Crosskey helps banks differentiate themselves through agile, modern IT solutions, and looked for the right technology platform to meet the industry’s emerging challenges.
Deploying IBM Power Systems servers running the IBM i operating system, Crosskey gained high-performance, high-availability IT resources, helping it increase service quality and revenues for clients.
400% boostin server performance slashes response times for clients and their customers
99% savingon backup times and zero downtime for system changes
Supportsinnovation, helping Crosskey deliver competitive advantage and new revenue streams to banks
Business challenge story
Banks are facing new demands from every angle. Customers expect services that are faster, more varied and available 24/7. Regulators are releasing legislation to increase the accessibility and transparency of the industry. New entrants are disrupting established processes and services.
Against this complex backdrop, leading Finnish IT solutions provider Crosskey specializes in helping banks seize competitive advantage by finding new revenue streams, efficiencies and service enhancements.
Niclas Södergård, Chief Technology Officer at Crosskey, explains: “Banks that see the new era in the financial services industry as an opportunity rather than an obstacle have the chance to make huge gains. At Crosskey, our goal is to become the most valuable innovation partner for banks, which involves keeping track of what’s going on in the technology world and developing solutions that deliver optimal value for our clients and their customers.”
To meet these aims, Crosskey continually evaluates and refreshes its technology platform. In choosing IT infrastructure, the company looks for performance, flexibility, modularity, stability and long-term value. Södergård continues: “We help banks process large transaction volumes, which are growing all the time. As their customers’ behavior changes, so do their usage patterns, so we need to be able to deal with unpredictable demand. We sought a technology platform that could fulfil our current requirements and equip us to rise to the challenges and opportunities our clients will face in the future.”
Sticking with the best
To bring industry-leading core banking solutions to the financial services market, Crosskey selected IBM Power Systems E870 servers running the IBM i operating system. The company created a software-defined storage platform based on IBM Spectrum Virtualize™, IBM FlashSystem® 900 and IBM FlashSystem 5000 to enable rapid access to data.
“For decades, the latest innovations in the IBM i on IBM Power Systems portfolio have aligned with our business objectives,” says Södergård. “The platform is ideally suited to handle vast amounts of transactions, and the performance and ease of management has soared with every generation. Choosing all-flash storage from IBM helps us continue to drive down response times.”
The company achieved a smooth transition to the new infrastructure, minimizing impact on operations. Södergård adds: “With each new technology release, IBM simplifies and optimizes the migration process. We needed nine times less downtime for the hardware replacement than our previous refresh, yielding great benefits for our business.”
Crosskey deployed the IBM Power Systems servers and storage systems in a dual-site configuration, with data replicated between the two data centers. In the event of an incident at one of its data centers, the company can maintain uninterrupted services to clients.
“Our new high availability configuration helps me sleep better at night, confident that services will continue to run smoothly in almost any event,” comments Södergård. “Using the IBM FlashCopy function integrated into IBM Spectrum Virtualize, we can take copies of our production environment and use them for testing, helping us reduce risk even further. We can also use this feature to copy a new client’s data set and thoroughly test it on our infrastructure, so going live with their environment is a non-event – we know precisely how it will turn out.”
Carving out competitive advantage
In moving to the new IBM Power Systems servers, Crosskey improved performance dramatically, enabling the company to position itself as the go-to innovation partner for banks by providing more responsive services.
“We saw a 400 percent increase in performance when we deployed IBM Power Systems E870 servers,” recalls Södergård. “The boost gave us the capacity to handle the load of one of the largest banks in Finland. By speeding up services to our clients, we help them exceed their customer expectations for rapid responses.”
Crosskey also reduced risk and increased availability through its latest deployment of IBM solutions. The company can now carry out system changes with no downtime and complete backups much faster.
“We’ve gained a platform that we can optimize on an ongoing basis without affecting service continuity,” says Södergård. “Moving to IBM Power Systems E870 servers and FlashSystem storage reduced our backup times from nearly 20 hours to a few minutes, so there’s no risk of them overrunning and impacting operations.”
The IBM Power Systems platform is designed to support innovation, giving Crosskey the ability to innovate on behalf of its clients while providing services that are available 24/7.
Södergård concludes: “We’re proof that the platform has evolved over the years to meet the demands of modern business. IBM has outlined a roadmap for IBM i up to 2026, so we can continue to refine our solutions with confidence. The IBM Power Systems running IBM i platform supports agile ways of working, allowing us to move fast on revenue generation opportunities for our clients, so we can help them push the financial services industry into a new age.”
Crosskey is a wholly owned subsidiary of Ålandsbanken, established in 2004 when it was decided that the bank’s IT operations should be spun out into a separate business. This knowledge of both IT and the banking industry makes Crosskey unique. The company uses its expertise to provide flexible, modular IT solutions and services to banks that are always compliant, a key benefit for its customers. Employing 280 people, it has offices in Mariehamn, Helsinki and Turku in Finland and in Stockholm, Sweden.