First Citizens

80,000

Calls Per Month

Legacy Hardware

Rip & Replace

24/7 Uptime

Virtual LoadMaster

The Problem

The continued growth of the First Citizens Group across the Caribbean brought with it a growing demand for their critical customer support functions handling over 80,000 calls per month on average, resulting in the need to replace their legacy hardware with a more versatile and cost effective virtual load balancing solution.

Why Kemp

In consultation with their partner Dell, First Citizens Group evaluated a number of virtual load balancing solutions from the leading ADC Vendors. Kemp’s high performance and cost effective Virtual LoadMaster combined with the installation expertise offered by Kemp Professional Services, proved to be the key differentiator.

The Solution

Led by the expert guidance of Kemp’s Professional Services team, the First Citizens Group replaced their legacy hardware load balancing solution with a pair of Kemp VLM-200s to form a HA cluster sitting at the heart of their critical call center application, providing continuous uptime with increased flexibility and versatility.

Challenge

The First Citizens Group is one of the leading Financial Services institutions in Trinidad and Tobago with locations in St Lucia, Barbados, Costa Rica and St. Vincent & the Grenadines, offering a full range of retail, corporate and merchant banking services as well as asset management, trustee and brokerage services.

Over the years the First Citizens Group has introduced a number of innovations in the region including mobile and online banking which aligns with its mission of building rewarding and sustainable relationships through a highly engaged team, versatile and secure technology, and innovative financial solutions.

In fulfilling its mission of providing versatile and secure technology, the First Citizens Group identified the need to replace their legacy hardware load balancing solution with an innovative virtual solution that could provide increased versatility, ease of use and provide a lower TCO.

With the new VLMs required to be integrated into their existing core infrastructure farm and sit at the heart of their core call center application to provide continuous uptime, First Citizens Group wanted to ensure a successful and best practice deployment with zero room for disruption to customer support and business continuity.

Solution

The First Citizens Group conducted an evaluation of the leading Application Delivery Vendors with the assistance of their technology partner Dell. The decision was made to choose Kemp as their preferred vendor based on the fact that Kemp could offer the functionality they required combined with the expert deployment guidance from Kemp’s industry leading Professional Services team at a cost that provided a superior return on investment than competing vendors.

As the First Citizens Group kept pace with the growing demand being placed on their customer support functions, they required a virtual solution to sit at the heart of their critical call center application to intelligently distribute incoming user connections and ensure 24/7 high availability.

Based on their requirements, they purchased a pair of Virtual LoadMaster 200s, an optimum solution for providing the flexibility and scalability they required for their growing virtual environment, combined with a throughput of up to 200Mbps per VLM, ensuring the delivery of streamlined performance levels during periods of peak usage levels.

Implementation

During the implementation phase of the project, the First Citizens Group engaged with Kemp Professional Services to overcome the lack of in-house expertise with load balancing configuration and minimize the risk of experiencing costly periods of downtime.

To begin, Kemp Engineers arranged a call with the First Citizens Group and one of their third-party vendors to analyze the project, identify the specific requirements and agree on a statement of work. This initial consultation was of great value to the IT team within the First Citizens Group as it set out clear steps on how to achieve a smooth implementation in a quick time frame during the critical bring-up phase of the project.

“Once we confirmed all our internal requirements, we were up and running relatively quickly, taking into consideration we had to co-ordinate with multiple global teams and another 3rd party application vendor on this particular project.” Janak Maraj, Manager - Database Administrator, First Citizens Bank (Trinidad) Limited.

 
“Kemp was ideal for our application HA needs. At the heart of our core call center application is the Kemp VLM, providing the uptime that essential to our business success.”
Janak Maraj, Manager - Database Administrator at First Citizens Bank (Trinidad) Limited.

The pair of VLMs were setup in a HA cluster to support their core call center application servers, providing maximum uptime by intelligently directing access requests to the best performing virtual servers based on factors such as concurrent connections, CPU load and memory utilization to avoid network bottlenecks.

“With a team like Kemp & Dell behind us, integration into our VM farm was perfect for long term manageability, recovery and reducing our physical footprint.” Janak Maraj, Manager - Database Administrator, First Citizens Bank (Trinidad) Limited.

Upon the successful testing and deployment of the VLMs, Kemp Professional Services provided training to the IT team at First Citizens Group to provide them with the skills to manage their virtual environment and take advantage of the VLM’s rich feature set with ease and confidence going forward.

“Kemp’s Professional services was always available and provided guidance and training for our continued use. Definitely a partner for success,” Janak Maraj, Manager - Database Administrator, First Citizens Bank (Trinidad) Limited.

Results

The First Citizens Group now has a highly scalable and flexible virtual infrastructure which can cater to the future growth demands of the company with plans for additional web applications to be added to their virtual environment.

With the VLMs at the heart of their core call center application, they have ensured the continuous availability of their critical customer support functions and maintained a competitive edge by ensuring consistent levels of reliability and performance is achieved through periods of peak and trough usage.

“Kemp was ideal for our application HA needs. At the heart of our core call center application is the Kemp VLM, providing the uptime that essential to our business success.” Janak Maraj, Manager - Database Administrator, First Citizens Bank (Trinidad) Limited.

By partnering with Kemp Professional Services, the First Citizens group leveraged the experience of Kemp Engineers who brought the combined experience of over 40,000 customer deployments to the project, ensuring a best practice, quick and non-disruptive deployment.

Americas
Trinidad & Tobago
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