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Every day some 58,000 people rely on the BT managed LAN infrastructure at Commerzbank
In 2009, Commerzbank merged with Dresdner Bank to become the second largest financial institution in Germany. To continue caring for 16 million personal and business customers worldwide, the company set a timetable for the harmonisation of its networks and IT systems.
BT modernised the LAN infrastructure and, today, manages around 150,000 LAN ports across approximately 1,200 Commerzbank locations.
Proactively monitoring the network, BT provides a service team that replaces defective or obsolete equipment. Whenever a branch moves, or is expanded or reduced in size, BT analyses the LAN requirements to assure that the site is equipped with optimum technology.
The harmonization of networks and IT systems was a crucial prerequisite for the integration of Dresdner Bank and Commerzbank. Only then could we ensure that our employees had access to all customer data, regardless of whether a customer account had been maintained by Dresdner Bank or Commerzbank.”
- Roland Schneider, Senior VP, Global Head of Network Services Section, Commerzbank AG
After Commerzbank and Dresdner Bank merged, integration of the bank’s networks and IT infrastructure was an urgent task. The goal was to unify the two existing infrastructures quickly, to standardise technology and optimise operating cost.
A key challenge was to provide approximately 58,000 employees across some 1,200 branches and offices with a unified LAN infrastructure that would meet the bank’s future needs. This needed to be completed within a few months, without disruption to day-to-day operations, meaning that much of the work had to be conducted outside banking hours, normally at night or at the weekend.
Starting in late-2009 the IT team at Commerzbank, working with BT, started to capture the LAN infrastructure requirements of more than 700 branches and subsidiaries of the former Dresdner Bank. From this the team developed a comprehensive plan for systematic modernisation.
In early-January 2010 new LAN equipment was procured and configured. Shortly after, working in close co-operation with Commerzbank, installation began. BT rolled out the new network infrastructure at a rate of around 14 sites per day. As well as building equipment racks and running the necessary cabling, BT technicians also created a catalogue and inventory of the new LAN equipment to aid ongoing support.
The first phase of the rollout included the delivery of 60,000 LAN ports at Dresdner Bank locations, including its former headquarters. Starting at July 2011, over 90,000 additional ports at Commerzbank sites followed. A local BT service team now supports the whole LAN infrastructure as a fully managed service.
BT employs a process management system that includes automated – in some matters even daily – reporting. These reports deliver a comprehensive overview of the components and services provided (asset reports), problems encountered (incident reports), and cost trends (business reports).
An interface between BT and Commerzbank trouble ticketing systems provides complete visibility of each service incident for both parties. This mutually accessible up-to-date data gives a high degree of transparency and promotes seamless collaboration.
“However technologies continue to evolve, BT takes care of these issues, allowing us to concentrate on our business and our customers,” says Roland Schneider, Senior VP and Global Head of Network Services at Commerzbank. “A managed services model gives us the flexibility we need in a constantly changing economic environment.”
The harmonisation and modernisation of Commerzbank networks and IT systems is now complete and BT is managing the entire LAN infrastructure. “The reliability and flexibility of the BT solution was the major factor in our decision,” confirms Roland Schneider. “The LAN infrastructure is supported by BT as a managed service, so we do not need to care much about long-term hardware investment or service provision.”
The managed service includes defined service level agreements which are typically met far better than required, covering network performance. They aim to ensure that Commerzbank’s employees always have access to the data and applications they need. Meanwhile, the bank is satisfied that the continuing process of upgrade, repair, replacement, and maintenance of the infrastructure is in the hands of a reliable service provider.
BT has developed a customised information security management system specifically for Commerzbank, to safeguard network security. These safety measures and related processes underpin compliance to international standards such as ISO/IEC27001.
Finally, with the implementation of the new LAN infrastructure, BT has helped Commerzbank lay the foundations for new services in the future, such as voice over IP, WAN acceleration, and network access control.
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