking challenges, and it was battling against nimble startups.
In addition, although BAI was ahead of the curve by deploying a VMware virtual environment more than a decade ago, ageing hardware finally caught up with its ability to perform effective disaster recovery.
Moreover, failover to a secondary site would result in a long downtime. This was hampering the team’s ability to modernise its systems, become self-sufficient, and embrace digital transformation.
Domingos said BAI also faced power and communication challenges within the country.
"Our challenges don't just relate to legacy infrastructure or technology. We want to continue as a world-class bank so we need a foundation that can support the pace of innovation that we have set ourselves and remove our reliance on third-party resources like power and communications,” he continues.
Ultimately, the bank realised that if it wanted to continue as a world-class bank, it needed a foundation that can support the pace of innovation that it has set itself and remove its reliance on third-party resources, he explained.
In order to be more agile as a bank, the IT team had to shift from responding to daily emergencies to a value-based role, where IT became an active business enabler that can predict the future and support the business by delivering industry relevant solutions and applications to different teams throughout the bank.
“In short, deliver applications that add value to the customer and to achieve this we need a robust technology back-end.”
“We also needed to get our people, our skills, and all pieces of the puzzle just right,” says Domingos. “To be more agile, our IT team needs to shift from responding to daily emergencies to a value-based role where we can predict the future and support the business by delivering industry-relevant solutions and applications to different teams."
Following a deep analysis of our environment, the bank realised it wanted its team to be more agile, in order to harness the benefits of a software-defined data centre (SDDC).
The system BAI designed enables it to benefit from the abstraction capabilities of a SDDC that supports elasticity, flexibility, reliability, stability and automation.
Wanting a solution for Banco BAI, that catered to the bank’s specific needs, the bank chose VMware NSX Data Center and VMware vRealize, to help it take a step further towards becoming cloud-first, and digital-centric.
After investing in a full internal quality assessment of its systems - the BAI IT team built an infrastructure strategy to answer the bank’s immediate and future business needs, take back control of its technology budgeting processes, and allow it to build innovative digital banking solutions.
“The solution will work now and into the future, and will help us visualise how we can use technology to differentiate our value proposition and develop innovative products and services. Yes, this will be through bespoke application development, and yes, it will be in the cloud," says Domingos.
“The initial design will not need to be changed, it can be added to as needed. We won’t see the financial benefits for the first year, or the second, but in the third the benefits in terms of cost savings are clear,” Domingos ends.