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Fri 22 Sep 2006 08:00 PM

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Arab Bank Syria to roll out systems for branch launch

Arab Bank Syria is rolling out a complete IT infrastructure to support the opening of its first branches across the country.

Suppliers the bank is working with include Cisco, HP and Oracle, senior IT executives at the bank told IT Weekly.

A sister company of Arab Bank, it plans to open five branches by the end of this year with plans for 15 to 20 branches to open within the next five years.

So far it has spent around US$1.8million building a data centre at its head office in Damascus, which is powered by 25 HP servers, a network infrastructure using technology from Cisco and cabling from Swiss company Reichle & De-Massari (R&M).

The bank’s first branch has opened in Damascus, with two more branches due to open in Aleppo and Kassa this month.

Khalil Maraka, IT manager, Arab Bank Syria, explained that the bank has created a network infrastructure that will link all its branches to the head office and data centre in Damascus.

The branches will be linked through cabling supplied by R&M to the head office, allowing all processes to be centralised.

“The fact that the whole IT system is centralised will mean that any updates can be carried out centrally instead of someone having to go to each branch to carry out the amendments,” Maraka said.

The system also includes a centralised Oracle database from which staff can extract reports.

The bank’s network infrastructure will be designed to support both voice and data traffic. Maraka revealed the bank was considering proposals to deploy internet protocol (IP) telephony over the network and hoped to have this in place by the end of the year, perhaps as early as next month.

The bank will also be using a core banking solution called Banks from the British Jordanian company CCS, run on the Linux platform which, claimed Maraka, would improve the workflow of business processes carried out within the bank.

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