- Industry: Financial services
- Region: EMEA
- Headquarters: Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates (UAE)
- Company size: 9,000+ employees in 230 branches
Emirates NBD, one of the largest banks in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), provides retail, wholesale, and corporate financial services to customers in the UAE and international markets, including Egypt, Saudi Arabia, India, the United Kingdom, and Singapore. To increase the speed and flexibility of IT delivery while controlling costs, it began an ambitious multimillion-dollar initiative to transform its end-to-end technology infrastructure and practices. With Red Hat® solutions, the bank has simplified collaboration, cut development cycles by months, and launched innovative digital engagement capabilities to compete with cloud-native companies. Now, it can take advantage of emerging technology to offer the services modern consumers in key markets demand.2019 Red Hat Innovation Awards winner
Emirates NBD moves to private cloud for always-available banking
The first bank in the Middle East to build a private cloud with cloud-native-like capabilities, Emirates NBD transformed its infrastructure using Red Hat OpenShift, delivering greater value to its customers.
Emirates NBD Group was growing quickly—especially its mobile-only banking application, Liv., which is the fastest-growing bank in the UAE. But to continue its growth, Emirates NBD needed a scalable, resilient foundation for rapid, digital-native innovation. The bank struggled with slow provisioning and a complex IT environment. Provisioning physical servers could take months, and virtual servers took up to a week to provision. “We had limited capacity in our servers, so every time we grew quickly, we needed to add more hardware. We couldn’t easily plug in with partners to get their services to our customers quickly and cheaply.” said Jayesh Patel, Head of Liv. at Emirates NBD.
Emirates NBD creates cloud platform for digital transformation with Red Hat
Emirates NBD chose Red Hat to support its transformation to open banking. Using Red Hat OpenShift® Container Platform, the bank created Sahab, a flexible, open source private cloud platform, the first private cloud run by a bank at scale in the Middle East, using technology similar to cloud-native companies.1 Sahab provides applications, systems, and other resources for end-to-end development through an as-a-Service model to groups throughout the bank. The platform hosts the entire mobile bank and associated functions for the Liv. digital banking app. “If we wanted to align with open source and the best of cloud-native stacks, Kubernetes, and containers, Red Hat OpenShift was the right choice,” said Miguel Rio Tinto, Group CIO of Emirates NBD.
With its new platform, Emirates NBD improved collaboration between internal teams and with partners using application programming interfaces (APIs) and microservices. And with agile development practices, the bank reduced app launch and update cycles. “With our DevOps pipeline and Red Hat, we did a proof of concept for WhatsApp banking in 3 days,” said Ali Rey, vice president of Cloud Platforms at Emirates NBD. “Previously it would have taken 6 months, maybe even a year.” The new platform established a flexible yet stable foundation for private cloud today—and hybrid cloud tomorrow. The bank can now better compete with the personalized, innovative services offered by less-regulated competitors.
1 “Emirates NBD Group launches private cloud as regional first in banking sector.” Emirates NBD Media Centre. 17 April 2018. https://emiratesnbd.com/en/media-centre/media-centre-info/?mcid_en=601.