At a Glance
• 50% faster end-of-day processing
• Online transactional process takes half
of an evening instead of 2 days
• Annual expenses costs cut by an estimated USD 1 million achieving a full ROI in 3 – 4 years
Sagicor is a leading full-service financial institution that operates through 16 branch offices located throughout Jamaica. The company, headquartered in Kingston, Jamaica, is part of Sagicor Group Jamaica—a financial services conglomerate that specializes in life and health insurance offerings.
“Like all financial entities, we’re participating in a very competitive landscape,” explains Mark Clarke, Vice President of IT for Sagicor Bank Jamaica. “So we’re always seeking opportunities to differentiate ourselves and to increase the value we deliver to our customers. But to move forward with any of these value layers that we want to add, we need to have the right technology in place.”
In particular, Sagicor wanted to update its core banking application. For nearly a decade, the organization had relied on an instance of the Temenos core banking solution. But while new versions of the software came out each year, Sagicor had stayed with its initial release.
“We were still using Temenos core banking R14,” adds Clarke, “which of course works very well and has served us without complaint. But we deployed that technology long before anyone was talking about containerization or multicloud or so on.”
“It was critical that we invested in and moved to a technology that not only allowed us to optimize our core banking but that will help us move forward on our digital transformation and pivot to cloud.”Mark Clarke, Vice President of IT at Sagicor Bank Jamaica
At the same time, the underlying hardware infrastructure was equally aged and taking too long for common tasks. End of day closing routinely required more than six hours to complete, meaning that sometimes the bank would open its offices in the morning while the previous day’s closings were still being finalized, causing early operations to behave sluggishly.
“As a bank customer, it’s incredibly annoying to start your day standing in line for a long time just to post a deposit,” adds Clarke. “And the worst thing about it is that the teller can’t do anything. They’re stuck waiting for the technology to do its job. So queues back up, and customers get more frustrated. It’s not ideal.”
The proof is in the performance
Confident in its choice of Temenos for its banking technology, Sagicor began evaluating new hardware to host its updated banking environment, quickly focusing on IBM technology.
After some initial discussions, the IBM team proposed a proof of concept (POC) that involved a lone IBM® LinuxONE server, running Red Hat® Enterprise Linux®, that was deployed at Sagicor’s main office.
“They told us, ‘Don’t take our word for it—we’re going to prove it to you,’” recalls Clarke. “They shipped us a prototype at no cost to us, and then they configured and optimized a setup of Temenos Transact.”
With management buy-in, Sagicor began coordinating with the IBM team to map out the entire solution, including a recovery environment and accompanying storage. The joint team migrated the already-deployed LinuxONE server to the bank’s recovery site, while installing a new LinuxONE platform within the company’s primary data center to serve as the production environment.
“We essentially ran a parallel core banking process on this LinuxONE for a few months—and this POC exceeded every one of our success parameters.”Mark Clarke, Vice President of IT at Sagicor Bank Jamaica
Early adoption, early innovation
“One of the things that I have been most careful about in speaking with my principals is to explain that we are not dealing with IT ‘costs’ anymore,” notes Clarke. “I’ve been careful to shift their mindset from that word—instead speaking of IT as an ‘investment.’ And now that we’ve invested in Temenos and LinuxONE, we’re leading the industry as we embark on our digital journey.”
In particular, Sagicor is hoping to expand access to its services, providing more digital and mobile banking solutions to consumers. Similarly, AI-powered chatbots could help facilitate faster, around-the-clock service to bank customers. And to facilitate the creation and expansion of these available services, the bank intends to take advantage of the APIs made available by the Temenos platform.
Clarke continues: “We’ll be able to introduce new revenue streams—new business models—that’s a big plus for us. And as we take the next steps—which is the transition to multicloud hybrid—LinuxONE will be ready to handle that.”
Faster service makes for happier customers
While Sagicor is still in the finishing stages of updating its Temenos core banking platform to the R21 version, the bank has already realized significant advantages from the solution. For example, while the previous end of day processing for the bank needed more than six hours to complete, that same operation can now be finished in under three hours.
Altogether, these performance boosts and related business growth will help to save time and money for the bank, cutting an estimated USD 1 million each year from expenses and achieving a full ROI in roughly three to four years.
In-person customers are also pleased as tellers experience faster response times and can now tap into real-time data. “They press a button and no longer have to wait a minute for the system to respond,” adds Clarke. “They can quickly and efficiently generate whatever reports they need to for the customer standing in front of them.”
“We’ve already seen the corresponding improvement in our customer perception scores,” he continues. “There are fewer negative reports on social media, and we’ve seen an increase in the number of persons and companies that want to do business with Sagicor.”
“Before, we had to do reorganizations and reindexing of our bank data every weekend just so our OLTP [online transactional processing] would run with appropriate response times during the five-day work week. With LinuxONE and Temenos, what used to take two days can be finished in half of an evening. That means less scheduled downtime for our banking systems and happier online customers.”Mark Clarke, Vice President of IT at Sagicor Bank Jamaica
We partnered successfully with
With a partnership of over 20+ years, IBM and Temenos have collaborated to deliver successful solutions and drive value for clients across the globe resulting in hundreds of successfully installed banks that have relied on the Temenos-IBM Partnership