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“Please go through the A065 to the first window.” Bank customers will be familiar with this request. However, increasingly banks are relying on the human-machine approach. From the previous passbook to the current card, from the manual to an intelligent service method combining wisdom and wit, and from the counter to electronic and telephone banking, banking service has always been at the forefront of innovation. The objective of convenience and efficiency in business processes are reflected in the high demand for information technology infrastructure in the financial industry.
As one of the four largest banks in China and one of the world’s top 500 enterprises, Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC) has the largest customer group in China. It has been in the forefront of China and rest of the world based on its technical strength and innovative capabilities. ICBC has ranked among the top 1,000 global banks and the top 2,000 companies in Forbes for three consecutive years.
During the rapid growth and development of financial science and technology, ICBC has consistently recognized the importance of technical and business innovation and proactively responded to new business models and IT architectures represented by Internet finance. In 2013, ICBC took the lead in introducing intelligent outlets in the industry, actively using technologies such as Artificial Intelligence (AI), biometric recognition, and Big Data analysis to transform the service center digitally. ICBC raised the requirements on rapid and flexible deployment of IT infrastructure while reducing costs.
ICBC has more than 17,000 outlets in China with 15,000 smart outlets. It provides extensive financial products and services for 5.32 million corporate customers and 496 million individual customers worldwide. In 2017, the number of visits to the ICBC Service micro-program reached 10 million, the yearly visits to the LBS location data service reached 106 million, and the total number of Wi-Fi customers exceeded 200 million.
Faced with a large and expanding amount of data, ICBC’s traditional data centers were exhausted. The equipment was scattered, integration was low, the floor area large, with high overall rent costs. Service stability needed to be guaranteed. Data centers, such as branches and outlets, were unable to be managed in a unified manner, resulting in slow response and low O&M efficiency. Traditional equipment room construction and O&M were unable to meet the cost pressure produced by competition in the financial industry, could not accommodate the requirements of rapid IT architecture updates and service rollouts delivered by digital financial transformation, and were unable to reconcile the service interruption issue caused by equipment room disorder and misoperation. In addition, there was a shortage of O&M personnel and age, creating difficulties in the transformation required of branch technology functions.
The above issues highlighted the unavoidable fact that ICBC would be required to reconstruct their equipment room. How should ICBC proceed to integrate advanced information technologies and intelligent O&M management into the financial and vertical structure management? How should they use the bank’s large offline outlets to improve coverage and service to customers, and complete the transformation to informatization banking?
ICBC decided to partner with Huawei to deploy their FusionModule500 and 800 Smart Modular Data Center Solution and renovate the equipment room in China. In addition, ICBC chose the Huiyuan Branch of Jiaxing, Zhejiang and the Zhaohui Branch of Nantong, Jiangsu to pilot the equipment room reconstruction in China.
Huawei’s FusionModule500 and 800 Smart Modular Data Center Series is an integrated equipment room solution. It combines the power supply and distribution and monitoring devices of the equipment room into one cabinet, with all components prefabricated in the factory. Compared to the traditional construction system, this solution saves space by more than 40 to 50 percent. Reduction of the floor area leads to lower rent, thus reducing the operational cost. Carrier and security equipment are separated and the flexible network cabinet can be expanded on both sides of the integrated cabinet. In addition, if bank outlets are closed, the integrated equipment room can be quickly migrated. To move from the equipment room to the office area, disconnect the mains and network cables and move the equipment room to the destination by using the cabinet roller. Services are not affected.
Huawei’s FusionModule500 and 800 Smart Modular Data Center Solution is not only pre-integrated but also full-lifecycle intelligent O&M. ICBC has 17,000 outlets in China. How should they centrally manage multiple outlets? Huawei’s intelligent O&M system monitors and manages multiple ICBC branches in a centralized system, implements preventive maintenance, and improves fault response speed and O&M efficiency by using the GIS positioning technology. Mobile App monitoring, simplifying management from inside to out, and easily calculating the running status of data centers in a large number of outlets are also features of the solution. It eliminates the need for manual O&M, and reduces the number of site visits and travel expenses. Effectively alleviating the aging problem of ICBC’s O&M personnel data center management becomes simple and efficient.
Huawei’s FusionModule500 and 800 Smart Modular Data Center Solution is deployed in the Jiaxing branch of Zhejiang and Zhaohui branch of Nantong, Jiangsu. The solution not only solves the issues of low integration of the main equipment in the equipment room, independent components, large size of the equipment room, and high rent costs, but also resolves the problem of branch office batch standardization. By deploying Huawei’s intelligent O&M system, ICBC has established unified standard operation specifications, which reduces O&M pressure and cost of the equipment room, improves fault speed and O&M efficiency, and provides data support for future monitoring and KPI appraisal of the O&M team.
In addition to the benefits, significant is the acceleration of ICBC’s transformation toward informatization banking, to provide strong support for its market competitiveness, and supply a powerful weapon to achieve its vision — building a profitable and respected, modern financial enterprise.