News Release

Banca Comerciala Romana (BCR) Selects Cisco Integrated Services Router to Support Branch Transformation Process

BCR prepares infrastructure for long term competitive advantage
Nov 16, 2005

BUCHAREST, Romania - November 16, 2005 - Cisco Systems today announced that the Banca Comerciala Romana (BCR) has selected a new communication solution based on the Cisco Integrated Services Routers in order to enhance its branch network infrastructure. The bank is deploying a state of the art infrastructure in its branches nationwide, with integrated security to address industry compliance and help build a long term competitive advantage in the Romanian financial services market.

The bank is working to deploy dual network links for each branch to help provide a redundant solution, which will contribute to risk mitigation and will help towards compliance of industry regulations. With the new solution, BCR will take advantage of existing network links alongside the new Cisco Integrated Services Routers to build further resilience into its wide area network (WAN) connections to individual branches.

BCR, soon to be privatized by the Romanian state, needed to link its branch offices back to its main data centre infrastructure in a reliable and secure way, and determined that the Cisco Integrated Services Router would help to reduce ongoing operational costs by combining network security and data functions in one branch platform. By the end of 2005, the bank aims to connect most of its local branches throughout Romania with increased network security.

"As we build our long term future, we recognized the need for an intelligent infrastructure that can evolve to support further network based services such as application acceleration as well as provide a platform for continued network convergence," commented Petre Preda, executive vice president, BCR. "An immediate requirement was to build a branch infrastructure which will help us to provide customer-facing employees in our branches with responsive and secure access to central database and applications delivered over our wide area network," added Mr. Preda.

By enhancing response times to customer applications the banks aims to streamline the customer experience in local branches, and speed up the decision-making process for enquiries such as loan processing, which require access to customer relationship management applications running in the central data centre. The bank is also aiming to take advantage of the highly secure network foundation to overlay additional services on the network such as video conferencing and e-learning.

"The Cisco vision of the Intelligent Information Network matches BCR's foresight in viewing the network as a strategic asset for business transformation," commented Kaan Terzioglu, managing director for Central and Eastern Europe, Cisco Systems. "Using a highly secure network foundation as the basis of transformation in branches can help banks throughout the region to position effectively for competition and collaboration with major European players as the process of European integration continues. Cisco technologies such as the Integrated Services Routers which provide wire speed performance for multiple concurrent services can help provide the foundation for supporting this evolution."

The leading Romanian bank has been working closely with Cisco Partner, Omnilogic, in Romania to provide both the infrastructure and consulting to roll the project out on a nationwide basis. The bank is deploying the Cisco 2800/3800 Integrated Services Routers into branch offices with integrated security options, to complement its existing Cisco access router and PIX firewall infrastructure in branches together with Cisco IDS 4210. Cisco 7500 and 7200 series routers at central sites will aggregate the new branch office router infrastructure over the wide area network. Cisco Catalyst 6500 series and Cisco Catalyst 3750 series switches support its headquarter LAN infrastructure.

About Banca Comerciala Romana (BCR)

With more than 8 billion Euro in assets, BCR is the largest bank in Romania owning almost a third of the banking market. BCR currently has 350 branches and agencies countrywide, covering most cities with more than 10,000 inhabitants. BCR offers Internet banking and e-commerce services, issues 15 types of credit and debit cards and has the largest installed ATM network (almost 1,000 machines). The number of BCR's clients has grown constantly, currently reaching over 5 million, out of whom 90% are individuals.

With activities in the country and abroad, the BCR financial group is also present with specialized companies on the stock, leasing and insurance markets and in the field of asset management.