BankIslami Chooses Novell's SUSE Linux Enterprise Platform

Novell today announced that BankIslami Pakistan Limited, a dedicated Islamic commercial bank headquartered in Karachi, has chosen SUSE Linux Enterprise Server and SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop as its operating platform of choice.

With around 1400 users in 102 branches, SUSE Linux Enterprise provides BankIslami Pakistan with a secure, scalable, reliable and easy-to-use operating platform for its IT infrastructure. SUSE Linux Enterprise Server is the platform for the Bank’s mission-critical application environment, while for desktops; SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop is deployed on Sun Ray stateless thin-client terminals from Sun Microsystems.

BankIslami will now be able to easily install, deploy, configure and update servers and desktops securely and remotely, using the advanced administration tools built into SUSE Linux Enterprise. The solution also allows BankIslami to configure any aspect of the Linux environment, significantly reducing the time and costs involved in administration and maintenance. The company can also minimize the number of IT personnel required at each branch, and without requiring Central Office staff to visit individual locations to provide technical support.

“We felt that SUSE Linux Enterprise would be a more stable solution than a proprietary operating system, because the risk of virus infections and malicious attacks is considerably reduced,” said Asad Alim, Head of Information Systems at BankIslami Pakistan. “Moreover, as a financial institution, we need enterprise-class support—something that few Linux vendors other than Novell can provide.”

BankIslami initially considered other proprietary operating systems but felt constrained by the potential lock-in to a single vendor. Linux scored over other proprietary operating systems in aspects such as functionality, frequency of releases and ease of deployment. The security of Linux and the opportunity to reduce costs were also favorable factors. After homing in on Linux, the bank chose SUSE Linux Enterprise Server and SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop to support its business-critical systems.

“With SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop on thin clients, we have significantly improved the availability, reliability, security and performance of our teller applications, while reducing the management costs significantly. It provides a fully-featured desktop environment, offering all the functionality we need to run our branches effectively, and flexibility to develop new services,” said Alim.

“The Bank has seen significant savings in terms of administrative resources. Ultimately, the real benefits are for our customers, who benefit from facilities such as Internet banking and biometric-enabled ATM and debit card support—facilities unheard of in Pakistan before,” said Alim.

Strengthening the relationship further, the Bank is also looking at partnering with Novell and NDS Technologies for more products in the near future, such as a Novell identity and access management solution.  NDS Technologies is a Novell partner involved in the implementation and licensing of the solutions to BankIslami for the past three years.