St George boosts data network for CRM

St George Bank has upgraded its data network to support the voice and video demands of its fledgling customer relationship management (CRM) project. The Bank has deployed 10 gigabit network links, from networking vendor Nortel, for its main production and business continuity sites in Sydney.

St George Bank has upgraded its data network to support the voice and video demands of its fledgling customer relationship management (CRM) project.

The Bank has deployed 10 gigabit network links, from networking vendor Nortel, for its main production and business continuity sites in Sydney. New switches have also been installed to connect over 400 servers for St George branches around Australia.

"As part of our customer experience development we launched a CRM project in Q4 2005 that required an overhaul of our existing network to function optimally," said John Loebenstein, group executive, information technology at St George.

"Not only did we need vastly increased bandwidth to support new CRM and other applications, but -- given the type of traffic we were going to run over the network, including voice and video -- we needed sub-second failover recovery to minimise any effect on customers in the event of a system failure."

St George's network services provider Optus and an unnamed Nortel nPower channel partner took less than eight weeks to implement the new network.

"New applications like video conferencing and VoIP put a much greater emphasis on the reliability and resiliency of the network infrastructure because of the added stresses they put on available bandwidth," said Paul Bristow, St George executive manager, IT network services.

The network has been operating for over four months, according to the bank.

The installation follows a tender and trial process for the network last year.

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