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"In our search for a database technology that met our demands for performance, user scalability, and cost efficiency, Sybase IQ proved itself to be the clear winner."

Harianto Gono
Head of MIS

Management reporting at Indonesia's Bank Permata Tbk (PermataBank) has had a challenging history. Through a cycle of corporate transformation that started during the Asian financial crisis of the late 1990s, PermataBank's reporting requirements kept changing – a problem exacerbated by lack of database scalability and performance. With the implementation of a new enterprise data warehouse powered by Sybase IQ, PermataBank now generates a host of reports on key financial and strategic indicators and can rapidly support new management information requests.

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Rapidly Growing Bank
Indonesia's seventh largest bank, PermataBank is listed on the Jakarta Stock Exchange. This growing bank operates in 32 cities across the country with 342 branches, has approximately ten thousand employees and approximately 1.6 million customers.

PermataBank provides general banking services such as, various types of deposits and loans, credit cards, insurance and electronic banking. Its commercial banking operation offers a variety of options including investment loans, working capital loans, letters of credit, trade related financing and dealer financing.

Creating a Consolidated Data Warehouse since it was formed by the merger of five institutions under the sponsorship of the Indonesian Bank Restructuring Agency, PermataBank's management has had to work hard to put a consistent management information and reporting regimen in place.

The hurdles Permata Bank faced have been both organizational and technological, the process began with five different sets of management processes and information technology infrastructures that needed to be merged into one.

"There have been three PermataBank eras – pre-merger, post-merger and after divestiture – each with its own reporting requirements," said Harianto Gono, head of MIS. "To generate consistent management information, our vision has been to integrate data from across the organization into a consolidated data warehouse." Gono continues "Our efforts to do so in the past, however, have been hampered by the inability of our IBM DB2 database platforms to scale, resulting in slow performance on queries and critical management report generation."

To address this problem PermataBank launched an initiative to replace the existing management reporting platform with a new one. The objective was to establish a data warehouse that was fast, reliable, scalable and easy to maintain.

During the evaluation process Sybase, IBM and Oracle were invited to participate in two rounds of benchmarking using a specific set of data and queries. Each vendor was given a limited amount of time to setup and configure their environment, load the data, and run the suite of queries; both consecutively and as a large set of concurrent queries against the database. As a result of this performance testing, PermataBank selected Sybase IQ for its unparalleled speed and performance.

During the competitive benchmark Sybase IQ was able to demonstrate by far the fastest execution of all identified tasks and complete the task in less than one single day from start to finish. Other vendors struggled to complete a successful benchmark during the allotted time because of the complexity in installing and configuring their products for optimal performance in the two-CPU benchmark environment.

"In our search for a database technology that met our demands for performance, user scalability, and cost efficiency, Sybase IQ proved itself to be the clear winner," said Gono.

A New Era with Sybase IQ
The key element in PermataBank's new data warehouse platform is Sybase IQ, a highly-optimized analytics server, designed specifically to deliver ultra-high-speed business intelligence and reporting on standard hardware and operating systems. At PermataBank it runs on an 8-way IBM pSeries Unix server with 46GB of memory, linked to an IBM TotalStorage DS4800 capable of scaling up to 112TB of storage capacity.

The new PermataBank enterprise data warehouse was implemented by a team of nine developers who built a data extraction transformation and loading (ETL) tool using Informatica's PowerCenter application. This tool is used to integrate data from the retail, commercial, credit card, switching, and treasury systems and populate that data into the consolidated warehouse.

"Everything went very smoothly during the implementation and once we put the new data warehouse into production, everything worked well. With Sybase IQ there is no need to tune our database, which is very different from our previous database platform. As a result we only require one database administrator to operate the system," said Gono.

More and Better Information
After the first phase of the implementation was completed, the bank was able to realize its objectives and produce a broad range of management reports – covering profitability, portfolios, marketing, risk management, anti-money laundering and central bank reporting – in a timely and accurate manner. As a result PermataBank has established an excellent foundation of information to support decision-making.

"We are already seeing a huge increase in the interest for access to the data warehouse from across the bank, and we are very confident that Sybase IQ will scale to meet those demands," said Gono. "Our intention is to keep a minimum of three years of detailed transaction data in the warehouse. With Sybase IQ's compression capabilities, the overall cost of keeping large amounts of historical data, as well as the impact on query performance, is negligible."

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