Hong Kong, 15 July 2003 - Hong Kong's Dah Sing Financial Holdings (DSFH) has chosen equipment from Cisco Systems® for a Metro Ethernet network linking 43 branches of its Dah Sing Bank and MEVAS Bank subsidiaries. The high-bandwidth network, the first of its type in Hong Kong's banking sector, paves the way for a new company-wide customer relationship management (CRM) programme.
Metro Ethernet is an emerging technology that bridges the so-called "last mile" by using optical fibre to provide high-speed broadband connections. Using familiar Ethernet technology, businesses can inexpensively implement a variety of innovative services. These include Internet Protocol (IP) virtual private network (IP/VPN), video and audio Web-content delivery, IP telephony and data storage.
For DSFH, the network allows for a comprehensive rollout of operational and analytic CRM. The bank aims to create a single repository of customer data and customer contact history, which will help the bank representatives manage customer relationships.
"Dah Sing chose technology developed by Cisco® to help us realise the potential of Metro Ethernet," said Thomas Ng, general manager of Information Technology Division at Dah Sing Bank. "Through this new platform, we are able to eliminate the constraints on bandwidth and service delivery imposed by our previous network. It also allows us to implement a scalable and responsive architecture with plenty of scope to add on new services in future."
The Hong Kong-listed bank aims to use historical and real-time knowledge to provide better services to the customers through any channel at any time. Such a system demands a high-capacity network capable of dealing with the high data flows.
Ng revealed that most banks limit CRM to a core number of users at head office. "We have implemented CRM in our entire call centre. The tremendous bandwidth and cost efficiencies of Metro Ethernet allow Dah Sing to extend our CRM capabilities to the individual branches," he said.
Completed in April 2003 to replace the bank's existing Frame Relay network, this is the first bank branch network in Hong Kong that deploys IP/VPN service. The investment practically pays for itself with the cost savings from the maintenance of the old equipment. The successful implementation of IP/VPN has generated a great deal of interest from other banks.
The solution offers the bank a complete branch networking platform connecting core systems within the group's data centre. "We have had excellent experience in the past using solutions based on Cisco Systems technology," concluded Ng of Dah Sing Bank. "Our decision to build a new network with Cisco technology was largely based on this track record."
Quality of service in terms of monitoring and administering delivery of applications services to the branches has also been improved. The network is fully able to meet the bank's priorities on security while offering solid Ethernet-based stability.
"Metro Ethernet-based enterprise networks are unmistakeably a strong wave of the future in business computing," said Errol Chan, general manager of Cisco Systems Hong Kong. "In the case of Dah Sing Bank, we are very happy to participate in the completion of this network, and to have seen the payoff for them in terms of improved cost-effectiveness and scalability."
Separately, the bank has also recently chosen Cisco PIX® Firewall and Intrusion detection system to enhance its network security.