Financial Daily from THE HINDU group of publications
Tuesday, Sep 03, 2002
Money & Banking - Software
IBM Global, i-flex bag banking project
(From left) Mr Rajesh Hukku, CMD, i-flex Solutions Ltd, Mr Abraham Thomas, Managing Director, IBM India Ltd, and Mr G. Krishna Murthy, Chairman, Bharat Overseas Bank Ltd, at a press conference in Chennai on Monday.
CHENNAI, Sept. 2
IBM Global Services, the services arm of IBM India Ltd, will implement the centralised banking solution in Bharat Overseas Bank (BOB) Ltd.
IBM Global will partner with i-flex Solutions Ltd to implement their core banking solutions, Flexcube, and with the city-based Servion Global Solutions for their phone banking solution.
The BOB Chairman, Mr G Krishna Murthy, and the Managing Director, IBM India, Mr Abraham Thomas, have signed an agreement in this regard here. As part of the agreement, IBM would implement the project over 10 months and would also provide IT infrastructure for three years.
The initial implementation of the centralised banking solutions would go live at three branches in the city. The phone banking solution would be implemented in six locations across the country at the bank's interactive voice response centres, said officials.
While i-flex and IBM officials declined to divulge the size of the business engagement for each firm, the BOB Chairman, told newspersons that the bank would spend about Rs 20 crore in the IT upgradation project. Of this, about 50 per cent of the cost would be for the core banking solution, 30 per cent on network-related infrastructure and 20 per cent on electronic peripherals including automated teller machines (ATMs).
The bank would spend another Rs 5 crore in the second phase of IT upgradation, he added. The bank would slowly replace its total branch automation software system with Flexcube Core banking solution.
IBM would assist the bank as system integrator. Upon completion, the bank would provide its customers facilities like "any time, anywhere banking", and "any branch banking" through networking of branches, Internet banking and tele-banking system and networked automated teller machines (ATMs), he added.
Mr Krishna Murthy said that the implementation of the centralised banking solutions would help the bank double its customer base in the next two years, and triple it a year later. "We would get the returns in three years," he added.
According to Mr Thomas, after the relationship between IBM and i-flex was signed nine months ago, the BOB project was the second successful project, after Syndicate Bank. Both the firms are looking at extending the partnership to the sub-continent, and later to global markets including the US and Europe, he added.
The Chairman and Managing Director, i-flex Solutions Ltd, Mr Rajesh Hukku, said that in the last one year, the company has been focusing a lot on the domestic banking industry. ``Together with IBM, we can showcase how technology can improve efficiency of the banks including customer satisfaction,'' he added.
According to Head, Euro Practice, Tata Consultancy Services - project consultants for the bank, Mr Mohan Kancharia, over 100 vendors (providing centralised banking solutions) including global companies, participated in the RFP (request for proposal) stage. Of this, 20 were short-listed in the second stage, and three (i-flex, Infosys and CMS) in the third stage. Finally, it was the i-flex-IBM combination that was selected, taking into consideration each of the focused areas, he added.
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