Barclays opts for Tivoli

Barclays Bank is planning to use Tivoli's enterprise management software to help it achieve continuous operation in its Internet...

Barclays Bank is planning to use Tivoli's enterprise management software to help it achieve continuous operation in its Internet business and call centres.

Cliff Saran

The high street bank is deploying the software to manage key aspects of its Internet banking operations following a two-year roll-out across its business systems.

Continuous operation of e-commerce applications is essential to maintain consumer confidence and a high quality brand image in the presence of tough competition for financial services.

The Tivoli roll-out is being expanded onto its Oracle Application Server-based Internet banking business to manage servers which handle functions such as security and authentication.

Enterprise management projects have been heavily criticised in the past. They are often sold on the benefit of downsizing IT departments and fail because IT staff deploying the technology are obviously reluctant to lose their jobs to the software.

Barclays has encouraged its business units to deploy Tivoli by effectively removing any cost overheads. It originally purchased a £10m company-wide licence and individual businesses are encouraged to use it at no extra cost. The cost is included as part of the IT infrastructure which is standardised across the group.

David Curd, retail operations director at Barclays, said, "When we deploy a new banking product such as a call centre application, Tivoli is being supported. We are probably saving millions [of pounds]."

The saving is a result not only of the licence arrangement with Tivoli, but also improvements to the uptime of IT systems. With banking networks typically down 2% of the time, said Curd, "if Tivoli can deliver one hour more uptime a year, it would pay for itself". When the network is down 25,000 staff cannot work.

Curd said the Tivoli software also allows more rapid introduction of new banking services and products. "Our IT department is struggling to meet development demands." Tivoli provided Barclays with a standard infrastructure and reusable components.

The Tivoli software is used to manage a range of IT including Windows NT desktop PCs, Unix servers, X Windows terminals and the cash machine network.

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