Commercial Sector: Al Rajhi Bank Set to Grow with Cisco in Malaysia

Cisco Unified Communications Supports Saudi-Based Bank Efforts to Quadruple Its Presence in Malaysia

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia, Sept. 17, 2007 – The world’s largest Islamic bank, Al Rajhi Bank, has deployed the Cisco® Unified Communications system as a strategic move to drive its business expansion in Malaysia. The solution has been implemented across the bank’s 18 existing branches to provide a highly scalable, cost-effective and highly secure communications system and it will accommodate future growth plans for up to 50 branches by 2010.

“Al Rajhi Bank’s success as the world’s largest Islamic bank has been due in part to our continuous investment in leading-edge information and communications technologies. We wish to replicate the same success in Malaysia by adopting a communications solution that supports our aggressive plans, while keeping costs manageable,” said Soo Chen Woe, Head of Technology for Al Rajhi Bank Malaysia.

The bank realizes the need to put in place from the start an integrated voice and data communications platform that is scalable enough to cope with the rapid growth. At the same time, a high level of employee productivity and information availability must be maintained in order to keep the business running.

Cisco’s Unified Communications system eliminates complex and tedious configuration processes, enabling the bank to quickly establish a new branch network within a very short period. The mobility functions enable employees to access vital information from the corporate network outside the office and to remain operational and productive even in the event of unexpected disruptions.

“Al Rajhi exercised and reviewed key components of the entire Cisco Unified Communications system. After seeing it in action for six months, they saw the business value and were convinced that the solution would address their business challenges,” said Kumaran Singaram, managing director, Cisco Malaysia.

Al Rajhi Bank found that the Cisco Unified Communications system enhanced the efficiency of intra-company interaction without compromising on the personal touch. The solution increased efficiency and reduced costs by cutting down long-distance travel, thus accelerating decision-making processes.

“With the right infrastructure firmly in place, we are looking toward setting new standards for the banking industry in Malaysia. We are confident that the capabilities afforded by the Cisco Unified Communications system will meet, or even exceed, the needs fundamental to our expansion and development. Our experience shows us that Cisco is definitely the right technology partner to help drive our future initiatives,” said Al Rajhi’s Soo.

The Cisco Unified Communications system is an integrated suite of voice, data and video products and applications specifically designed to help organizations of all sizes to communicate more effectively. It allows customers to integrate their communications system with their information technology (IT) infrastructure, streamlining business processes for the way effective businesses need to work today. The Cisco Unified Communications system is a complete and extensive solution that enables unified mobility, collaboration and comprehensive security, as well as various application integration.

About Al Rajhi Bank
Based in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, Al Rajhi Bank plays an integral part in the life of the desert Kingdom. Al Rajhi Bank has been serving its citizens, financing its growth and contributing to Saudi development for over 50 years. The bank has now grown into the country's largest branch network (more than 500 branches) distributed throughout the Kingdom, the largest ATM network (1600 machines) and over 12.000 POS installed with merchants all over the Kingdom. It is also one of the largest joint stock companies in Saudi, with a paid-up capital of SR 6,750,000,000.

Malaysia marks Al Rajhi’s first foray into the international retail banking market and it is an exciting and highly significant development in the history of the bank.

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