SBI Connect

By : |January 26, 2004 0



By Smitha

Company

The history of SBI can be traced back to the Bank of Calcutta, which started
its operations on 2nd June 1806. State Bank of India was in its
present form constituted on the 1st July 1955.

SBI, India’s largest commercial bank and one of the top five banks
worldwide has more than 90 million customers. SBI today has over 9000 branches
and 2065 ATMs spread across the length and breadth of the country. 

The Challenge

When the Banking sector was opened up, the public sector banks faced sudden
competition from private and foreign banks, which started to use technology to
provide better customer service. This brought about a revolution in the banking
segment. Public Sector banks had no go but to face the competition head-on by
realigning their process and embracing IT in a big way.

To meet up with the emerging new challenges and maintain its lead position as
the primary bank in the country, SBI turned to IT in a large way. It wanted to
integrate its channels as well as roll out a nationwide network called the SBI
connect. SBI Connect was aimed at creating a networked bank, which would give
customers a seamless flow of transactions. The network would streamline data
gathering and dissemination, and would support an integrated view of products
across all channels.

The Chosen Solution

SBI was looking for a solution that would create a nationwide backbone
network, initially linking 1,500 SBI branches and 3,000 ATMs across 51 cities.
The bank was looking for a network integrator, who would build and manage the
network.

It was looking for a robust and scalable network that could carry all present
and future traffic, including transactions, ATM, IP voice, groupware, Intranet
and other applications. The bank also had a requirement for separate
videoconferencing links. After due diligence of a number of vendors, The State
Bank of India selected Datacraft Asia to build and manage a nationwide backbone
network.

The solution selected implementation of a three-tier corporate WAN which, in
its first phase, was to link 51 cities. Datacraft was also responsible for
systems survey, network design, implementation, management and also training.
The solution designed by Datacraft was a self-healing ring on a hub and spoke
model, with a centralized data center in Mumbai and a back-up in Delhi.

It has three tiers of access — a core linking the country’s four main
cities, a distribution network linking local head offices and zonal offices back
to the core metro cities, and an access network to the end branches. Each core
metro city was configured as an OSPF autonomous system and was "glued"
to the other cities using the BGP protocol.

This not only ensured scalability but enabled the bank to connect associates
and other third parties without large-scale changes to the network topology or
design. The security issue was addressed by the use of encryption to IPSeC
standards for banking traffic from the end branches. 

Significant advantages

Thanks to the 24/7 help desk provided by Datacraft SBI can without any issues
manage scheduled and unscheduled network outages from a central point.

Datacraft’s training services were used to train the bank’s engineers in both
basic and advanced networking concepts. This helped the company quickly deploy
the solution as well as prepare and educate its employees to the change.

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