July 01, 2005

Bank Sheds Pounds

Sparkasse replaces PCs with ultra-thin client system.

In a move to save implementation, maintenance and upgrade costs, Sparkasse Haslach-Zell (Haslach, Germany; $1 billion in assets) is replacing its Windows-based PCs with Sun Rays from Sun Microsystems (Santa Clara, Calif.). Sparkasse's management reportedly decided to reduce its dependence on Microsoft-based (Redmond, Wash.) products to extend the value of its IT investments.

Sparkasse opted for a thin-client environment so that computing components would reside on the server side, rather that at individual desktops, according to Hans-Jurgen Neumaier, head of the bank's IT department. "If a client no longer contains any components, they cannot break down," he said in a release.

The bank purchased 25 Sun Ray terminals for its consultants along with three Sun Fire V20zs servers. "The introduction of the new infrastructure was as unobtrusive as you could possibly wish," said Neumaier.

By design, the Sun system allows the bank to install new software across the organization more easily than with individual PCs. The Sun Rays also lead to the possibility of desk sharing, so that consultants can go to any terminal and access important client information securely.

Neumaier is pleased with the investment. "The electricity costs alone that we saved with Sun Rays are enormous," he said. And staff seems to be enthusiastic about the Sun machines. "People call to complain that they have not yet received the new system," according to Neumaier.