Working closely with IBM Business Partner INTERCOPE and IBM, s IT Solutions Austria deployed a single SWIFT message handling system for all Erste Group entities and Austrian savings banks. Featuring INTERCOPE’s BOX Messaging Hub (BOX), a complete financial messaging solution, it facilitates the exchange of information between back-office applications, SWIFTNet, and complementary networks and protocols. Running on the IBM z Systems platform, BOX is integrated with IBM MQ and DB2 solutions.
“IBM and INTERCOPE were able to offer us a comprehensive solution that met all of our SWIFT message handling needs,” states Andreas Goerlich. “Supporting new XML-based SWIFT MX-messages and offering SWIFT RMA [Relationship Management Application] functionality, it prepared us to meet emerging requirements. The IBM middleware and database solutions perform so well on the mainframe after the move to Linux on z that all banks can fully utilize their SWIFT window size.”
The solution runs on an IBM z13™ managed by IBM Technical Support Services, within a virtualized Linux for z Systems environment. Linked to IBM DB2 for z/OS with IBM DB2 Connect, s IT Solutions Austria’s clients benefit from co-location of Linux and z/OS environment within the same physical server, enabling lower latency, greater operational efficiency and mainframe-standard security across the landscape.
“Physically, we now have just one SWIFT message handling system,” says Andreas Goerlich. “But logically, it is divided into distinct virtual environments, enabling us to protect each individual bank’s data and meet different regulatory requirements. And by running the solution within IFLs [Integrated Facility for Linux], connected with the data within our z/OS environment, we can take advantage of highly cost-effective licensing options.
“Hosting the solution on IBM z Systems allows us to reap the benefits of the exceptional levels of security offered by the mainframe,” he continues. “Utilizing tools such as RACF [Resource Access Control Facility], we can strictly control access to data, recognizing and logging any unauthorized attempts to gain access to our systems.”
With ongoing support from INTERCOPE, s IT Solutions Austria migrated all the banks within Erste Group to the new solution. Today, the group’s SWIFT Competence Center has gained greater control and visibility of SWIFT messaging handling.
Andreas Goerlich elaborates: “Before, the SWIFT team at each bank had to check all SWIFT messages at the end of every business day for those that required manual intervention but had been missed. Now, they have an overview that enables them to easily identify any messages that require action, reducing risk.”
Since it successfully consolidated multiple SWIFT messaging handling systems to a single, more effective solution, s IT Solutions Austria has helped Erste Group banks achieve valuable cost savings.
“As a result of the project, we reduced the annual costs for SWIFT infrastructure licenses, hardware maintenance and connectivity to the SWIFT network by 65 percent,” says Andreas Goerlich. “We also significantly accelerated manual editing of SWIFT messages. Previously, it was a ‘painful’ process that could involve reviewing tens of pages to find the place where a single word needed to be added. Now, we can modify templates and navigate to specific parts of lengthy messages so that only relevant information appears on a user’s screen.”
Crucially, by reliably supporting an essential back-office function, the INTERCOPE and IBM solution helps s IT Solutions Austria provide consistently exceptional services to Erste Group and, ultimately, its end customers.
Andreas Goerlich concludes: “Choosing INTERCOPE and IBM solutions to facilitate a critical process gives us peace of mind, ensuring that we can rapidly and accurately exchange the interbank messages that underpin our everyday operations. s IT Solutions Austria is now able to offer Erste Group a future-ready, fully integrated messaging system that works across all of its European entities as well as the branches in New York, London and Hong Kong, helping the group meet the challenges of tomorrow.”