SÃO PAULO, BRAZIL, September 28, 2012 - Itaú BBA, the wholesale, investment and institutional treasury banking arm of the Itaú Unibanco group, is investing US$ 2 million in technology to expand its Latin American businesses. The institution has selected Cisco® solutions for its IT environment, including servers, networking, increased access security and IP telephony systems.
Within an action plan encompassing countries such as Argentina, Chile, Peru and more recently Colombia, Itaú BBA was searching for a business partner capable of deploying a unique and integrated solution, addressing the needs of the IT environment at all of these locations while maintaining network interoperability. Today, the institution's core technology infrastructure is concentrated in São Paulo and is connected to all international and domestic offices – including those in the USA, Europe and Asia – which also use the Itaú BBA network to carry out financial transactions. There are also direct connections with the São Paulo stock market (BM&F Bovespa) as well as the Itaú brokerage and the bank itself.
Itaú BBA wanted a technology supplier with a strong presence in all of these countries who could also be a major partner in Brazil. Cisco was selected as technology provider because of the ease of management, availability, configuration and project time-to-market, which are all critical issues.
"By selecting a single supplier to deliver all of these technologies, we increase operating efficiency, bringing additional speed and availability for applications throughout Latin America", said Persio Gontijo, telecommunications manager at Itaú BBA.
"We managed to conclude deployment of the new locations in short order. We signed contracts in November 2011, and the first branch office was in production in January 2012," said Itaú BBA's IT director, Marcelo Lourenço.
A second branch started its operation in February. The bank in Colombia and the new office in Peru are currently being structured, and the next step will be to refurbish the branches in Chile and Argentina.
"With a single IT supplier throughout the region, Itaú BBA chose a model offering operational efficiency alongside improved speed, flexibility, connectivity and productivity. These are also crucial issues for attracting new customers and increasing loyalty of existing clients" said Marcus Luz, director of Enterprise for Cisco Brazil.
Investment in the data network and IP telephony
With support for its entire infrastructure based in São Paulo, Itaú BBA is also investing to restructure its data network and expand the telephony system to provide more connections, while also strengthening security, particularly in the videoconferencing environment, to provide better integration.
Seventy percent of the bank's telephone infrastructure is already digital. The remaining 30 percent will be switched over by the end of the first semester.
Cisco is working with Promon Logicalis, Netapp and VMware to upgrade the bank's servers, providing a new, unified computing platform to meet growing demand from the virtual environment.
The Cisco Unified Computing System™ was used to handle this expansion and was found to be three times as efficient as the bank's existing solution. For example, the current infrastructure serving 4,000 users is made up of 138 blade servers, representing an average of one server for every 29 users. To absorb new demand from 800 users, eight blade servers will be deployed, an average of one server for every 100 users.
Cisco TelePresence rooms
Another Cisco project for Itaú BBA involves deploying Cisco TelePresence® rooms throughout the country in order to reduce the cost of executive travel, including transportation, accommodations and time.
Cisco's video collaboration solution, which brings together multipoint high-definition audio and video transmission over an IP network, was selected to ensure that executives would reap the same benefits as face-to-face meetings, with high-fidelity sound high-definition video, while simultaneously reducing the time and expenditure involved in constant travel.
Today, the bank has 16 Cisco TelePresence rooms and offices in São Paulo, Salvador, Curitiba, Belo Horizonte, Rio de Janeiro and Porto Alegre. The project also provided a connection between the Brazilian units and foreign Itaú BBA units in North America and Europe.
"In the future, our goal is to have a video communication network encompassing our main clients in order to create a direct, face-to-face communications channel, reducing distances, improving relationships and driving demand for new business", said Marcelo Lourenço, Itaú BBA's IT director.
Improving the customer service platform
In addition to the project to expand branch offices in Latin America, Itaú BBA is also investing in technology updates for its customer service centers, providing unified management and control of agents' everyday activities, with logging and real-time reporting.
After assessing the bank's requirements and the environment, an IP solution was presented for unified communications, based on the Cisco Unified Contact Center Enterprise (UCCE) platform, for 180 in-bound customer service positions, 30 ports for active customer service dialing and 10 supervisory positions.
With the Cisco UCCE platform, Itaú BBA will benefit from a fully IP system which is not only future-proof but also provides opportunities to interact via a number of media, including active and receptive voice services, chat, e-mail, SMS and video. The Cisco platform also allows for virtualization of all UCCE components, thereby reducing the number of servers, power consumption and carbon emissions.
About Itaú BBA
Itaú BBA is the Wholesale, Investment and Institutional Treasury banking arm of the Itaú Unibanco group, one of the largest financial conglomerates in the world, which focuses on institutional investors and businesses with annual revenues in excess of 150 million BRL. With a service portfolio that includes asset investment, merger and acquisition, share offering, securitization, derivatives, structured transaction, cash management, finance and guarantee services, among others, Itaú BBA operates in the world's principal financial centers.http://www.itaubba.com.br
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