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Banco BAI sets the bar in financial services in Angola

When you are dealing with the premier bank in Angola, you can rest assured that they have taken bold steps towards modernizing their technology and ensuring they meet the digital demands of customers. This is exactly what Banco Angolano de Investimentos (BAI) set out to achieve when they deployed a cloud-first and digital-centric business strategy.

But why the move?
Understanding that technology is a great business enabler is only the first thing BAI managed to get right straight off the bat. The second was acknowledging that through a modern technology approach, it could better service customers by providing them with modern banking solutions and reclaim control of its technology footprint.

And the reason was apparent. BAI wants to maintain its position as Angola’s premier bank, grow its market, improve its efficiencies, and ultimately shake off any lingering dust from archaic legacy infrastructure. In our recent discussions with Paulo Domingos, information systems architect at BAI, he clarified that there is no room for error in the competitive Angolan financial sector. As a result, BAI pays particular attention to creating efficiencies and delivering a personalised service by being an indispensable partner to its clients.

Putting value first

With this as the backdrop to its needs, BAI invested in a complete internal quality assessment of its systems. It’s a step many businesses skip, but it is essential to map out future technology investments—another mark of the maturity of BAI’s IT and business teams.

But perhaps its best summarised by Domingos himself: “To be more agile as a bank, our IT team needs to shift from responding to daily emergencies to a value-based role. We want IT to be an active business enabler that can predict the future and support the business by delivering industry-relevant solutions and applications to different teams throughout the bank. In short, deliver applications that add value to the customer and to achieve this, we need a robust technology back-end.”

It may be remiss not to give a full view of the technologies deployed by BAI to achieve its goals, but they are best explained in its full case study. But to summarise, BAI built a solution that would allow it to take advantage of the abstraction capabilities offered by compute, storage, and network virtualization by building a software-defined data centre (SDDC) that supports elasticity, flexibility, and reliability, stability, and automation. And to do this, it turned to VMware NSX Data Center and VMware vRealize.

The outcome

BAI is one of the great success stories. The bank has reclaimed its IT systems, streamlined its vendor real estate, can move team members into value-based roles, and is developing applications that support the digital-centricity it craved.

But Domingos summarises it perfectly when he says: “We now have a system that is not just working for us today but is allowing us to look to the future and visualise how we can use technology to differentiate our value proposition and enable us to develop innovative products and services. Yes, this will be through bespoke application development, and yes, it will be in the cloud.”

Read the full case study to get a more comprehensive view of the challenges facing BAI and the steps it took to overcome them: “Banco BAI Looks to the Cloud After Technology Transformation Lays Digital Foundation.”

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