Bank of Abyssinia upgraded its data centre at a cost of 100 million Br. The bank is also in the final stages of launching a new core banking system.
The new data centre, which enhanced the networking and security system of the bank, was installed by local firms Websprix PLC and ASA Trading.
“With a broadening customer base and growing competition, the bank needed to upgrade its system,” said Fantahun Demeke, the Abyssinia’s information systems infrastructure director.
The first data centre, which the bank has been using for the past eight years, has been upgraded and will be used as a backup to the new system. It has enabled the bank to upgrade its core banking system as well.
“The centre can integrate different services and systems, unlike the previous data centre,” Fantahun told Fortune. “While we need independent facilities previously, the current accomplishes the same task by integrating them with its software.”
These new investments are in addition to Abyssinia’s piloting of electronic communication methods, including corporate emails, a collaboration suit and service desk system.
The bank has recently installed a new power supply system, network consuls, security cameras and a live monitoring system.
“We are working to get international certification for the quality and standards we have,” the director added.
Abyssinia currently has 311 branches and an average of 30,000 transactions a day.
“We are also implementing electronic communication systems to avoid paperwork and minimise costs,” Fantahun told Fortune. The bank spent 22.3 million Br on stationary and printing in the past fiscal year.
ASA Trading carried out the facility installation – including that of UPS, network, security camera and power supplies – as part of the bank’s investment, while Webspix was engaged in developing the software aspects.
“We wanted to show such projects can be accomplished with local knowledge,” said Abraham Minwuyelet, business development manager of Websprix. “We have efficiently accomplished the task given by the bank.”
Abyssinia, which registered a net profit of 562.8 million Br in the last financial year, saw a change in the leadership of its information systems department after these investments.
Yoseph Kibret, chief information systems officer, who had been leading the upgrading of the data centre and system scale up was replaced by Daniel Hailu, formerly the vice president of Commercial Bank of Ethiopia’s Enterprise Program Management Office.
Yoseph has joined the financial technology firm, Premium Switch Solutions, as a CEO.
Experts welcome the move by the company in building a new database centre and upgrading its core banking system.
“Such moves should be appreciated, and other banks need to follow in its footsteps,” says Habib Mehammed, a financial industry analyst with a decade and a half of experience. “Technologies enable the bank to introduce additional services and new products.”
But the expert suggests banks need to consider separating their primary and backup data centres in separate facilities for security purposes.
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