Business Challenge story

Financial institutions rely on Celero to deliver top-notch technology solutions. How could Celero ensure high performance and availability for mission-critical systems without breaking the bank?


Celero supports key banking applications with Oracle databases running on IBM® POWER8® servers, backed by ultra-fast IBM FlashSystem™ and IBM XIV® storage—managed by IBM Services.



reduction in monthly IT leasing costs

10 times

improvement in Oracle database response times


improvement in teller-level and internet banking transactions for clients

Business challenge

Meeting high expectations

Celero provides end-to-end technology solutions and services to hundreds of financial institutions across Canada. For these clients, always-on availability and fast response times are key to delivering a superior service for their demanding end-customers.

Dale McGowan, Enterprise Architect at Celero, elaborates: “Our financial services clients operate in a very fast-paced sector and have very high expectations for our services.”

A major part of Celero’s business involves hosting key banking systems, including a flagship core solution based on DNA. To deliver the high levels of performance needed to support this solution landscape, Celero relies on Oracle databases running on IBM Power Systems servers.

David Kornell, IT Architect at Celero, comments: “Running Oracle databases on IBM® Power® servers gives us the solid foundation we need to support core banking systems. As much of our existing infrastructure was nearing end-of-life, we wanted to upgrade to the latest-generation technology in order to guarantee the smooth running of key business systems and associated databases well into the future.

“A hardware refresh would allow us to take advantage of better performance and increased scalability, which would be key to helping us deliver top-quality service to clients even as our business continued to grow.”

Upgrading to IBM POWER8 has been a huge step up. We can process and deliver data to the business faster than ever before.

Dale McGowan, Enterprise Architect, Celero

Transformation story

Trusting in IBM technology

Working with IBM Services, Celero designed and implemented a new IT infrastructure. IBM Services provided complete set-up and implementation services during the migration, bringing the new environment to full application-ready state.

Celero upgraded from IBM POWER6® systems to IBM Power System S822 servers, running the IBM AIX® operating system and virtualized with IBM PowerVM® software.

Dale McGowan remarks: “We believe that that IBM Power Systems platform offers the best performance for Oracle databases. Upgrading to IBM POWER8® processor technology has been a huge step up. We’ve practically doubled per-core performance and can now draw on up to 4.5 TB of memory. These enhancements mean we can process and deliver data to the business faster than ever before.”

To complement its new server landscape, Celero introduced IBM FlashSystem 840 and IBM XIV solutions to deliver high performance and reliability for demanding enterprise storage workloads. With support from IBM Services, the company migrated 325 TB of data to the new storage environment.

Dale McGowan continues: “Moving to IBM FlashSystem storage has been a game-changer for us—performance is better than ever and we can complete data backups 50 to 60 percent faster than before.

“While we have always been able to complete backups within our established overnight window, the process was pretty tight during busy times, especially at month-end. Now, thanks to the combination of super-fast hardware and an upgraded backup environment, there is a high degree of confidence that online availability SLAs will be met.”

Results story

Partnering up for better-managed IT

By engaging with IBM Global Financing, Celero was able to negotiate a new cost-effective, 42-month lease for the new infrastructure of which the first six months were designed with zero-dollar payments.

The IBM Global Financing agreement offered a better match to Celero’s budget and a lower cost profile, reducing monthly payments by approximately 30 percent when compared with the company’s previous contract.

Today, IBM Services provides hosting and managed services for the entire server and storage infrastructure.

By outsourcing management of the entire environment to the Strategic Outsourcing team, Celero can rest assured that systems are expertly maintained and that any issues are resolved swiftly—without the need for intervention from its own IT staff.

With Oracle databases supported by the latest IBM technology, Celero has gained the robust, high-capacity platform it needs to deliver top-quality service to customers.

David Kornell explains: “Since refreshing our IBM system landscape, we have reduced data latency from two to three milliseconds to 200 microseconds. The result is a ten-times boost to Oracle database performance on average. We have also seen an across-the-board improvement in batch runs for all clients of approximately 35 to 40 percent.

“As Oracle databases form such an important part of our IT environment, the improved responsiveness has delivered a valuable boost to efficiency—for Celero, our clients and their end-customers. In fact, we have been able to boost performance for all teller-level transactions by approximately 25 to 30 percent, and have seen the same improvement in internet banking transactions.

“The performance enhancements mean that we can deliver a better experience for our clients, boosting retention. And, in turn, our clients can respond to their end-customers more efficiently, so satisfaction is improved across the board.”

Dale McGowan concludes: “Oracle and IBM solutions give us the speed and flexibility we need to react quickly to changing requirements without compromising business continuity – and this is what our banking clients expect from us. With a robust technology backbone now in place, we can continue to grow and take on new clients all while guaranteeing the highest levels of service.”


business logo


Founded in 2003, Celero provides IT solutions for Canadian credit unions and financial institutions. The company employs more than 265 people, and operates from locations in Calgary, Regina, Saskatoon and Winnipeg.

Solution components

  • GTS Strategic Outsourcing
  • GTS Strategic Outsourcing: Data Center
  • GTS Strategic Outsourcing: IT Outsourcing Services
  • IBM Power Systems S822
  • IBM Power Systems running AIX
  • IGF: IT Financing - IBM Hardware
  • Oracle Database
  • Storage: IBM DS8870

Take the next step

To learn more about IBM and Oracle solutions, contact your IBM representative or IBM Business Partner.

View more client stories or learn more about IBM Services