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Sat 30 Sep 2006 08:00 PM

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Arab Bank Syria sets up national IT infrastructure ahead of launch

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

IT executives at the bank said that the new country infrastructure will use products from Cisco, HP and Oracle.

Arab Bank Syria 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.

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

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

The bank's network will support both voice and traffic, and Maraka is currently considering proposals to deploy IP telephony, possibly as early as this month.

Arab Bank Syria will be using a core banking solution called Banks, from the British Jordanian company CCS, which runs on Linux and is intended to improve the workflow of business processes carried out within the bank.The system also includes a centralised Oracle database from which staff can extract reports.

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