16 July 2003 Hong Kong Lightwave -- Hong Kong's Dah Sing Financial Holdings (DSFH) has chosen equipment from Cisco Systems for a Metro Ethernet network linking 43 branches of its Dah Sing Bank and MEVAS Bank subsidiaries. The high-bandwidth network, the first of its type in Hong Kong's banking sector, paves the way for a new company-wide customer relationship management (CRM) program.
Using familiar Ethernet technology, businesses can inexpensively implement a variety of innovative services, including Internet Protocol (IP) virtual private networks (IP/VPN), video and audio Web-content delivery, IP telephony, and data storage.
For DSFH, the network will enable a comprehensive rollout of operational and analytic CRM. The bank aims to create a single repository of customer data and customer contact history, which will help the bank representatives manage customer relationships.
"Dah Sing chose technology developed by Cisco to help us realize the potential of Metro Ethernet," contends Thomas Ng, general manager of the Information Technology Division at Dah Sing Bank. "Through this new platform, we are able to eliminate the constraints on bandwidth and service delivery imposed by our previous network. It also allows us to implement a scalable and responsive architecture with plenty of scope to add on new services in future."
The Hong Kong-listed bank aims to use historical and real-time knowledge to provide better services to the customers through any channel at any time. Such a system demands a high-capacity network capable of dealing with high data flows.
Ng revealed that most banks limit CRM to a core number of users at the head office. "We have implemented CRM in our entire call center," he reports. "The tremendous bandwidth and cost efficiencies of Metro Ethernet allow Dah Sing to extend our CRM capabilities to the individual branches."
Completed in April 2003 to replace the bank's existing Frame Relay network, this is the first bank branch network in Hong Kong that deploys IP/VPN service. The investment practically pays for itself with the cost savings from the maintenance of the old equipment, say bank representatives, who add that their successful implementation of IP/VPN has generated a great deal of interest from other banks.
Quality of service in terms of monitoring and administering delivery of applications services to the branches has also been improved. The network is fully able to meet the bank's priorities on security while offering solid Ethernet-based stability.
"Metro Ethernet-based enterprise networks are unmistakeably a strong wave of the future in business computing," adds Errol Chan, general manager of Cisco Systems Hong Kong. "In the case of Dah Sing Bank, we are very happy to participate in the completion of this network and to have seen the payoff for them in terms of improved cost-effectiveness and scalability."
Separately, the bank has also recently chosen Cisco PIX Firewall and Intrusion detection system to enhance its network security.