Financial and information services provider turns to Microsoft platform to increase cost efficiencies and help Austria prosper.
Microsoft Corp. today announced that Oesterreichische Kontrollbank (OeKB) has selected Microsoft BizTalk Server and Microsoft SQL Server to support its mission-critical financial messaging operations. As a result, the bank has significantly improved the performance, transparency and reliability of its core processes and reduced costs by up to 90 percent.
As a provider of financial and information services for businesses, financial institutions and the Republic of Austria, OeKB plays a critical role in the Austrian economy. The bank's core services for capital management and trade services strengthen the country's thriving business climate and help Austrian industries compete successfully in the global marketplace.
The bank was challenged with a myriad of complex systems that needed to be integrated with those of customers, partners and external financial networks, including SWIFT, the Society for the Worldwide Interbank Financial. Custom integration solutions for mission-critical processing are complex, expensive to build, and require unique skills for maintenance and support. Instead of building this type of platform from scratch, OeKB selected Microsoft BizTalk Server and the Accelerator for SWIFT (A4SWIFT) because of the technologies' simplicity, affordability and reliability. The solution is underpinned by Microsoft's high-performance and cost-effective SQL Server platform.
Integration with SWIFT requires extensive technical expertise. Formatting transaction messages from internal applications to SWIFT formats is complex and also places an annual burden of ensuring SWIFT message compliance. BizTalk Server and the A4SWIFT enable application-to-application integration, plus support for SWIFT message formats and connectivity to SWIFT software.
"A cost-efficient and, above all, a highly available solution was required. With BizTalk Server, we have a solution that gave us not only a solid transaction foundation, but also the ability to minimize our integration expenditure and drastically improve our agility at the same time," said Michael Nedved, head of IT Development at OeKB.
"BizTalk Server, in particular, easily replaces legacy processes, creates future benefits by reducing the cost of creating new interfaces, and costs only 10 to 14 percent as much as the previous solution," Nedved said.
In addition to the reduction in IT costs, operational costs are now at a mere 7 percent of the cost of the previous system because BizTalk Server integrates seamlessly with OeKB's applications and server network. OeKB is also saving about 65 percent in personnel costs associated with development compared with the old system.
Karen Cone, general manager of Worldwide Financial Services at Microsoft, said, "Banks around the world seek to reduce operational and infrastructure costs. Financial messaging is complex, and integration of complex transactions demands a solution that simplifies processing and is quick to implement, yet is cost-effective in a mission-critical environment. As a result, an increasing number of banks are turning to Microsoft to achieve this."
"The addition of BizTalk Server to our core processes has already helped OeKB succeed in its efforts to support Austrian industries, and it will continue to do so in the long term," Nedved said.