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Oman Arab Bank selects IBM technology for greater business agility

Leading Middle East bank to upgrade banking systems, enhance customer service

Muscat, Oman, 23 July, 2012: Oman Arab Bank (OAB), one of the leading banks in the Sultanate of Oman and a key player in e-government services, has chosen IBM technology with the aim of greater e-business agility and increased competitiveness. Working closely with IBM's regional partner, Gulf Business Machines (GBM), the implementation of IBM technologies has enabled the bank to enhance customer service through an open standards based and tightly integrated virtualized computing environment. A long-term user of IBM technologies, OAB expects the new system will enable increased responsiveness to its retail banking, corporate, investment, trade business, government and business banking customers.

"Highly advanced technology is a critical enabler in the banking industry, essential for competitive advantage and helping to drive differentiation, speed to market, and ability to capitalize on new opportunities," stated Amr Refaat, IBM General Manager for Middle East and Pakistan. "IBM and GBM are working closely with OAB to help the bank reduce costs, increase return on investment and optimize business processes."

OAB is a pioneer in the B2B and B2G space using state of art technology and Service Oriented Architecture (SOA) standards as an integration enabler of B2B and B2G services allowing it to add value to its proposition through more efficiently delivered services tailored to customer needs.

"Our approach has meant that we can provision new computing capacity on demand using IBM servers, blade center and storage, within minutes as opposed to hours and/or days", commented Hassan Abdul Ali Mohammed, Deputy General Manager- Information Technology Head, OAB. "Speed to market is crucial to gaining competitive advantage and this, together with the strong integration capability provided by IBM and GBM, allows us to launch new applications and associated customer services quickly."

The strategic decision to invest further in (BCP/DRC) disaster recovery is expected to minimize business risk. The integrated IT system was implemented using IBM WebSphere software, and IBM server and storage virtualization products including IBM Power Systems and IBM System Storage SAN Volume Controller, which have been key to creating a robust and reliable platform for running critical core banking and peripheral applications.

As the need for fast and reliable banking becomes a crucial factor in in the highly competitive banking industry, OAB remains at the forefront of deploying advanced technology aimed at enhancing business continuity and growing customer share. OAB is one of the largest banks in Oman and also has branches in Egypt and the UAE.

"Throughout our ongoing relationship with OAB, we aim to ensure their IT infrastructure is up-to-date with the latest IBM technologies. The solutions implemented are aimed at providing a stable, reliable and well-suited platform to cater to the bank's specific requirements," said Oliver Mouries, Country General Manager of GBM Oman.

OAB has been using IBM technology for the past decade to upgrade and improve its underlying infrastructure to its current mature level. The agreement was signed in Q1 2012.

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For more information about IBM, please visit: www.ibm.com/om/en/

IBM Press Contacts:

Aly Rifaah
External Relations, IBM Middle East
Email: Rifaah@ae.ibm.com
Phone: +9714 4498301

Razan Karim
Spot On Public Relations
Phone: +971 4 349
E-mail: razank@spotonpr.com


About Gulf Business Machines (GBM)
Founded in 1990, Gulf Business Machines (GBM) is the leading IT solutions provider in the region fulfilling the IT requirements of local, regional and international organisations in the GCC.

GBM is the sole distributor for IBM– excluding selected IBM products and services –throughout the GCC, except for Saudi Arabia. GBM's momentum was further enhanced in 1999, when the team secured the Cisco portfolio. Today GBM holds the highest level of recognition in the region from Cisco, Gold Partner status, in addition to the Cisco Borderless Network Architecture Specialized Learning Partner status.

GBM offers an extensive range of IT infrastructure, IT solutions and services ranging from consulting, resource deployment and integration to after-sales support, through 1000 professionals and over 20 solid strategic partnerships forged with internationally-recognised IT solution providers.

The company, which is ISO-9001 certified since 1999, has offices in the UAE (Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Sharjah), Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, and Bahrain. GBM also has established a presence in Pakistan, where the company now operates three offices, one each in Karachi, Islamabad and Lahore as an IBM Premier Business Partner. The Pakistani operation also holds a Silver Partner Status from Cisco.


For more information please visit www.gbm4ibm.com


GBM Press Contacts:

Ilana Zacka,
Corporate Communications Manager
Gulf Business Machines
Tel: +973 17584333, Dir: +973 17584363
Email: ilana@bh.gbm.ihost.com

Lina Al Desouky or Luz Villamil
Weber Shandwick
Tel: +971 4 321 0077
Email: lina.aldesouky@ws-mena.com
luz.villamil@ws-mena.com