A locally owned and operated institution, Peoples Bank of East Tennessee underwent various changes and acquisitions through the years. Consequently, its data center was a patchwork of server hardware, with limited server storage for each application and no shared storage capacity. In addition, reliance on individual file servers and tape backups made it increasingly difficult to protect customer data and satisfy regulatory audits.
Wishing to improve its overall customer experience, Peoples Bank was looking to invest in new applications requiring more resources and capabilities. Needing an alternative to its piecemeal approach, the bank turned to its longtime technology provider United Data Technologies for ideas. UDT proposed a virtualization solution that would bring physical hardware into a virtual environment and share resources, providing high availability while saving money.
“We’ve been super happy with UDT, so it didn’t make sense to look anywhere else,” said Dustin Atkins, first vice president and chief operations officer at Peoples Bank and its former IT manager. “They’ve helped us improve employee efficiency and enabled us to support our customers with new and more flexible services.”
Nimble service delivery
Now, operating from an almost entirely virtualized infrastructure, Peoples Bank can introduce new technology-driven services faster and at a dramatically lower cost than previously possible.
“Our IT budget is below the industry average, yet our infrastructure is on par with much larger banks,” said Atkins. “We provide online banking and other modern solutions just like the big guys. What might be an $80,000 to $100,000 project in a physical environment, we can do for $10,000 because we’re so optimized for virtualization.” He continued: “If we want to launch a new project, we can spin up a virtual server in 15 minutes, which is about how long it takes to get a physical server out of the box. We’re a lot more agile responding to market opportunities and delivering new banking services.”
Accelerated core banking processes
The new infrastructure deployed by UDT has improved essential banking operations such as day-end posting of account activity, a process that once took up to 1-1/2 hours; now it takes just 20 minutes. “Faster day-end processing means better work/life balance,” said Atkins. “Instead of waiting around until 7 or 8 at night for reports to finish, our people can get home in time for dinner.”
“Now we’re a lot more agile when it comes to responding to market opportunities and delivering new banking services to our customers.”
First Vice President and Chief Operations Officer
Peoples Bank of East Tennessee
Enhanced customer service
To promote customer convenience, Peoples Bank deployed a virtual end-user computing environment that enables the bank to bring services closer to customers. “With a virtual desktop on a mobile device, our people have customer information at their fingertips,” said Atkins. “This really ups the level of customer service we provide.”
Improved Data Protection
UDT helped Peoples Bank accelerate backups dramatically and improved backup reliability compared to tape. Full backups that previously ran 12 to 13 hours, often cutting into business hours, are now complete in five hours. Typical restore times also have been reduced from eight to two hours. What’s more, backups are instantly protected offsite for disaster recovery and regulatory compliance.
“We’ve moved ahead by leaps and bounds with our data protection,” said Atkins. “We used to spend about five hours per week managing tape backups, now it’s no more than an hour.”
A strong partnership drives success
As a result of UDT’s virtualization solution, Peoples Bank of East Tennessee can now:
- Deliver new services quickly and improve its core banking processes.
- Access customer records remotely, providing up-to-date information for improved customer interactions.
- Strengthen its data protection, addressing customer and regulatory privacy concerns.
Planning and implementing such a comprehensive solution requires teamwork. Atkins credits the bank’s trusted advisor relationship with UDT. “UDT knows the technology and brings a great deal of engineering skill,” he said. “Their personnel live here, so we team up with them very naturally. There’s excellent alignment among all the players, which helped make our IT transformation successful.”
Observed Frank Bryant, Regional Manager – Account Services at UDT East Tennessee, “Dustin relied on our expertise to help him move from physical to virtual, and he gained quite a bit of knowledge from our engineers because he is a hands-on type IT Director. Our engineers trained him well.”
Enjoy a 360° relationship with UDT
Peoples Bank of East Tennessee is but one of many organizations that have discovered the advantages of a trusted advisor relationship with UDT. Contact us today and let us demonstrate how we can help you reduce the risk, cost and complexity of deploying and managing IT solutions.