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​ME Bank adopts VMware Cloud on AWS to keep pace with customer needs

Shifting to VMware Cloud on AWS as part of an early access program, ME Bank is hoping to gain 'organisational agility' across all of its business units.

ME Bank has announced adopting VMware Cloud on AWS to move traditional workloads from on-premises into the Amazon Web Services (AWS) public cloud.

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VMware Cloud on AWS runs VMware's enterprise-class software-defined datacentre (SDDC) on the AWS cloud, allowing customers to run any application across public, private, or hybrid cloud environments.

The offering only officially launched on Monday, after the companies quietly set customers up for the service earlier this month.

As one of the foundational customers of the partnership between the two tech heavyweights, GM of Strategy and Architecture Sunny Avdihodzic said ME is in the early stages of exploring how ME can take advantage of VMware on the public cloud.

"We've been a VMware customer for a number of years, most of our workloads are virtualised on-prem and it was just a great opportunity to explore how we can extend and provide additional flexibility and the scalability to enterprise to move faster," he told journalists in Sydney.

"The focus areas for us are to remain customer-focused ... and really enable organisational agility and some operational efficiencies as well -- and that's really what business and enterprise expects from the technology and we see this as a great opportunity."

ME Bank launched in Melbourne in 1994, setting out to do something completely different to other financial institutions at the time. Known then as Super Member Home Loans (SMHL), the lender originally focused on home loans before undergoing a name change in 1999 to Members Equity Bank.

ME Bank has operated differently to the likes of the big four banks in Australia, with all of its banking services conducted online, no bricks-and-mortar shopfronts, and none of its servicing performed face to face.

"I think our unique proposition and ownership structure, as well as relatively simple technology landscape, it enables us to move faster, it is essentially meeting the customer expectations they have now," Avdihodzic explained.

"They want new features, they want to have them faster, they want better results, so digital banks are well positioned to support that."

According to Avdihodzic, ME is keen to maximise the speed and agility the public cloud environment offers.

"Being a digital bank, technology plays a fundamentally large role in enabling our vision; specifically, technology plays a key role in enabling organisational agility and delivering operational efficiencies," he explained.

"Using the technology as a competitive differentiator to support a customer-centric approach and building market-leading customer experiences is really important and technology is one of the key building blocks to enable that."

Avdihodzic said the early access program has shown what is possible for the organisation.

"We focused primarily on that use case around datacentre extension, and it's been really promising what we've been able to accomplish within three weeks," he explained.

"We're in the last week of our sprint of the early access program -- it's been really good and it actually opens other opportunities as well that we hadn't actually explored, looking at how can we potentially use this to enable remote mobility and what are some of the capabilities that we can explore from disaster recovery and resilience as well."

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