Business challenge

Growing business volumes at Caribbean Financial Group threatened to overwhelm its existing IT infrastructure, leading to delays in processing customers’ applications and approving their loans.

Transformation

Joining forces with IBM, Caribbean Financial Group migrated to the IBM® Cloud for Oracle solutions, unleashing improvements in performance and availability.

Results

5x faster

loan application process contributes to stellar customer service

20% rise

in system availability drives an outstanding, reliable customer experience

15% cut

in operating costs sharpens the lender’s efficiency

Business challenge story

Enviable business growth

Business is booming at Caribbean Financial Group. In recent years, the company has expanded rapidly – with year-on-year earnings growth exceeding 10 percent.

“With IBM Cloud for Oracle Solutions, we have struck gold. We receive excellent service and we can grow our business as quickly as we like, without having to invest time and money in operating our own data centers. It’s a win-win.”

—Jorge Bandin, CIO, Caribbean Financial Group

This consistent growth presented a fresh set of challenges. Jorge Bandin, CIO of Caribbean Financial Group, takes up the story: “Typically, our customers visit their preferred branch, meet with a representative who processes their application, then wait for the outcome. If the loan is approved, the customer receives the funds, and the branch representative serves the next person. Most of the loans we provide are personal consumer loans. In our efforts to provide high-quality customer service and to sharpen our competitive edge, we aim to disburse approved loan applications extremely fast.

“As our company flourished, we found that increasing business volumes were heaping pressure on our Oracle Daybreak system, which we rely on to process loan applications from customers. As transaction volumes grew, we began to suffer problems with the system’s performance and availability.”

Oracle Daybreak offers comprehensive consumer-lending solutions designed to streamline all aspects of financing, from origination to servicing and collections, helping to increase productivity, improve customer service, and reduce risk.

“Whenever the Oracle Daybreak system was down or running slowly, we were unable to process loan applications as quickly as usual,” continues Jorge Bandin. “As a result, wait times became longer, and both employees and customers understandably became frustrated – meaning that we risked losing business to a competing lender. To keep our growth plans on track, we needed to tackle the root of the problem.”

Transformation story

Plugging into the powerful IBM Cloud

Caribbean Financial Group turned to IBM Global Technology Services® – its trusted partner of more than eight years – for help selecting a new solution. Working closely with the IBM team, Caribbean Financial Group migrated its Oracle Daybreak, Oracle E-Business Suite, Oracle Hyperion and Oracle Database systems to the Managed Services on IBM Cloud for Oracle Solutions.

Jorge Bandin explains: “We selected IBM Cloud for Oracle Solutions because we recognized that the platform offered an efficient way for us to solve our problems with performance and availability, and cut costs at the same time.

“IBM Global Technology Services provided terrific support, answering our questions and helping with difficult tasks as we moved into the cloud arena. When needed, they put in extra hours and worked tirelessly alongside our in-house IT team to get the new cloud-based solution up-and-running within a tight timeframe.”

The IBM team helped Caribbean Financial Group rebuild its networking infrastructure to boost performance and reliability. Previously, network traffic from each branch went to a central data center in Puerto Rico, which in turn connected to the IBM data center that hosted the Oracle applications. The connections were made via long international cables, which were very expensive to maintain, and the Puerto Rico data center represented a single point of failure.

Now, each branch connects directly to the IBM Cloud. By avoiding the bottleneck in Puerto Rico, the company has dramatically accelerated networking performance, contributing to excellent response times for the Oracle applications. Additionally, since the Puerto Rico site no longer represents a single point of failure, the company has reduced business risk.

“Moving to IBM Cloud has delivered significant improvements to our disaster recovery capabilities,” adds Jorge Bandin. “IBM Cloud includes provision of a geographically distant disaster recovery site, so if there are problems at the main data center, we will seamlessly failover to the second site, with minimal impact on our operations.”

Results story

Remarkable improvements

Moving to IBM Cloud for Oracle Solutions has delivered remarkable improvements to Caribbean Financial Group.

“By switching to IBM Cloud, we have increased the availability of our Oracle Daybreak application by 20 percent,” comments Jorge Bandin. “In addition, response times for Oracle Daybreak have improved by 500 percent.

“As a result, we can approve loan applications from customers five times faster than before, providing truly exceptional levels of service.

“Since we moved to IBM Cloud in February, we have achieved a significant increase in business volumes. We believe that a key driver behind that improvement is the faster customer service that IBM Cloud enables us to provide. Employees across our branch network are much happier too, because they can work more productively than ever before.”

Jorge Bandin recalls: “Previously, we were encountering such severe problems with the Oracle Daybreak application that we feared we would need to replace it. We didn’t want to take that route, because we like the close-knit integration between Oracle Daybreak and Oracle E-Business Suite, and because the replacement process would have been time-consuming and costly.

“Luckily, by moving to IBM Cloud, we have improved performance and availability so much that we won’t need to upgrade or replace the Oracle system for at least another 36 months.

“That is a huge relief, and our executive board and management team are very pleased that we have been able to save ourselves that cost and effort.”

Building on its success, Caribbean Financial Group is planning to expand its use of Oracle E-Business Suite. Specifically, the company hopes to automate complex tasks such as financial consolidation and reconciliations, unlocking huge time savings and efficiency gains. To underpin its future plans with Oracle, the company plans to rely on the highly reliable IBM Cloud.

Jorge Bandin concludes: “With IBM Cloud for Oracle Solutions we have struck gold. We receive excellent service and we can grow our business as quickly as we like, without having to invest time and money in operating our own data centers. It’s a win-win.

“Most importantly, customers feel the impact in a positive way. We handle each application faster, which means they spend less time waiting in line to access their money. Great experience is the best free advertising, and we look forward to building yet more business, enabled by Oracle and IBM.”

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About Caribbean Financial Group

Caribbean Financial Group offers personal loans and credit insurance products, serving more than 130,000 active accounts through its network of over 75 branches. The company operates under its well-established brands ‘‘Corporación El Sol’’ in Panama, ‘‘Island Finance’’ in Curaçao, Trinidad & Tobago, Aruba, St. Maarten and Bonaire, and under its recently acquired ‘‘CommoLoCo’’ brand in Puerto Rico.