Business challenge

HBL needed a robust cloud platform as a service (PaaS) solution on which to rapidly provision and launch its new corporate cash management portal.


The IBM PureApplication System helps HBL quickly provide corporate customers with access to new services, such as interbank funds transfers and payments, through a cash management portal, providing the bank with a significant competitive advantage.


300% faster application deployments

using pre-defined patterns

Immediate savings of USD 500,000

in storage and hardware-related costs

Facilitates proactive identification

and resolution of potential performance issues

Business challenge story

Streamlining infrastructure deployment

HBL, Pakistan’s largest bank, sought to provide its large corporate customers the ability to execute high-volume transactions through a cash management portal. Rehan Syed, head of infrastructure and data center operations for HBL, needed to deploy the cash management system quickly, building in as much flexibility and agility as possible with a cloud platform as a service (PaaS) solution.

“Our cash management system had been running on objective interface systems and other middleware platforms,” says Syed. “That required us to install the virtual machine and the operating system and then engage more resources to install the middleware application before deploying the application. We needed to streamline the process.” Indeed, Syed’s objective was to provision virtual machines in minutes and deploy customized applications in hours.

Moreover, HBL needed a platform that supported industry standard best practices and had the flexibility to facilitate middleware consolidation and application clustering as business loads increased. Syed also sought to reduce middleware maintenance workload. “Because we had multiple instances of middleware with different generations of operating systems running on the same platform, we were constantly patching and updating operating systems.”

The PureApplication appliance includes comprehensive monitoring, from hardware to the application layer, giving our production team a real edge as they perform end-to-end root cause analyses.

Rehan Syed, Head of infrastructure and data center operations, HBL

Transformation story

Aligning infrastructure with applications

Using time to market and the platform’s flexibility as his primary evaluation criteria, Syed deployed the IBM PureApplication System, providing a PaaS solution for all of the bank’s Java Platform, Enterprise Edition solutions and the ability to host its IBM DB2® data server. “I was able to make a compelling case for IBM PureApplication System as the infrastructure and architecture platform that would deliver faster time to market and scale with our business,” says Syed.

The PureApplication System does much of the infrastructure integration work for the bank. HBL’s application team used predefined patterns for configuring the IBM WebSphere® Application Server software and DB2 data server as it deployed the PureApplication System, allowing it to complete the cash management portal project in what Syed characterizes a “remarkable” four months, including customizations and customer configurations. The application team uses IBM Cloud Orchestrator software to manage the breadth of HBL’s IT environment, orchestrating workloads across PureApplication System, as well as other hardware, storage, networking and applications across the IT environment.

Results story

Streamlining application and service delivery

According to Syed, the customer experience—accessing all the functions of HBL’s core banking systems through the cash management portal—is seamless. “The IBM platform natively connects customers to our core banking applications,” he says. “From an internal perspective, we’re working faster. And management is easier, with much less patching time.”

These productivity gains, along with the platform’s native scalability, are critical given HBL’s midterm to long-term growth forecast and anticipated application upgrades and deployments. Syed estimates that the PureApplication System PaaS cloud solution helps HBL bring new services, applications and application modifications to market three times faster than previously, a metric he also credits with helping HBL compete against international banks seeking deeper penetration into Pakistan’s markets.

HBL also leverages PureApplication’s native end-to-end monitoring capabilities, which provide unprecedented visibility into the organization’s operating system, application server and database. “The PureApplication appliance includes comprehensive monitoring, from hardware to the application layer, giving our production team a real edge as they perform end-to-end root cause analyses,” says Syed. “Previously, we had to analyze numerous monitoring portals and logs before resolving an issue. I can say the same about our operations team. They can now proactively identify and resolve issues, because of their access to middleware-related data.”

Finally, the IBM platform delivered an immediate, up-front savings of approximately USD 500,000 in storage and hardware-related costs, as compared to conventional hardware and software procurement.



Headquartered in Karachi, HBL is Pakistan’s largest domestic bank with over 1,600 branches and 1,700 ATM in the country. The bank also has a presence in 29 other countries.

Solution components

  • IBM Cloud Pak System
  • Orchestration

Take the next step

To learn more about the IBM PureApplication System and IBM Cloud Orchestrator, please contact your IBM representative or IBM Business Partner, or visit the following website:, /software/products/en/ibm-cloud-orchestrator


View more client stories or learn more about IBM Systems