SBI connects 10,000 group branches
SBI has completed the networking of 10,000 branches of the State Bank Group
across the country. The project, called SBI Connect, was outsourced to Datacraft.
It is expected to cater to more than 100 million bank customers.
Started in June 2002, the project was executed in three phases. The first phase
networked 1,400 branches in 49 cities and involved network design, implementation
and management. The second phase commenced in September 2003 and networked 3,400
branches in 300 cities and towns. The third phase currently under implementation
is supposed to network 6,100 additional branches. The networking of the 10,000
branches took 42 months.
We wanted to connect all rural, urban and international branches. This
is an effort to reduce the digital divide as it empowers everyone from a corporate
client to the rural man, said A K Purwar, Chairman, State Bank Group.
R N Ramanathan, the banks Deputy Managing Director for IT, said that the
network extends from Leh to Kanyakumari and the Andaman Islands to Lakshadweep.
The network is the nerve-centre for the group, and runs key applications
such as core banking, trade finance, ATM, Internet banking and treasury solutions.
Of its 14,000 branches, 46 percent and 27 percent are in rural and semi-urban
areas respectively. The challenge was to simplify the operating model
from process transformation to enterprise-wide transformation using architecture
based on open standards. Today, the network carries voice, VoIP and data. 50
percent of rural branches and 100 percent of metro branches are already on the
network, explains Dilip Kumar, COO, Datacraft Asia.
The project also bagged the Technology Award 2005 for the
Core Banking and Outsourcing Project of the Year from the London-based Banker