Bank AlJazira: Enhanced SD-WAN Network to Deliver Secured, Efficient and Consistent Banking Services Across Saudi Arabia
With the acceleration of digital transformation, financial institutions are facing challenges to upgrade their IT infrastructure and network to provide efficient and consistent services to their customers, and more importantly, they need to ensure data security when handling sensitive customer data. They are also under the pressure to reduce operational overheads and improve operational efficiency, managing expenditures such as energy consumption and IT management costs. All these challenges directly affect their competitiveness within the fast-paced banking industry, which makes upgrading their network as their top priority.
Bank AlJazira (BAJ) was established as a Joint Stock Company incorporated in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and formed pursuant to Royal Decree on June 21, 1975. In 2009, BAJ expanded the bank’s branch network by increasing the number of branches from 24 to 94, which attracted new customers and serving the existing ones better through its expansion to new areas throughout the Kingdom.
SD-WAN has become a popular network trend over the past years. The service was developed by applying SDN technologies to WAN, and is used to connect enterprise networks, data centers, Internet applications, and cloud services across large geographical areas. This helps users to reduce costs and build WANs with an open architecture, flexible programming, and simple O&M to carry the traffic of increasingly diverse services. Eventually, services will start driving networks on demand, while networks will dynamically adapt to services, all of which is essential for enterprises in the multi-cloud era.
In 2022, due to the bank’s rapid growth and expansion of their online services, Bank AlJazira decided to upgrade their network infrastructure with Huawei SD-WAN to ensure smooth operations and offer consistent service quality across the bank's sizable network of branches. The new infrastructure aimed to improve BAJ’s efficiency across all banking services, reduce Operations and Maintenance (O&M) costs, and enhance the user experience for both online banking and traditional in-branch interactions.
Traditional private line access solutions often come with drawbacks such as expensive coordination costs, poor timeliness, and low flexibility. Meanwhile, Huawei SD-WAN provides improved networking performance, application optimization, and increased efficiency and cost savings, meeting the business goals of both Bank AlJazira and its customers, increasing the network quality, and reducing the operational costs.
Huawei SD-WAN's key features include:
• Intelligent ultra-broadband and on-demand interconnection that enables reliable and scalable interconnection between branches, headquarters, and clouds.
• Zero-touch Provision configuration that provides simple and reliable service roll-out and maintenance without the need for on-site staff.
• Intelligent traffic steering intelligent link selection based on SLA, dynamic selection of link transmission for applications
• Smart O&M with unified management, allowing cloud-based management of Local Area Networks (LANs) and WANs, simplifying system deployment, and reducing O&M costs.
• Excellent full-service experience that supports emerging technologies such as 5G, Artificial Intelligence (AI), the Internet of Things (IoT), and the cloud, driving Bank AlJazira's branches toward digital transformation, while paving the way for flexible yet secure business and network expansion.
• Secured and reliable cloud connectivity to cloud environments, including public and private clouds. It supports integration with popular cloud providers, making it easy to connect to cloud resources.
• Enhanced security features including encryption, firewall, and intrusion prevention, to protect Bank AlJazira against cyber threats and ensure data confidentiality. It also supports secure remote access, allowing users to securely connect to the corporate network from any location.
• Resilience and redundancy features ensure that the network remains available even in the event of network failures or outages. It supports dynamic path selection and failover, allowing the network to automatically switch to the best available path.
• Faster Time to Market. Financial institutions like Bank AlJazira needs to bring new products and services to market quickly to stay competitive in a rapidly evolving marketplace. Bank AlJazira deployed a unified intelligent O&M platform that features strong technical support and easy integration capabilities. Huawei SD-WAN Solution can easily integrate with this platform by using open northbound RESTful APIs provided by iMaster NCE.
To provide the customers secured and high-quality banking services, Bank AlJazira continues its pursuit in transforming into an intelligent bank in this digital era. With Huawei SD-WAN Solution, BAJ accelerated service rollout, reduced O&M costs, ensured smooth service operations, and most importantly, secure customers’ sensitive data. Now, BAJ can seamlessly connect 155+ offline and online branches across Saudi Arabia and transmitting data securely and quickly, allowing the organization to focus more on the customers to deliver exceptional banking services.