Success story

Emirates NBD builds cloud platform to offer innovative banking services

Emirates NBD

Fast facts

Industry: Financial services
Region: EMEA
Headquarters: Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates (UAE)
Company size: 9,000+ employees in 230 branches

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.

MIGUEL RIO TINTO, GROUP CIO, EMIRATES NBD

Overview

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

The path to success

Challenge: Become world’s best digital bank

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.

Case study

Emirates NBD creates cloud platform for digital transformation with Red Hat

Solution: Build an open source private cloud platform

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.

Results: Simplify development and protect data

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.

We’ve seen our relationship with Red Hat mature from a supplier interaction to a close partnership. They understand where our business is going, and we want to continue to work with them to enhance our use of their products as we expand to public cloud and beyond.”

ALI REY, VICE PRESIDENT, CLOUD PLATFORMS, EMIRATES NBD