Banks, see CBA, NAB, ANZ, WBC, SUNcorp, BOQ below, each uses overnight interbank updating of their individual core platform — banking deposits and transactions history — by running COBOL on their "monster" IBM mainframe computers.
In an article in cio.com.au in 2018 it is estimated there are 63 mainframes (insourced and outsourced) in Australia and they aren’t going anywhere soon. According to IBM, the dominant player in the market, its mainframes run 68 per cent of the world’s production workloads, handle 87 per cent of all credit card transactions, and are used by 44 of the top 50 banks and 18 of the top 25 retailers.
Much of the past 18 years upgrading relates to front end systems for their staff, specifically in relation to CRM Customer relationship management.
CBA Major upgrade 2008-2012. Fairly successful rollout. The CBA was said to be in an enviable position from an IT management perspective. Ralph Norris, its chief executive (2005 to 2011) — on a $16 million salary in 2011 the highest paid executive in Australia — was himself earlier (in NZ) a CIO chief information officer for the bank.
The strategic partners in the rollout for CBA were: 1.SAP running "SAP for Banking" Solutions using Netweaver (SAP is a German software company that started up in 1972) 2.Accenture (previously Arthur Andersen Accounting) for program implementation. 3.Oracle Database as a Service 4.IBM mainframe computer 5.HP workstations. They also work with Telstra. SAP's English-like programming language ABAP has its language roots in COBOL and Pascal.
The bank will still keep its mainframe at the core of its IT. "It's still very efficient, still very powerful," CIO Michael Harte said.
According to Dave Curran, executive general manager of this core banking modernisation, "You base things on the documentation and history. But (at our end in 2009) you find things that were put there 30 years ago that nobody knew about, which makes testing and piloting very important - to make sure we pick things up before we put something into production that will affect customers," "We have watched a lot of organisations globally, before and during, get bogged down in analysis paralysis; we don't allow people to slip on decisions and go back and revisit things. That has let us build some contingency in our schedule as we know we will have some surprises, it doesn't matter how hard you plan."
Click here for a recent US conference in 2018, CBA still using mainframes and IBM's P-series hardware for tasks including credit card transaction processing.
NAB working with Oracle, has been converting for many years to "NextGen", an "Oracle Banking Platform" (OBP) 2009-2019. Written mostly in Java. NAB and Suncorp to become the first users of this platform in the world. In 2014, concerns expressed internally that the software involved does not scale up as originally envisaged by NAB. The previous system built for NAB back in 1976, used IBM's IMS Database.
ANZ on IBM runs a Computer Science Corporation (CSC) — since 2017 known as DXC Technology — Hogan platform (COBOL based platform). NZ on FIS's Systematic. Asia-Pacific on Infosys's Finacle.
ANZ also runs SAP's Omnichannel Digital Platform (the product stems from Sybase 360) for online banking.
WBC's St George started converting its Hogan core banking system to a newer "wrapper" program Celeriti in 2013. In August 2016, Westpac completed this upgrade for the whole of its Hogan network.
Suncorp in 2010 said it was converting from the Hogan platform to Oracle. On Aug 3, 2017 Suncorp announced migration of deposits and transaction banking were being placed on hold indefinitely.
BOQ 2001-2004 changed to Fiserv's International Comprehensive Banking System (ICBS) running its implementation of COBOL on IBM's iSeries platform.
BOQ's old system was written in COBOL, but with the in-house core banking application running on a Fujitsu mainframe.
At all the branches, the program was switched over to run
For more specific details, the bank, working with outsourcing partner Ross Perot and HP's EDS (today known as DXC Technology), overhauled its network infrastructure to deliver 100 percent of branch applications over a 128-bit Frame Relay WAN connection to 1,000 plus Wyse Winterm Windows-based thin-client terminals, 500 pin keypads, 500 card-swipe machines, 100 Dell laptops connected to 52 HP and Dell computer servers, specifically HP DL360 G3 servers and Dell 1850 servers running Windows 2000 Server and Citrix Presentation Server. More than 170 branches now connect to the corporate network, providing 1,600 users, including tellers, branch managers and internal administration staff, with access to client and browser-based applications, such as the Customer Relationship System (CRS), Fiserv's core banking system, and the Branch Teller application (BT).
Citrix Presentation Server provides efficient, centralised application management and deployment from the bank's two data centres located in Brisbane. Each new branch runs a minimum of five Wyse terminals and two printers, plus swipe card readers and pin pads.
In 2014, new upgrade roll-out to 260 branches. MS Windows upgraded from XP to 8.1 on 1200 new HP "Revolve" laptop-tablets. MS Lync now used for messaging, also smartphones and tablets on offer at branches.