Case study: Ghana International Bank

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London-based Ghana International Bank (GHIB) has successfully deployed Bizscore, the business intelligence, analytics and performance management solution from iCreate. The Indian vendor beat off competition from Temenos, GHIB’s core system provider – this is not the only time iCreate has snatched a BI deal from its rival.

London-based Ghana International Bank (GHIB) focuses on correspondent and corporate banking, treasury services, international trade finance and transaction services, with its operations geared to support the economies of Africa (Ghana in particular). The single-branch entity was established in 1998 and its ownership is shared with Ghanaian state institutions, comprising the Central Bank of Ghana (the major shareholder), the Social Security and National Insurance Trust, Agricultural Development Bank, and SIC Insurance Company Limited.

On the technology side, GHIB has been a long-standing user of…continues (login/subscribe).

London-based Ghana International Bank (GHIB) has successfully deployed Bizscore, the business intelligence, analytics and performance management solution from iCreate. The Indian vendor beat off competition from Temenos, GHIB’s core system provider – this is not the only time iCreate has snatched a BI deal from its rival.

London-based Ghana International Bank (GHIB) focuses on correspondent and corporate banking, treasury services, international trade finance and transaction services, with its operations geared to support the economies of Africa (Ghana in particular). The single-branch entity was established in 1998 and its ownership is shared with Ghanaian state institutions, comprising the Central Bank of Ghana (the major shareholder), the Social Security and National Insurance Trust, Agricultural Development Bank, and SIC Insurance Company Limited.

‘The bank had been experiencing challenges with integrating data across its transaction systems, and with getting a unified view of financials.’
Shailendra Mruthyunjayappa, iCreate

On the technology side, GHIB has been a long-standing user of Temenos’ T24, for its core banking activities, and Misys’ Trade Innovation (TI) solution, for trade finance. However, according to Shailendra Mruthyunjayappa, iCreate’s VP and global head, account management and pre-sales, ‘the bank had been experiencing challenges with integrating data across its transaction systems, and with getting a unified view of financials’. Additionally, Mruthyunjayappa notes that these systems were ‘not the best to produce the required reports and analyses’. They didn’t have the flexibility, he says, and ease of use was an issue. No one was available at GHIB for comment.

GHIB went to market for a solution to underpin its business intelligence (BI) and analytics strategy in mid-2011. Main requirements included a data warehouse and management information framework, a unified pre-integrated solution, which meant the bank didn’t have to invest in multiple tools or technologies, and vendor experience with T24 and TI. The selection process spanned around four months.

Shailendra Mruthyunjayappa, iCreateTowards the end of the year, GHIB opted for iCreate and its BI, analytics and performance management solution, Bizscore (IBS, November 2011, GHIB takes iCreate’s Bizscore). The vendor fended off competition from Temenos with Insight BI, and this was not the only time. The Insight BI product covers financial, customer, operational and risk intelligence, and according to Temenos’ product brochure it ‘works seamlessly with our T24 core banking system’. However, despite the latter’s efforts to sell the solution to its core banking takers, iCreate has succeeded in seizing a few BI deals, with a number of Temenos clients already live on Bizscore, says Mruthyunjayappa.

Along with GHIB, other live client sites include Metro Bank, the UK’s first high street bank in over 150 years, which was added to iCreate’s user list in November 2010 (shortly after it opened its doors to the public – IBS, July 2010, UK’s newest banking entrant opens for business); and Société Arabe Internationale de Banque (SAIB) in Egypt, iCreate’s first taker in the country (IBS, May 2012, Egypt’s SAIB selects iCreate BI solution).

Mruthyunjayappa feels that factors weighing in favour of iCreate included the fact that it has a banking-specific BI and analytics solution ‘that could enhance its MIS reporting and help it gain a unified customer view’. Another influence was the vendor’s understanding of the bank’s transaction systems. He comments, ‘Misys and Temenos, for example, know their own systems very well, but their understanding of other transaction systems is limited’.

The two-stage project to implement Bizscore commenced in January 2012. Phase one addressed financial analytics and a desired single view of the customer, as well as system integration and warehouse-build. This was completed in around ten months, Mruthyunjayappa notes. The second phase, which followed shortly after, covered the bank’s retail and corporate banking functions, along with IT reports, and spanned around five months. User acceptance testing was carried out prior to the go-live in May 2013. Bizscore interfaces with T24 and TI using proprietary data adaptors. ‘This makes data extraction, usually the most cumbersome part of the operation, a breeze,’ he claims.

The system was deployed in an ‘onsite-offshore’ model. This involved key project members from iCreate working onsite, with the rest of the team operating from the vendor’s head office in Bangalore. The onsite team worked in conjunction with GHIB’s end users to provide hands-on training.

According to Mruthyunjayappa, Bizscore has replaced ‘a substantial amount of manual MIS reporting, manual extraction of data from multiple systems and manual procedures’. Other benefits since the launch, he says, include consolidated and accurate data across disparate systems, improved reliability of reports, plus GHIB can now provide self-service support. Users are ‘a lot more comfortable’, Mruthyunjayappa adds, and can focus on the business rather than producing reports.

Overall, Mruthyunjayappa says, ‘the venture was rather smooth, with no major hurdles’. However, there was ‘one small hiccup’, which took place during phase one, around data warehouse challenges. But, he says, the teams were able to ‘efficiently find a solution and move on’, adding that ‘it was nothing noteworthy’. Mruthyunjayappa also admits to being concerned with certain learning components. He says that it took longer than originally expected for GHIB’s users to fully understand Bizscore, but once they had familiarised themselves with the system, phase two was carried out ‘promptly’.

Although the project ‘slipped by a month or two’, it complied with the original budget and ‘the customer is extremely satisfied’. According to Mruthyunjayappa, the bank has no further IT plans lined up for this year, but going forward he thinks ‘there will be a lot of business solutions that GHIB can ride on using the data that is built in the data warehouse’. GHIB is currently in ‘business-as-usual’ mode, with the vendor continuing to provide product support.

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