"Business Logics 2.0" (I.T. Group) has completed a project to modernize Alfa Bank's electronic document archive. The new archive system made it possible to increase the efficiency of Alfa Bank's main areas of business: corporate and retail business, cash settlement center, directorate for management of regional operational activity, management of conformity with requirements. More than 1700 employees of the bank now use the archive.
The electronic archive used at Alfa Bank was developed on the ECM¬ platform of IBM Content Manager Standart Edition and required wider functions, as well as a higher level of scalability, reliability, performance and integration with other corporate IT systems. This problem was solved via the implementation of a project to migrate the electronic archive to a new software and hardware platform, and expand the system's functionality taking account of business units' requirements and Alfa Bank's growth forecasts.
The contractor for the project was the company "Business Logics 2.0" (I.T. Group), whose experts developed a fail-safe and crash-safe solution (using two DPCs in separate locations) for electronic storage and processing of documents. The solution's structure incorporates several subsystems:
- an electronic document storage subsystem (EDSS) which provides centralized, structured storage of electronic copies of documents and the corresponding attribute information, as well as automation of business processes related to storage and management of electronic documents in the archive;
- a client connections subsystem (CCS) whose functionality makes it possible to import new electronic copies of documents, add document cards, change their status in accordance with rights and roles in the electronic archive, reflect the hierarchical structure of documents, and conduct a full-text search of electronic copies of documents;
- an integration components subsystem (ICS) which is responsible for transferring electronic copies of documents and their attributive meta-information from corporate IT systems to the archive.
IBM Content Manager Enterprise Edition was selected as the ECM platform for the modernized electronic archive, as it is the closest to the previous platform and means that functionality can be broadened, in full compliance with the customer's requirements. All the other components of the electronic archive were also developed by IBM: server equipment (pSeries), storage systems (StoreWize v7000), tape library, operation systems (AIX), backup system (Tivoli Storage Manager), DBMS (DB2) and the applications server (WebSphere).
Integration with the information systems of scanning and attributive document recognition based on ABBYY FlexiCapture and ABBYY FormReader means that documents can be mass downloaded to the archive from external sources. Integrated connections between the electronic archive and external information systems can be created with the help of bar-coding technology, which can also be used to separate the procedures of creating document cards (when they are archived) and the scanning process.
The data model used was fine-tuned so that it is simpler for users, and it provides new capabilities: hierarchical document display, full-text search, directories and versioning of documents, etc. The model of the system's safety and auditing was improved.
An important stage of the project was the migration of large data arrays into the new archive system, the collection of statistics and the building up of relevant reference points. Special migration utilities, as well as tools for collecting statistics and checking correct data transfer, were developed for this purpose. The accumulated array of documents – some 20 mil. documents – was produced within a short time-frame, and the majority of the documents were transferred automatically.
"The solution developed and implemented at Alfa Bank fully satisfies the bank's requirements in terms of electronic document management," said Vladislav Polev, Director for Electronic Data Repositories Implementation Practice at "Business Logics 2.0". "In particular, the electronic archive is integrated with the bank's other information systems, which means that all the unstructured information available at the bank can be managed more efficiently and without losing anything."
"The modernization of Alfa Bank's electronic archive, related to the transition to the enterprise version of the ECM platform, has considerably broadened the horizons for the potential use of the platform to solve the bank's current and future problems," commented Dmitry Laktionov, Head of ECM Solutions' sales department, IBM in Russia and the CIS. "Taking into consideration the trends we see in other large companies and organizations, we can safely say that the majority of ECM platform users gradually shift from a concept of isolated projects which affect separate business problems to the concept of a unified service for working with corporate documents, available not only from ECM applications themselves but also from external information systems, such as ABC, CRM, ERP and so on."
"The objectives of the bank's electronic archive modernization project have been achieved," says Alexander Libkind, Head of Alfa Bank's Centralized System Technologies Department. By introducing a new platform for the electronic archive, we rid ourselves of the organizational and technological constraints we faced earlier. The new platform also makes it possible to further develop the electronic archive system, with the total volume of documents exceeding 15 Tb."