ME Bank picks 'cheaper' Microsoft stack over Linux

ME Bank picks 'cheaper' Microsoft stack over Linux

Summary: ME Bank has claimed that the long term cost of using Windows Server 2012 and SQL Server 2012 will be over AU$100,000 cheaper than the Linux alternative.


Members Equity Bank has claimed that the long term cost of using Windows Server 2012 and SQL Server 2012 will be cheaper than a Linux alternative, which the company claims would cost AU$100,000 more.

The bank, which is one of Australia's smaller banks with 250,000 customers, does not have any bank branches. It is currently undertaking an AU$57 million technology transformation program.

In late 2012, ME Bank picked the Temenos T24 CRM and product lifecycle-management software platform for its core banking platform, switching from the Windows-SQL-based NTBS and Solaris-based Ultratracs, which the bank had in place for close to a decade. The Temenos software was platform agnostic, meaning that the bank could have gone with either Windows or Linux for its server operating systems.

ME Bank's enterprise architect Jem Richards said that after the bank examined the costs between the two platforms, including the cost of providing tech support, ultimately decided that the Windows Server 2012 and SQL Server 2012 option would be cheaper.

"Although the alternative Linux-based platform is essentially free to deploy, based on our past experience, we knew that it would cost more to support than Windows. This made the overall costs of the two operating systems approximately the same," he said in a statement.

"In addition, Microsoft and Windows community specialists were readily available to help us configure Temenos T24, whereas finding the relevant skills for the alternative platform with Temenos was proving to be a lot more difficult."

The company would not confirm which Linux platform it was considering deploying.

Richards said that the unnamed Linux platform would cost AU$100,000 more to upgrade, while the Microsoft licence would require no additional cost over five years.

"It was clear that if we deployed our core banking systems on Windows-SQL, the total cost of ownership would be substantially less than if we chose the alternative.”

Richards said that the decision would allow ME Bank to "consolidate internal IT skills on a single technology", and through the decommissioning of its legacy core banking system, it will save tens of thousands of dollars each year by requiring fewer external consultants to maintain the systems.

In March, ME Bank announced that it has begun rolling out its virtual teller systems with a focus on contact centres, starting with Telstra's Melbourne contact centre.

Topics: Windows Server, Banking, Microsoft, Australia


Armed with a degree in Computer Science and a Masters in Journalism, Josh keeps a close eye on the telecommunications industry, the National Broadband Network, and all the goings on in government IT.

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  • seriously?

    I used Linux for a while and I never thought I'd see such news.
    Throw All The Things
    • After a few years ...

      of managing a system that had Linux as its OS base I came to the conclusion that Linux was great - if you were a programmer and needed to be kept on to maintain the damned thing. Unix is great for programmers because there are so many twists and variations in Linux that we had to maintain a team of programmers to look after the application . Our experience was such that after a few years when we wanted to upgrade both hardware and the application we chose "anything but Linux" because, let's face it, no one needs indispensable prima donna programmers holding you to ransom.
      • Why, sure.

        And nobody needs "indispensable" prima donna managers holding corporations to ransom, but it happens all day, every day, all over the USA.
        • what's with this whole "ransome" thing?

          managers and programmers, along with a whole bunch of other casts, is what makes those corporations tick, all day, every day. a corporation is a collective of people that needs managers to manage, programmers to help manage (among other things). sure try to make their own position within the collective more significant, but this is true for any collective in any country.
        • Indispensable managers!?!

          Most managers I've met are completely dispensable chair-warmers; not so programmers.
          • It's easy to any manager to destroy Linux-project in a company

            you just have to stand against it. Make stupid demands and keep developers and programmers of you company out of it. Leave vendor of that Linux-system segregated. Act arrogantly and spreading FUD...telling everybody around you that "there isn't free lunch".

            That's the common way how about 10% Linux-adopting projects have destroyed. Some 90% have been successful and these projects have saved huge mountains of money for companies and organizations all over the world.

            That's why e.g 80% of worlds largest stock exchange markets are running by Linux.
            Napoleon XIV
        • Well ...

          ... if you could buy a pre-packaged, standardised ‘management system’ to replace such managers, it would probably be a win for shareholders too.

          Linux + N staff can typically be replaced by Windows + M < N staff, which is why Windows often wins out in procurement decisions. Finding a standardised product that will allow you to reduce the number of managers is more difficult – though there probably are some products that at least help with it.
        • Funny how 80% of notarios stock exchange market see things in pretty....

          ...different way because they prefer Linux over Windows. And funny how Lockheed Martin or NASA don't wanna trust much on Windows Vista. They too prefer Linux.

          And of course: 91% of top 500 supercomputers are running on Linux too. (only 1% with Windows).

          What about statistics showing that Linux needs 12% less electric than Windows or this one:

          “Switching a basic government desktop PC configuration to open source, for example, will save some 5000 euro per desktop per year, Cenatic’s model shows. The calculation can be tweaked by changing the figures for migration costs, downtime, maintenance, consultancy and the prices paid for proprietary software licences.The results are shown as graphs, displaying the costs over a five-year period.”
      • Seriously

        Instead you have a huge team that has to get a masters degree in registry hacking and undocumented Microsoft design features. Seen some of those scripts that are required to keep Windows server running?

        No operating system is perfect. Linux your programmers could fix, Windows your programmers can't. But sure Linux sux because skilled people could fix your problems for you. Windows rocks because skilled programmers can't fix what is broken.

        You are the problem I think.
      • You know...

        ... nothing about what you're talking.
        It's Microsoft OS that needs constant tinkling. Linux runs for years without fiddling.
        José Nuno Ferreira
    • The article is (unintentionally) deceiving

      It seems that the real cost is in one, specific application - Temenos T24. It is not really about the cost of maintaining the two different OSes.
      • Temenos


        It was mentioned in the article that Microsoft and community will configure TemenosT24 for them

        This probably swing it to MS platform
      • Did you know

        The second largest investor in Microsoft is also the second largest investor in CBS (ZDnet publisher):

        The Vanguard Group, Inc.
        Alan Smithie
        • Did you know

          That has no influence on anything I write.
          Josh Taylor
          • I have red plenty of articles showing how badly Aussies are...

            ...deep in a pocket of Microsoft. What's the matter with Australia?
          • Perhaps, maybe...

            We have this thing called "sense"?
  • A $100'000 difference in a $57'000'000 project ...

    ... you must be kiddin'! Wonder how (and if at all ...) they will be tracking that difference. LOL
    • Good one!

      Yes, it's basically a rounding-error.
      • It's a "rounding error" only if...

        ... only if you believe their TCO calculations in the first place.
  • Bad news for linux team

    This is bad news for the linux team, hope they get a chance to improve on their drawbacks which caused such a decision.