Ghana-based Republic Bank recently restored data 80% faster and enhanced customer satisfaction by reducing system downtime to zero after it implemented Commvault Complete Data Protection solution. Samuel Dakurah, Head, Technology and Business Systems Support Division, Republic Bank Ghana, tells Intelligent CIO Africa why it was critical for the bank to implement this project.
Republic Bank (Ghana) PLC is a leading universal banking institution headquartered in Accra, Ghana. As a pioneer of the country’s mortgage financing, Republic Bank has expanded its portfolio to major financial services – including retail and commercial banking, corporate banking, investment banking, private banking and microfinance.
With the core mission of obsessively meeting customers’ needs and improving operational efficiency, Samuel Dakurah, Head, Technology and Business Systems Support Division, Republic Bank Ghana, said technology and digitalisation is underpinning the focus of the bank’s strategy.
“Banking services must work 24 by 7 all year round. Having a robust and innovative technology platform is the bedrock of today’s banking world,” said Dakurah. “With the recent COVID-19 situation, technology has become more important than ever. Our annual general meeting, for example, would typically be led by our marketing team but now it’s being done online.”
When Dakurah came aboard two years ago, one of his priorities was to upgrade the backup platform and minimise significant system downtime.
After evaluating various solutions via proof of concept (PoC), Commvault came out on top of the other vendors because of its ability to integrate with the bank’s heterogeneous environment.
Dakurah pointed out that: “Other solutions seemed to work best if we also used their hardware. But we didn’t want to rely on a specific vendor because we had already made investments in our hardware. Changing all that was not something that we were ready to consider.
“Commvault Complete Data Protection allowed us to integrate with our existing systems and back up everything in one platform. This actually saved us US$375,000 in CAPEX over one year.”
According to Dakurah, what makes Commvault really stand out is not just the product itself but also their level of commitment and technical expertise. “For instance, the Commvault team would go the extra mile and give us advice on areas that were coming from our database and storage system during the proof of concept. This was something that other vendors wouldn’t do,” he said.
Even after the solution went live, Dakurah and his team know that they will get the support when needed.
“Commvault has been in the data protection business for a long time. Once you get the solution set up, it works. You can go to sleep and expect that Commvault is going to do what it’s supposed to do,” he said.
Reducing RPO and RTO by up to 96%
Republic Bank had no enterprise backup platform in place before, so the backups were done in an ad hoc manner. The RPO was 24 hours and took 12 hours to restore data, causing serious disruption to banking services.
“Because of the long RTO and RPO, we had to shut down our core banking system for up to 12 hours every day and take backups once a day only. This negatively affected the availability of online channels – Internet or mobile banking – and ultimately, the services to our customers,” he added. “Today with Commvault Complete Data Protection, we have reduced our RPO to just one hour and RTO to four to six hours instead of up to 24 hours. Downtime is a thing in the past and online channels are now available 24 by 7. Customers are also happier.”
Dakurah added that: “With zero downtime, we’ve seen a 45% increase in online transactions since we moved to Commvault. It means that a lot fewer customers visiting our branches. That’s a significant cost savings to the bank, and a big convenience to our customers.”
Improvement in backup efficiency
After adopting Commvault Complete Data Protection, Republic Bank has seen drastic improvement in efficiency by automating the backup and recovery process.
“With Commvault, I know once my backup is taken, I’m getting a copy in my Disaster Recovery site. All we need to do is to take the backups out, label it and ship it offsite,” Dakurah explained. “The automation saved us 80% of the time to manage the entire process. This combined with the fact that we can increase the scope of our backups as well.”
The previous multiple backup solutions also made it difficult for the IT team to gain visibility into the status and consistency of backups. Thanks to Commvault, Dakurah and his team approach each day with a sense of confidence.
“Commvault has given us a 360 view of our data protection readiness. Now I get a daily report in my mail with the insight about all the backups and recovery status without waiting for that to be reported to me. This is something that we couldn’t do before,” he said.
In addition, using the powerful deduplication capability of Commvault, has enabled Republic Bank to achieve 85% compression rates for their DB2 database, saving storage capacity and costs. The Commvault Command Centre has also empowered Republic Bank to effectively control user access to certain systems and avoid data breach by simply clicking a button to allot less-privileged access.
Ensuring data security and meeting industry compliance needs
Banking is a heavily regulated industry, so it is critical for Republic Bank to meet the strict regulations and compliance for data protection and data retention. For instance, the bank is required to retain data for up to seven years based on regulatory requirements while keeping the information for mortgage finance for up to 25 years.
“With Commvault, we can confidently show our reports to the regulators that our backups are happening daily and timely. Regulators are very excited about this because they don’t have to inspect two or three systems but just one.”
Commvault partner Tenece Professional Services assisted Republic Bank Ghana with the PoC and project management. The Commvault team provided design documents and worked with the bank’s IT team to install the software.
“Tenece Professional Services was instrumental in managing the project and the relationship between the bank and Commvault. The entire implementation was very smooth and we went live with the Commvault solution in just two weeks,” Dakurah said.Click below to share this article