As online customer transactions increased, Siam Commercial Bank's (SCB’s) workloads spiked, driving up the cost to run its platform.
Grows online customer base exponentiallyonboarding customers into the system faster with accelerated response times
Reduces cost to run and manage the platformand significantly cuts the software licensing price
Handles high-volume customer requestsand transactions while scaling out during unpredictable spikes
Business challenge story
Fearing the financially unpredictable
The financial services industry is being reshaped by digital services, regulatory change and new demands from consumers. To remain competitive in the face of these rapid changes, banks need to provide new services while maintaining a consistently superior customer experience. Under its vision to serve as “the most admired bank,” SCB has established a strategic transformation plan designed to upgrade its infrastructure and enhance long-term competitiveness.
Trirat Suwanprateeb, Senior Executive Vice President and Chief Technology Officer, explains: “As the first Thai bank, we play a critical role in providing financial services for Thailand. To become the ‘most admired bank,’ customer experience is very critical for us. We are investing in transformation projects to uplift the quality of the bank and enhance interaction with customers, especially on digital systems.”
For over 20 years, SCB has trusted the IBM Z platform to run its core banking and credit card applications. The bank operates four Z mainframes clustered across two data centers utilizing the Parallel Sysplex® solution, a clustering technology that enables multiple copies of the Z operating system, IBM z/OS®, to run as a single system. SCB was the first bank in Thailand to implement a Parallel Sysplex cluster because the technology is designed to foster availability and manage backup and recovery.
“Parallel Sysplex has proven to be essential for us because it provides the ability for us to scale out and offer high availability for customer services, even when we perform a planned outage,” says Trirat.
However, as the bank embarked on its transformation plan, it suddenly saw digital and mobile transactions grow by over 30% annually. These workloads would often spike at month-end and during seasonal holiday shopping periods, making capacity planning challenging and costly.
In the face of unpredictable workload growth, SCB began “soft capping” its hardware utilization to prevent increased charges for unexpected peaks. “The cost to run our platform at the time was prohibiting us from expanding the capacity to respond to our customer requirements,” adds Trirat.
Scaling without the fear of a financial cap
After detailing its needs and what it hoped to achieve, SCB worked with IBM to map out the best cost-saving solution. IBM then introduced SCB to an all-new, cost-effective pricing innovation that would enable scaling of the bank’s IT resources in a predictable and affordable way: Tailored Fit Pricing.
“IBM listened to our challenges and wanted to understand our requirements. Tailored Fit Pricing is helping us optimize the cost to run the platform so we can utilize it to its maximum potential,” Trirat says.
SCB became an early adopter of the Enterprise Capacity option of the Tailored Fit Pricing offering. With this new model, costs are set on the overall size of the physical environment, removing the need for manual or automated capping.
This solution also enables the bank to configure systems to support optimal response times and service level agreements (SLAs). The model’s features include increased capacity for flexible developments and testing environments, and reduced pricing for various types of SCB workload growth.
A transparent and predictable pricing solution
The benefits of Tailored Fit Pricing are extensive. The Enterprise Capacity option has simplified operations for SCB, allowing for greater flexibility in dealing with unpredictable usage spikes, and has notably improved peak performance and enhanced planning capabilities for the bank. All of these results are underpinned with a cost competitive commercial model with complete price predictability and simplicity.
Over the next five years, SCB is expected to achieve a 14% reduction in software licensing costs in addition to substantial savings from reductions in personnel time needed to manage the capacity.
Following the implementation of Tailored Fit Pricing, SCB enjoys the ability to align capacity needs with the demands of its growing business. “Tailored Fit Pricing gives us a flexible pricing model that is optimized to fit the needs of the bank,” says Trirat. “Now we can open up capacity to onboard more customers, handle more requests and process more transactions per second — all of which provide a better experience to our customers.”
As SCB continues on its transformation roadmap, the company has embarked on a proof of concept (POC) with the IBM Change Data Capture (CDC) replication solution to quickly capture and deliver database changes, reducing data processing overhead.
Trirat concludes: “The high availability of the IBM Z platform enables us to deliver on our promise to customers. We need our system available twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week. Looking to the future, we want to evolve our architecture to be even more responsive to customer needs.”
About Siam Commercial Bank
Established January 30, 1907, as the first Thai bank, SCB is a leading universal bank headquartered in Bangkok, Thailand. SCB offers a full range of financial services to its customers, including corporate and personal lending, retail and wholesale banking, foreign currency operations, international trade financing, cash management, custodial services, credit and charge card services, and investment banking services. The company's services are backed by its extensive banking network and continual pursuit of technological innovation.