Tipping the Scale: Using Unix at One of the Largest Banks on Earth

by Bart Narter, February 17, 2010
Case Studies
Asia-Pacific

Abstract

The State Bank of India (SBI) is one of the largest banks in the world, with about as many branches as Bank of America, Wells Fargo (including Wachovia), and JPMorgan Chase (including Washington Mutual) combined. Yet, when SBI selected a new core system, it decided to go for a Unix platform rather than a mainframe.

In a new report, Tipping the Scale: Using Unix at One of the Largest Banks on Earth, Celent documents State Bank of India's selection of TCS BαNCS running on HP Superdome to run its domestic footprint, including 17,385 branches, 20,000 ATMs, and 262 million accounts. The default choice for banks of this size would be the mainframe, but State Bank of India thought outside the box and elected to run a real time system on Unix for its home market.

“The conventional wisdom is that nothing scales like a mainframe,” says Bart Narter, Senior Vice President of Celent’s Banking group. “It would now appear that Unix not only does, but can do so at lower cost.”

This report examines the State Bank of India, the size of the organization, and the businesses it conducts in its domestic market. Celent reviews the decision process to migrate to a new core system on a new platform. The report then outlines the business benefits for State Bank of India as a result of the migration.

Celent is a research and advisory firm dedicated to helping financial institutions formulate comprehensive business and technology strategies. Celent publishes reports identifying trends and best practices in financial services technology and conducts consulting engagements for financial institutions looking to use technology to enhance existing business processes or launch new business strategies. With a team of internationally based analysts, Celent is uniquely positioned to offer strategic advice and market insights on a global basis. Celent is a member of the Oliver Wyman Group, which is a wholly-owned operating unit of Marsh & McLennan Companies [NYSE: MMC].

Media Contacts

North America
Michele Pace
mpace@celent.com
Tel: +1 212 345 1366

Europe (London)
Chris Williams
cwilliams@celent.com
Tel: +44 (0)782 448 3336

Asia (Tokyo)
Yumi Nagaoka
ynagaoka@celent.com
Tel.: +81 3 3500 3023

Table of Contents

Executive Summary

3

About State Bank of India

4

 

How Big Is State Bank of India on a Global Scale?

5

The History of State Bank of India IT

10

The Decision to Migrate Core Systems

11

The Selection of FNS BANCS

13

Benchmarks

15

 

2001 Benchmark

15

 

2006 Benchmark

15

 

2007 Benchmark

17

Hardware Platforms

22

 

Why Choose Unix?

22

 

Why Choose a Mainframe?

22

 

Why Did State Bank of India Choose Unix?

22

Product Technology and Functionality

23

 

Relationship with Vendors

24

 

Use of Other Systems

25

Implementation Milestones

26

Business Benefits

29

 

Wholesale Banking

30

 

Small and Medium Enterprise

32

 

Retail Consumer

33

 

Financial Inclusion

34

 

Product Flexibility

36

 

Cost Savings

37

Conclusion

38

Thank You

39

Leveraging Celent’s Expertise

41

 

Support for Financial Institutions

41

 

Support for Vendors

41

Related Celent Research

42

 

Case Studies

42

 

Vendor Evaluations

42

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