Empowering NSB to Improve Customer Experience and Stay Competitive
NCINGA worked with one of Sri Lanka’s largest savings banks to update their legacy WAN infrastructure. Following the introduction of Cisco software-defined wide area networking (SD-WAN) technology, NSB has generated significant value for their business by:
- Increasing performance while lowering connectivity costs
- Requiring less IT staff time to manage and secure WAN
- Providing higher-performing and more reliable business applications
- Instilling business operations with greater scalability and flexibility
Introducing the Customer: NSB
National Savings Bank (NSB) originated in the early 1970s. The bank was formed through the amalgamation of four savings oriented financial institutions that existed at the time. NSB has grown exponentially over the decades. It is a leading bank in Sri Lanka for savings and investment solutions today, encouraging individual savings within the country. The bank is one of the biggest lenders for home ownership and state development projects. NSB’s mission is to become a visionary national bank that plays a pivotal role in transforming Sri Lanka. At present, NSB has over 200 branches located throughout the country.
The Many Problems of Legacy Network Infrastructure
NSB’s collaboration with NCINGA began with the bank’s need to serve its customers better. NSB had already begun their digitalization journey a while back. However, the bank encountered a range of problems:
- Banking operations were served by legacy network infrastructure. Switches and routers in several branches lacked support; the internal IT team faced challenges in maintaining service levels of day-to-day bank operations.
- Loss of revenue due to system down times.
- The threat of facing regulatory penalties due to the interruption of their services.
- Poor security systems resulted in the risk of data exploitation and exposure.
All of these issues eventually resulted in poor customer experiences and a breakdown in communications, especially for individuals in remote areas of the country. Also as a national savings oriented bank, the latter constitutes a significant portion of the bank’s customer base.
Updating their network infrastructure became imperative for NSB.
NSB and NCINGA identified the following key goals at the start of the project:
- An up-to-date, secure, and agile network infrastructure that drives consistently efficient operations.
- Improve the customer experience by simplifying operations, in accordance with the NSB ethos.
- Empower the bank’s IT team to run operations with minimal interruptions, equipping them with adequate training and support.
NCINGA used a software-defined networks (SDN) approach to modernizing the infrastructure at NSB. We used Cisco enterprise networking solutions to build a secure wide-area network (WAN) and completed with a three-year warranty period and maintenance support.
Moreover, the NCINGA team identified two implementation teams in two separate geographical locations in Sri Lanka and trained them to understand the new infrastructure thoroughly. We also completed the site deployment plan according to the geographic location of each branch to speed up the implementation process and save costs.
Following the implementation of the new infrastructure, we automated bank operations thereby reducing the occurrences of human errors. Connectivity speed between the branch and head office networks increased, so that NSB can update customers faster, securely, and more reliably.
The NCINGA team is also piloting new technology to further improve and automate WAN connectivity by introducing ubiquity, increased bandwidth, more cost reductions, improved application performance, and next generation cybersecurity consumption models to continue supporting NSB’s digitalization efforts.
Better Customer Experiences, Cost Efficiency, and Competitiveness for Future Growth
The updated network infrastructure at NSB has provided the bank with multifold benefits.
- Better infrastructure means improved operations and customer services. The software defined approach has enabled NSB to introduce new products and services faster to the market. This has been especially helpful to attract younger, digital-native customers.
- The new infrastructure was designed with cost savings in mind. Bandwidth costs have reduced considerably, resulting in a lower cost of ownership for NSB.
- A more secure network has reduced risks for NSB. There are fewer instances of system downtimes and lower risks of data exposure and regulatory penalties.
- Any issues of system malfunctions are resolved faster by NSB’s IT team, with minimal impact on the bank’s day-to-day operations.
- The new network infrastructure was the bedrock of providing services to customers during COVID-19 pandemic lockdowns, ensuring connectivity at all times at a time where online banking functions peaked.
With updated network infrastructure, NSB can now look forward to staying abreast with the competition in a fast-evolving digital banking ecosystem that introduces an increasing number of online services.
Thoughts About the Solution
“With the new SDN ready infrastructure, we can improve customer experiences due to faster, more efficient connectivity and improved network uptime. Cisco SD-WAN technology together with NCINGA’s design, implementation, and migration services helped us to improve our services to our customers with a faster ROI and total cost of ownership.”
Amal Illesinghe, CIO of NSB