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Oman Arab Bank


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Cisco technology allows Oman Arab Bank to mitigate risk by safely trialing new services

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Oman Arab Bank

  1. 1. Bank Uses Borderless Network Customer Case StudyDevelopment to Boost InnovationCisco technology allows Oman Arab Bank to mitigate risk by safely trialing new services Challenge EXECUTIVE SUMMARY Oman Arab Bank is a leading Middle East financial services institution. It was formed in 1984 and has earned an average return on equity of more than 20 percent per year for Customer Name: Oman Arab Bank the last 25 years. Much of the recent success of the bank, which operates in the retail, corporate, and investment banking sectors, has been due to its ability to deliver innovative Industry: Financial services new technology-based services. Location: Oman Innovation carries a risk, however. Oman Arab Bank has a highly skilled and experienced Number of Employees: 885 technology development team, but its expertise cannot guarantee that new systems or applications will function smoothly upon deployment with existing IT platforms. Because Challenge Oman Arab Bank works closely with government departments and ministries (in some • Maintain and build upon reputation for cases even handling their electronic payments systems), its production networks must innovation in banking applications operate faultlessly when new technologies are implemented. • Help ensure integrity of existing operations while introducing new services Solution Oman Arab Bank has long been an important Cisco customer in the Middle East and • Support continued banking growth relies on an end-to-end Cisco infrastructure to power its production network. The bank Solution was also one of the first companies in the region to adopt Cisco® IP Contact Center • Development network based on Cisco Enterprise Edition. Borderless Networks architecture To support the creation of new technology products and services, however, the bank Results has taken the unique step of creating an extensive development network that mirrors its production environment down to the smallest detail. In the development network, • 15-minute disaster recovery capability located in the IT department at the bank’s Muscat headquarters, new platforms and • Failsafe implementation of new applications are rigorously tested for up to six months before full deployment. technologies • Continued lead in innovation in banking The development network features a range of Cisco platforms including Catalyst® 6500 sector and region and 4500 Series Switches and Cisco 3800, 2900, 2800, and 1800 Series Integrated Services Routers. The setup also includes Cisco Unified Communications Manager for IP telephony, Cisco IP Phones, and Cisco voice gateways.Hassan Abdul Ali Al-Lawati, deputy general manager and IT head at Oman Arab Bank, says: “The borderless network that we use fordevelopment is shortcutting the need to bring everybody together in a single room. It’s become critical in enabling collaboration acrossthe development teams.”ResultsSince the development network was created, it has grown in size by a factor of 10 to 15, highlighting its importance to the bank. OmanArab Bank is now recognized as a true innovator within the Middle East banking sector, and this innovation is delivering significant benefits.In the event of a disaster, for example, the bank has been able to reduce its time to recovery from an hour to just 15 minutes for plannedand unplanned downtime and disaster recovery. This advancement allowed its branches and e-government payment services to remainoperative when all the other banking systems in Oman were knocked out by Cyclone Gonu in 2007, the strongest tropical cyclone onrecord in the Arabian Sea.© 2012 Cisco and/or its affiliates. All rights reserved. This document is Cisco Public Information. Page 1 of 2
  2. 2. Customer Case Study Elsewhere, technology development is allowing Oman Arab Bank to work alongside public sector bodies in the provision of citizen services. Here, says Hassan Abdul Ali: “We are working at the banking, governmental, and society level. There is a need to“In terms of technology bring public sector and banking solutions together to add value.” innovation, we are not only Today Oman Arab Bank runs electronic payment systems at ministries, government the first in Oman, but in the departments, and institutions, and supports a wide range of tax payment, mobile banking, whole of the Middle East.” and card-based payment processes. Thanks to the sophistication of its development network, it has achieved this high level of innovation without compromising the security,Hassan Abdul Ali Al-Lawati reliability, and integrity of its production infrastructure.Deputy general manager and IT head “In terms of technology innovation, we are not only the first in Oman, but in the wholeOman Arab Bank of the Middle East,” Hassan Abdul Ali says. “Some of this is evident in terms of tangible benefits, but the vast majority is about insuring against calamity. That’s vitally important, but impossible to quantify.” Oman Arab Bank is currently preparing for a move to a new headquarters building that will be equipped with further Cisco technologies, including a LAN core based on Cisco Nexus® switching platforms and an access layer made up of Catalyst 4500 Series switches, with Cisco MDS 9000 Series Multilayer SAN switches for fiber-channel-over-IP connectivity. Last but not least, the bank is evaluating the potential of Cisco Unified Computing System™ servers alongside its existing IBM machines. Once the technology has been thoroughly tested on the development network, naturally. For More Information To discover how Cisco can help you succeed with borderless networks, please go to: Product List Routing and switching • Cisco Catalyst 6500 Series switches • Cisco Catalyst 4500 Series switches • Cisco 3800 Series Integrated Services Routers • Cisco 2900 Series Integrated Services Routers • Cisco 2800 Series Integrated Services Routers • Cisco 1800 Series Integrated Services Routers IP telephony • Cisco IP Phones • Cisco voice gateways • Cisco Unified Communications ManagerAmericas Headquarters Asia Pacific Headquarters Europe HeadquartersCisco Systems, Inc. Cisco Systems (USA) Pte. Ltd. Cisco Systems International BV Amsterdam,San Jose, CA Singapore The NetherlandsCisco has more than 200 offices worldwide. Addresses, phone numbers, and fax numbers are listed on the Cisco Website at and the Cisco logo are trademarks or registered trademarks of Cisco and/or its affiliates in the U.S. and other countries. To view a list of Cisco trademarks, goto this URL: Third party trademarks mentioned are the property of their respective owners. The use of the word partner does not implya partnership relationship between Cisco and any other company. (1110R)© 2012 Cisco and/or its affiliates. All rights reserved. This document is Cisco Public Information. Printed in the UK ES/0612 Page 2 of 2