IBM Powers Postbank' s SAP

Germany's largest private customer bank completes one of the world's largest SAP implementations

March 2, 2004

2 Min Read
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Postbank AG, the largest private customer bank in Germany, has successfully completed one of the worlds largest SAP AG (NYSE/Frankfurt: SAP) installations, using hardware from IBM Corp. (NYSE: IBM) as the technology backbone of its Bonn data center.

The SAP transaction system is a huge boon to the bank's nervous system, handling customer transactions from the bank’s online and interactive voice response services, as well as its 9,000 branch offices. The new platform, which is part of Postbank’s modernization strategy, is already handling more than 10 million bookings a day, and has capacity for twice that number.

Behind the savvy software is the data center, which houses the raw processing power for the SAP system. Four zSeries IBM mainframes power the system whilst DB2 and Parallel Sysplex technology enable read/write data sharing. Postbank is also making use of capacity-on-demand at the site.

The SAP technology overhaul saw IBM replace an existing mainframe system from Fujitsu Siemens Computers. When contacted, a Fujitsu-Siemens spokeswoman in Germany dwelled on the positive, pointing out that its BS2000 mainframe system is still used elsewhere in Postbank’s operation.

Given the volume of transactions being handled, storage capacity is key. As a result, four IBM ESS 800 disk systems have been installed, providing a total storage capacity of more than 40 terabytes.The bank is using eight eServer p690 Unix servers to do the SAP application processing. It secures its customer data by providing permanent data mirroring to a remote data center via Peer-to-Peer Remote Copy.

Postbank spokesman Hartmut Schlegel says it helped that the bank didn't suffer from the internal tensions and technology arguments that blight many major IT projects. “At Postbank, bankers and IT staff have worked together for many years and they understand each other’s language and thinking -– this helped a lot.”

The SAP project is still very much a work in progress. With the main implementation out of the way, executives are now planning to roll out an SAP/CML (consumer mortgage and loans) package to handle loan processing.

The SAP initiative forms part of the "IT 2003" project to upgrade the bank’s technology infrastructure, which began in 2000. This coincided with a major data center consolidation in 2000 and 2001, which saw Postbank move from six main data centers in Germany to the site in Bonn.

— James Rogers, Site Editor, Next-gen Data Center Forum0

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