[As reported on AME Info, Al Sharq, Al Arab, Al Watan, Al Raya, Zawya, The Peninsula, Meanafn.com, MEED, and qatarisbooming.com]
Microsoft Gulf and Qatar First Investment Bank (QFIB) announced that they have partnered to upgrade the core IT infrastructure of QFIB’s Data Center and Disaster Recovery site leveraging Private Cloud capabilities from Microsoft. When completed, QFIB’s Private Cloud model will be the first of its kind in Qatar’s financial sector.
According to recent reports by Gartner in Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA), 44% of FS CIOs expect that more than half of all their institutions’ transactions will be supported via cloud infrastructure by 2015.
Commenting on the agreement, Samer Abu Ltaif Regional General Manager at Microsoft Gulf said, "We are very proud that Microsoft was entrusted by QFIB to design and implement such a comprehensive and mission critical project. To reinforce its commitment, Microsoft has provided the highest level of quality assurance guarantees at all stages of the project. We are also very pleased that, as part of this agreement, QFIB will be the first bank in Qatar to roll out the recently launched Windows 8 on all its PCs."
The implementation phase of this project will start in December and will entail a comprehensive transformation of QFIB’s IT environment, ranging from domain consolidation and security aspects, to desktop standardization and advanced solutions for interoffice communications. Once operational, the Microsoft solutions deployed at QFIB will provide greater cost efficiencies, faster delivery and more reliable running of applications, and a flexible infrastructure that can be scaled to meet advanced QFIB requirements.
Commenting on the agreement, Mr. Slim Bouker, Chief Operating Officer at QFIB said, "We are proud to be the first bank in Qatar to deploy Microsoft’s latest private cloud technology in upgrading our IT infrastructure (Windows 2012 Hyper-v, System Center 2012, SQL 2012 and Windows 8). Such a step will enable QFIB to enhance data security, reduce cost and efficiently support the future growth requirements of the business including servicing subsidiaries through multi-domain capabilities. We look forward to working with Microsoft on this exciting project"
Explaining the technical aspects of the project, Mr. Mahmood Shaker, Chief Information Officer at QFIB said,"We are pleased to partner with Microsoft in upgrading our core IT capabilities. We are confident that this project will reshape our IT infrastructure. By leveraging the Private Cloud capabilities, QFIB will introduce automation which will save on Banking Technologies and Datacenters expansion costs, improve IT service availability and enhance stakeholder experience"
Launched in 2009, Qatar First Investment Bank (QFIB) is the first independent Shari’ah compliant investment bank licensed by the Qatar Financial Centre Regulatory Authority. QFIB offers Principal Investments, Asset Management and Corporate Finance Advisory services. QFIB is ISO 27001 certified and is the recipient of the "Best Investment Bank in the GCC in 2011" under the Islamic Business & Finance category by CPI Financial. In 2011, QFIB was awarded the accolade of the "Best Financial Service Industry Deployment of the Year" by Computer News Middle East.
A rapid shift in attitude towards cloud banking is happening within the financial services (FS) industry, according to Gartner, Inc. A Gartner survey* found that cloud is the top priority for global FS CIOs and that 39% of those surveyed expect that more than half of all their transactions will be supported via cloud infrastructure and software as a service (SaaS) by 2015.
In Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA), 44% of FS CIOs expect that more than half of all their institutions’ transactions will be supported via cloud infrastructure by 2015 and 33% of them expect that the majority of transactions will be processed via SaaS by 2015.