Askari Bank is the eighth largest private bank in Pakistan with a branch network comprising 400+ branches, and a customer base of around 1 million, operating in the Corporate, Retail and Islamic Banking sectors. The Bank is publicly listed and provides a full range of retail, corporate and trade finance products to its customers.
Askari Bank is one of the leading banks in Pakistan providing a full range of products and services to almost one million customers. In 2008, the Bank selected Oracle FLEXCUBE as its core banking platform and Techlogix as its implementation partner.
Following go-live in April 2010, Techlogix has worked continuously with the Bank in its transition from a Branch rollout phase for two years, followed by an upgrade to FLEXCUBE Version 11.3, followed by a rollout of FLEXCUBE Islamic Banking and finally into a standard operational support phase. The key challenge was to assist the Bank in this complex multi-step transition while sustaining ongoing operations.
Techlogix deployed separate support, rollout and upgrade teams which worked in close coordination with the Bank IT team to ensure quick and effective resolution of issues as they arose over this multi-year period. As of 2019, Techlogix is in its tenth year of providing FLEXCUBE support to Askari Bank and has successfully transitioned many support functions to the Bank IT team as desired by the Bank management.
Phase 1: FLEXCUBE Support and Branch Rollout
With a large footprint of 300+ branches, Askari Bank opted for a branch wise rollout of Oracle FLEXCUBE. While this was the prudent course of action from a data migration and branch readiness perspective, it created the problem of providing simultaneous support for both the new and the legacy core banking systems while rolling out FLEXCUBE in additional branches. As a result, Askari Bank decided to have its own team support the legacy solution, have a joint Askari-Techlogix team rollout new branches and let FLEXCUBE be supported entirely by Techlogix (other than Level 1 Helpdesk support).
The specific areas of FLEXCUBE Support services required by Askari Bank in this phase included:
- Application related services
- FLEXCUBE Application Issue Analysis
- Issue resolution with Oracle OFSS
- Supporting the Bank’s Functional team in product changes and functional support queries
- Testing of fixes and validation by Bank users
- Participation in the implementation and / or testing of new banking product / report / interface
- Changes/updates to existing product set / report / interface except it is required for issue resolution
- Technical areas related services
- Preparation of test environments
- Troubleshooting application performance issues
- Promoting fixes on Production
- Testing of fixes and validation by Bank users
- Network monitoring and hardware load balancing issues
- Database related services
- Maintenance of Oracle Database on RAC
- Management of Database backups / restoration
- Performing data migration or mock migrations of any module or branches
- EOD Support
- Verification of pending maintenances or workflow entries
- Execution of Host EOD (or EODM)
- Monitoring of EOD execution of groups of Branches
- Verification of branch / Till dates after completion of EOD
- Handling of Late Clearance of Branches in EOD process
- Enabling 24/7 functionality in branches when required
- Analysis of EOD issues and fixing of known issues by executing known scripts
- Compiling and sharing of EOD Statistics and EOD performance report
Techlogix deployed 20+ onsite resources to provide FLEXCUBE support during the Branch rollout phase.
The key achievements of this phase included:
- SLA driven support with measurement of key performance metrics
- Migration of 300+ branches to Oracle FLEXCUBE
- Measurable, relevant metrics tuned over time to focus on the most relevant support issues
- Actionable reporting processes to pro-actively manage the FLEXCUBE support cycle
Key Support Metrics
|Time to Acknowledge||Time taken by the Techlogix Production Support Team to acknowledge that they have started work on the incident|
|Time to Resolve||Time taken to resolved the incident and assign back to the Customer for verification|
|First time Resolution||Measures what percentage of incidents are marked as approved by the Customer in the first attempt at resolution|
Support Dashboard & Analytics
Phase 2: FLEXCUBE Support and Version Upgrade
In the second phase, following complete branch rollout, the Bank initiated a version upgrade from FLEXCUBE Version 10.2 to Version 11.3. The upgrade was driven largely by the Bank’s desire to operate Conventional and Islamic Banking from the same FLEXCUBE instance which was only possible with Version 11.
Thus the Bank took on the challenge of upgrading FLEXCUBE with the support of Techlogix. The upgrade was planned and eventually executed using a Big Bang approach where all 300+ branches were simultaneously upgraded over the course of one weekend. Techlogix provided a team of six to eight FLEXCUBE consultants who worked with the Bank during the almost year long process of the upgrade which involved two complete UAT cycles followed by multiple simulation rounds to ensure that the Bank could complete the migration within one weekend as required by the Business.
In December 2013, the Techlogix team successfully upgraded Askari Bank to FLEXCUBE Version 11.3.
During this period, the separate Techlogix support team continued to provide operational support for FLEXCUBE.
Phase 3: Islamic Banking and migration of FLEXCUBE Support
During the third phase of our engagement, the Techlogix team implemented FLEXCUBE Islamic Banking at Askari Bank.
This phase also coincided with the migration of FLEXCUBE support over to the Bank IT Team. In this phase, the Bank initially took up End of Day support, followed by Oracle DBA support and a continuing progressive handover to the Bank. This required extensive training and knowledge development of the Bank resources by the Techlogix team and also the sharing of critical support content, processes and knowledge developed by Techlogix over the past five years.
Support Team Success Factors
The key success factors in our five year plus support engagement with Askari Bank included:
- Deployment of production support team highly experienced in defect analysis, working with the Oracle Global Support Team and issue testing and resolution
- Cross trained support consultants who could cover multiple functional areas
- Team skilled in supporting EOD, EOM and EOY
- Support for Technical areas such as Interfaces, Channels, Data Migration and Reporting
- Strict adherence to support processes and protocols
- Metrics driven management of support team performance