Hitachi products are crucial for banks to gain efficiency

Reported by: |Updated: December 8, 2015

Vinod Ganesan, head – BFSI Vertical, Hitachi Data Systems, speaks about Hitachi’s superior products that can help Indian banks gain operational efficiency:

N. Mohan: Efficiency of the network is critical for a bank to be effectively attending to the needs of the customers. How is Hitachi Data Solutions meeting this vital need of the banks?

Vinod Ganesan:There is no second thought on how network is critical for a bank to service its customers and maintain the uptime for this critical piece of infrastructure can be quite a daunting task for IT. Hitachi Live Insight for IT Operationscan help here. It combines advanced analytics with the scalability of the cloud to improve the way IT operations teams troubleshoot not only network failures but also extend it to applications and host of other infrastructure components. To improve problem resolution and prevention, we combine extensive search, reporting and alert options with advanced machine-learning techniques. Our solution uncovers problems and seeks out probable causes, so that the IT staff has the relevant information they need to turn insight into action. With a combination of query techniques, visualization and advanced correlation rules, it can help uncover many things, such as latency between network segments. Our differentiator lies in our  ‘time to value’, since this is a cloud based delivery model and can be set up in a matter of minutes while the bank’s IT resources can be redeployed for more productive outcomes.

Hitachi’s mobility products can be crucial for banks so that data is available anywhere, data can be structured and made searchable. How are these solutions beneficial for banks in an environment where correct data and timely availability of the correct data make a huge difference?

Digitization has been the main theme for banks to attract new customers and stay ahead of their competition, which are no longer traditional banks. There has seen a huge surge in data in the form of digital content and clearly traditional way of managing this kind of data will render the banks inefficient and operations can become extremely costly. This is where our integrated mobility solutions, including Hitachi Content Platform, Hitachi Content Platform Anywhere and Hitachi Data Ingestor, provide customers high value in the form of superior cost savings, performance and industry leading scalability.

Let us look at a real-life banking example. Today, we see a trend where lot of banks are insourcing their initially outsourced call centers to better manage their costs and risks. While this could include a potential application revamp, the existing data generated in the older environment also needs to be preserved. Considering that call records are fixed data, our Hitachi Content platform along with the Hitachi Data Ingestor provides a perfect platform for migrating this data to a centralized repository that also doubles up as a compliance platform. With this strategy, one can delink the data from the application that created it and have the ability to re-purpose the data to any other consumer that needs it. This way, the data is truly mobilized. This strategy can be extended to a host of applications in a bank today that deal with fixed content such as KYC, loan management, treasury, cheque truncation systems etc to name a few.

Can you give details of Hitachi Unified Compute Platform in the context of banks having to be innovative in today’s competitive scenario?

The biggest challenge for IT department in banks today is ‘time to market’ in terms of how fast can they stand up a service for their business. This has resulted in a huge proliferation of virtualization with the aim to mimic the service levels being provided by public cloud providers. The flip side has been the lack of a true orchestration layer that can manage a real life heterogeneous environment that essentially defines today’s bank, which in turn has resulted in standardization of a particular type of hypervisor environment, so that management becomes seamless. Legacy application environments that cannot be virtualized are still being managed as a silo in the data center adding to inefficiencies and costs. This is where our UCP strategy helps. It comes with our unique orchestration layer viz., the UCP Director that supports all flavours of hypervisors available in the market – be it VMware, HyperV , Openstack or our own hardware based Hitachi LPAR – thereby truly providing one single platform to run all kinds of workload. Banks’ legacy applications can be run on our LPAR thereby eliminating silos and helping you choose applicationsbest suited to your business requirements rather than being constrained by your operating environment.

Other application types where banks could potentially benefit are the ones that require huge scale. A real life example is an application called CRMNext being deployed by most banks today that requires huge number of compute cores for processing. With our Symmetric Multiprocessing feature in our UCP platform, we can provide 144 cores as a single instance, which is the highest in the industry on an Intel platform by any player. Think of the benefits that banks can leverage from this platform if they choose to move their large Oracle environments from existing RISC UNIX systems to our UCP Platform.

The Hitachi Unified Compute Platform (UCP) is a proven enterprise-class converged infrastructure system that provides five-nines service levels with the industry’s highest recovery time objectives for site-to-site replication, failover and recovery as a turnkey solution. With this platform we can accelerate the innovation journey for banks.

How do your products help banks in compliance and regulatory requirements?

Hitachi Content Platform helps banks meet their compliance and regulatory requirements. This is our WORM-based object storage offering that has been certified for a host of compliance requirements, which include but not limited to SEC 17a-3 and 17a-4, National Association of Securities Dealers or NASD 3010 and 3110, Sarbanes Oxley Act, Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act or HIPAA, and Basel II. It enables the following areas that typically need to be managed for compliance

Retention:This includes explicit rules governing the length of time documents must be retained. In some cases, the ability to extend retention periods is required, but the retention period is never shortened.

Data Destruction:Related to retention policy, this dictates when and how specific business documents must be disposed of or destroyed. Storage systems must implement techniques to ensure documents are truly unrecoverable.

Authenticity:During legal investigations or litigation organizations may be called upon to prove that documents have not been altered.

Access Controls and Auditing:This stipulates strict controls over who has access to the original or copies of certain types of documents. Specific data is subject to strict security measures for access and audit trails to provide proof of compliance.

Discovery:During litigation organizations are required to produce business documents within a specified period of time. Most organizations are poorly prepared to produce documents and have become a common target for litigators who make digital business communications, especially email, the target of discovery. Regulations that refer to serialization (SEC 17a-4) and the download of indexes require an IT policy that ensures quick access to documents

The best part is that our solution is built on open standards, so adoption and future migration become easy avoiding any kind of vendor lock in. More importantly, it delivers significant cost reductions due to its ability to eliminate backup for data that is stored on this platform and its ability to seamlessly integrate with public cloud providers for cloud tiering without compromising security, since the metadata control is still with the bank.

What role does Hitachi Data Systems propose to play in offering an efficient IT infrastructure for the new breed of payments banks and small finance banks?

The advantage for the new payment banks is that they do not have to repeat the mistakes of their established counterparts and can be efficient in their choice of applications and infrastructure architecture from day one. We can help them end-to-end, the same way we are helping other banks – be it providing a private cloud platform using our UCP solution, enabling mobility for their digital commerce through our Hitachi Mobility Solution Platform or enabling compliance through our Hitachi Content Platform. In fact, using our Pentaho Offerings and readily available data models, we can help them on the analytics side by helping them implement early warning systems and a robust regulatory reporting framework from day one.

How according to you can these banks minimize their technology spent without having to compromise on efficiency and speed?

All of the above solutions can be deployed based on flexible consumption based models that helps these new banksaccelerate their Time to Market with predictable cash flows.

Can you provide a live example of how an Indian bank, which has opted for Hitachi products, gain an edge over rivals?

Karnataka Bank has been an existing customer of HDS on enterprise storage and when it came to upgrading the CBS infrastructure, it chose to continue with HDS basis the value offering. While the bank evaluated other storage vendors, HDS stood out on the offerings around Flash, Zero Data Loss & seamless Data migration from the older platform to current.

Using HDS solution Karnataka bank has been able to achieve:

·  2-3 times speed improvement in many of Bank’s Business process. Total of 5 hrs reduction in Daily backup, EOD & BOD process

·  200% Improvement in response time on CBS

·  60% reduction in data center costs. Rack space required is now 1/3d of what it used to be

·  Process improvement in executing in some of business process. Quarterly SB provisioning happens with 3DC in place, which was not the case earlier when 3DC was temporarily suspended during this run.

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