An “IT infrastructure partner” is how Global Enterprise Services (GES) sees itself. They recently helped the private bank DNB Luxembourg to replace their entire data centre, with both parties characterising the relationship as one based on trust, creativity, fairness and speed. So what makes this partnership special?
“Having designed and implemented DNB’s full new IT infrastructure puts us in a potentially powerful short term position,” explains Arnaud Lhuillier, Head of Sales Department at GES. “However, we will only ever apply our “Fair Business” policy, even though at any moment we might be the only ones who can respond adequately to an emergency,” he adds.
The ultimate aim is a long-term relationship based on trust. “I have been working with these guys since 2008,” notes Johan Ludvigsson, Head of IT at DNB Luxembourg, “so it was reassuring to be able to sign a four-year agreement with them, but with us having a quick get-out clause if something goes wrong.”
Speed, accuracy, creativity
DNB Luxembourg is the international private banking subsidiary of Norway’s largest financial services company. It has been present in the Grand Duchy since 1979. Its IT environment had grown organically since then but this heterogeneous and tired infrastructure needed modernised optimisation. Something new was needed to cope with a range of demands: business growth, ensuring long-term system stability, coping with new regulatory requirements, increased scalability and system flexibility, and facilitating greater functionality. They chose Tenemos to cover both their ERP and web needs, and asked GES to handle the entire supporting infrastructure.
In few weeks GES had completed their design, featuring servers from HP, storage from EMC, with a virtualization layer by VMware. Installation and testing followed, with the go-live at the start of this year. The whole process took less than 11 months. “Not only was it completed quickly, but the design is creative, and the implementation is technically sound,” says Mr Ludvigsson.
Intelligent back up
GES provide reactive and proactive support. Mr Ludvigsson has four in his team at DNB, and is happy to call GES a “virtual fifth member”. Geoffrey Cousin, General Manager at GES agrees: “our offices are in Luxembourg City and we can be at DNB’s offices ready to get to work in a quarter of an hour if needed.” But GES support team works hard to make sure there are no emergencies, with monitoring and fine-tuning on-going.
Business continuity has been simplified and improved, with a full offsite replication of the bank’s system running in a local data centre. “We conducted an ‘as live’ stress test and found that the effective, logical downtime would have amounted to a few seconds, keeping the loss of data and work to virtually nothing,” Mr Ludvigsson comments.
Building long term relationships
“Our vision is not typical of most IT infrastructure firms,” comments Mr Lhuillier.
Said commercial as well as technical performance creativity made them stand out for clients from all sectors including finance, public administration, and manufacturing. “We have a fair sales policy. We will not go for a quick win with unreasonably low prices at the start, and seek to recoup with higher service charges at the back end,” he says. “We like being put under pressure as this helps us succeed, which ensures long-term client confidence.”