Thinking Out-of-the-Box: A Case Study of Bank of Sohar


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Bank Sohar core banking implementation (Phase1) was carried out before the bank formally opened its doors to the public within a record breaking timeframe of 56 days. All the basic features of the retail loan product in the corporate loan module was also built in, positively impacting revenues from the loans portfolio for the bank.... A breakthrough decision taken, resulted in the actual revenue of the loans portfolio growing to over 10 times the expected target.

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Thinking Out-of-the-Box: A Case Study of Bank of Sohar

  1. 1. ThinkingOut-of-the-Box Bank Sohar
  2. 2. Bank Sohar Thinking Out-of-the-Box OVERVIEWThe Challenge Bank Sohar is a start up bank inBank Sohar, as a start up, was engaged in its recruitment Oman. Bank Sohar’s entry intoprocess which delayed the start date of the core banking the Oman banking sphere camesolution implementation by two months - until February 2007. about amidst much hype andHowever, the deadline date had not changed as the bank’s fanfare. Bank Sohar’s IPO wasCEO strongly requested that the original date of 1st April oversubscribed more than 52007, be maintained. Further to this, key decision making times even before the bankpersonnel were not on board since beginning and the basic opened, revealing the Omanis’infrastructure was not in place at the bank’s site. expectations. With a strong group of promoters behind it,The Solution Bank Sohar now has an initialFinacle Bank-in-a-Box (BIAB) framework a new built up capital of 50 million Omaniimplementation paradigm that allows a bank to go live on Rial (approx 125 million USD).Finacle core banking solution in a very short span. It is a Bank Sohar will cover the entirepre-configured, fully integrated banking transformation range of retail, corporate andsolution based on its proven universal banking solution. investment banking services. Bank Sohar will focus on specificThe Benefit market segments and a phasedBank Sohar core banking implementation (Phase1) was approach to launching newcarried out before the bank formally opened its doors to the products and services graduallypublic within a record breaking timeframe of 56 days. evolving into a universal bank.
  3. 3. Technology is viewed from 3 • The imperatives, when the perspectives: environment requires pure vanilla offerings and quick deployment schedules, are unique. For banks • The demands that arise from who want to synchronize technology the complexity of the operating and processes, BIAB offers solutions environment created by urgent with which organizations can start imperatives, risk mitigation drivers, leveraging technology benefits sales roll-outs and so on cannot be from day one. ignored. Typically, deployment of • The focus of the bank, that centres solutions in such an environment around absorbing best-in-class translates into a period of about processes and banking practices, 18-24 months. The project can needs to be addressed effectively. exceed this period, as well, if the Technology can help them compete architecture is complex and mired by aggressively with players in the inflexible legacy systems. international arena.Technology Players: Matching the Pace of up, it was engaged in its recruitment processBanking which impacted the start date. The challenges included executing a project with key decisionFinacle Bank-in-a-Box (BIAB) framework is a new making personnel not on board from the beginningimplementation paradigm that allows a bank to go and basic infrastructure not in place at the bankslive on Finacle core banking solution in a very short site. The implementation was delayed by twospan. It is a pre-configured, fully integrated banking months – until February 2007, however, thetransformation solution based on its proven deadline date had not changed as the bank’s CEOuniversal banking solution. strongly requested that the original date of 1st AprilBIAB is an approach aimed at bringing down 2007, be maintained.the implementation time and most importantly This posed significant risks, resulting fromprovides customers a ‘best configured banking completing a four month project in less than twoenvironment’. months, which meant that every activity wouldThe bank wanted to implement the Finacle have to be watertight, without any contingencyuniversal banking solution – covering the whatsoever. Thus, there was no scope for lagsfunctionalities of core banking, treasury, e-banking in any activity.and CRM with interfaces to ATM, SWIFT, Oracle • It was decided that Finacle Bank-in-a-Box wouldGL and RTGS/ACH apart from other third party be deployed to save time and effort. Since thisproducts such as NetCast and Omnidocs. was a new bank, it was deemed that this wouldFinacle had allocated four months to complete the also add value in terms of providing a readilyproject, however because Bank Sohar was a start available base of best banking practices. The
  4. 4. plan was to adopt a ‘recommend’ approach Business owners responsible for sign offs for rather than a ‘requirement seeking’ approach. each of the days were also listed. Core training was planned to be performed during• Detailed project planning was done to carefully the first half of the day and the BPD chart out every activity and crunch the activity immediately afterwards. to the bare minimum.• Core team training and Business Process Benefits of Leveraging Technology Definition (BPD) traditionally done sequentially were now designed to be performed in parallel. • Bank Sohar core banking implementation (Phase1) was carried out before the bank• The BPD document which consisted of multiple formally opened its doors to the public within a modules and was traditionally signed off at the record breaking timeframe of 56 days. very end was now broken into multiple documents – to facilitate quick sign offs after • Was executed under a non-negotiable deadline each module was completed. committed to the bank• To perform a complete but timely testing • The retail loan module was not part of the during System Integration Testing and User initial project scope. However, 2 weeks from Acceptance Testing, Infosys recommended Go Live, the bank requested that at least one that the bank engage its Finacle Testing services retail loan product be delivered as this was a unit to carry out this activity, which they did, basic requirement for local customers. Infosys ensuring timely completion. took cognizance of the bank’s critical need• Senior management commitment – and decided to meet it through innovative Unequivocal commitment from the top use of the corporate loan module, since management throughout the different phases a typical retail loan launch would have taken of the implementation, paid off. It was defined much longer. Infosys built in all the basic in the project kick off meeting that all issues features of the retail loan product in the (on the bank’s side) should be escalated to corporate loan module, positively impacting the senior management immediately, which revenues from the loans portfolio for the bank. worked to ensure a disciplined and • A breakthrough decision taken, resulted in the smooth implementation. actual revenue of the loans portfolio growing• Core team training / BPD – An 18-day workshop to over 10 times the expected target. was designed with daily activities listed.No. Of New Branches & Transactions Post Launch: Name Country Total No. of No of branches Peak Average Branches on Finacle Transactions Transactions Bank Sohar Sultanate of Oman 13 13 59023* 24590** No of Offsite ATMs on Finacle - 11 Data as on August 09 “We are impressed with Finacle Bank-in-a-Box. The speed of deployment has been a tremendous support for Bank Sohar to achieve its ambitious growth plans and business objectives of innovation and technology-enabled product and service differentiation” Dr. Mohamed AbdulAziz Kalmoor CEO, Bank Sohar Bank Sohar
  5. 5. Functional DiagramsStandard Finacle Implementation Process Configuration Testing Requirements To-Be-Process and and and Study Development Deployment Simulation Run Go Live Stabilization and Handover to GSCImplementation Process with usage of BIAB and of
  6. 6. Finacle from Infosys partners with banks to power- Infosys Technologies Ltd. (NASDAQ: INFY) defines,up their innovation agenda, enabling them to designs and delivers IT enabled business solutions.differentiate their products and service, enhance Infosys offerings span business and technologycustomer experience and achieve greater consulting, application services, systemsoperational efficiency. Finacle solutions address the integration, product engineering, custom softwarecore banking, wealth management, CRM, Islamic development, maintenance, re-engineering,banking and treasury requirements of retail, independent testing and validation services, ITcorporate and universal banks worldwide and infrastructure services and business processprovide online marketing tools like Finacle finanz outsourcing. Infosys today has more than a thirdtools. Finacle solutions also empower banks with of its business coming from the banking andmultiple sales, service and marketing channels financial services industry and has a strategicincluding e-banking, mobile banking and call focus on this segment.centers. These offerings make Finacle a stronginnovation-facilitator enabling banks to accelerategrowth, while maximizing value from their largescale business transformation. USA/LATAM/CARIBBEAN APAC Vikas Gupta Mahesh DK SOUTH ASIA Venkatramana G Shubhomoy Banerjee EMEA Amit Dua e-mail: e-mail: Join us on Twitter, LinkedIn and Finacle Whiteboard at