ME Bank picks 'cheaper' Microsoft stack over Linux

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.
Written by Josh Taylor, Contributor

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.

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