Sun Broadens Footprint in Financial Services

by Wayne Kawamoto

Sun Microsystems discusses its expanded focus in the financial services arena. Having achieved what it believes is significant success in retail banking, Sun will broaden its footprint into core banking systems.

Sun Microsystems is expanding its initiatives in financial services. The company says that in the past, its focus on securities and capital markets has led to considerable success by helping Wall Street build robust infrastructure for financial institutions.

After achieving what it believes is significant success in retail banking, Sun broadened its footprint into core banking systems.

The company cites ICICI (the largest bank in India), The Landrum Company (a six-bank Missouri-based holding company), Hanvit Bank (the largest private bank of South Korea), eBank Systems, Financial Data Solutions, Kern Schools Federal Credit Union and BF Goodrich Credit Union as retail banks worldwide that are seeing benefits by running their core banking systems on Sun.

"The [Sun-Kirchman] project was a complete success by any measure," said Jim Stock, chief information officer and senior vice president of The Landrum Company. "Because the new system runs so much faster than the mainframe, and because we no longer have to handle up to 25 tapes per day, we've speeded up our end-of-day updates by 30 percent. That saves a lot of labor costs. Furthermore, since we're now Unix-based and well-trained in supporting the network, we anticipate being able to deal with system issues ourselves that required us to pay our former hardware vendor substantial fees in the past."

"Within the last year, over a dozen major core processing software vendors have ported their systems to the Sun platform," David Littlewood, director of Worldwide Financial Services at Sun, told reporters at BAI's annual Retail Banking Delivery Show in Atlanta. "This is what I call a very rich soil on which to grow. In addition to the new Reference Banking Reference Architecture, the amount of traction I have seen even in recent months is incredibly gratifying."

Sun and Infosys, one of India's largest data service providers, plan to introduce a Retail Banking Reference Architecture for developing and implementing web-based, end-to-end banking solutions. The architecture should speed and simplify the deployment of new revenue-generating banking services, such as online, real-time access and management of personal banking accounts, loans and/or lines-of-credit.

Sun also announced an enhanced version of Mainframe Rehosting Software, which should help companies like Landrum move away from the mainframe. The enhanced offerings may provide enterprises even deeper cost savings, tighter security and greater functionality when migrating legacy applications from a mainframe to Sun servers running the robust Solaris Operating Environment.

Sun also announced Sun's Continuous Operations solution, the industry's first pre-tested solution for real-time data continuance at long distances in case of a disaster. The solution is targeted to the financial services market, among others. Sun Services provides focused consulting expertise based on best practices for customers in the Retail Banking industry.

This article was originally published on Friday Nov 8th 2002
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