Alpha Bank Weathers Greek Financial Crisis With BI and Integration Environment From Information Builders

WebFOCUS and iWay Software Enable Top Managers to Analyze Income, Monitor Spreads, and Instantly Respond to Requests From the Central Bank

NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwire - Aug 11, 2011) - Information Builders, an independent leader in business intelligence (BI) solutions, today announced that Alpha Bank, one of the largest financial services companies in Greece, has deployed an operational reporting and enterprise integration environment to deliver information to bank regulators and help users react quickly to changes in global financial markets. In the wake of an international banking crisis that has virtually crippled the Greek economy, Alpha Bank is using Information Builders' technology to fulfill requests from the Central Bank of Greece, maintain profitability, and preserve solid customer relationships. Information Builders' BI and integration products are built on a common architecture that helps the bank streamline everything from data acquisition (collection, quality, and movement) to information delivery (reporting, analysis, and distribution).

"We now have daily accurate and very detailed information on a customer's account level," said Dimitrios Dassios, MIS division manager at Alpha Bank. "During the heart of the crisis, reports that we used to create on a monthly basis suddenly needed to be delivered to the Central Bank daily. These reports would have been a nightmare to produce with our previous reporting environment, plus we were leery about the quality of the underlying data. Now, when top managers at the bank make requests, we can provide the answers they need instantly and we know the data is accurate."

Following years of unrestrained spending and a failure to implement strict financial reforms, Greece's national debt has soared and the country's deficit risen. Like many financial institutions in this troubled economy, Alpha Bank has to retain adequate liquidity, preserve good banking relationships, and respond to daily requests from regulators at the Central Bank of Greece. To provide the requisite information to senior managers and regulators, the bank uses Information Builders software to analyze information about investments, mortgages, credit cards, consumer loans, leasing packages, insurance, checking accounts, savings accounts and other bank products. Authorized users depend on WebFOCUS to access a data mart of consolidated information, loaded each night by iWay DataMigrator. The data mart maintains daily income from customers, products, business units, branches, and specific accounts throughout Alpha Bank's nine-country territory.

"Information Builders supplied an end-to-end solution to merge all of this information into one consolidated database and then developed a way to access, manage, and analyze that information," said George Kyriakidis, a project manager with Applied Science, an Information Builders partner that spearheaded the BI initiative. "When used with WebFOCUS, iWay DataMigrator delivers common metadata and an easy way to produce data dictionaries. The two products work very well together to create a common platform."

iWay's automated data quality functionality has enabled the bank to eliminate inconsistencies and ensure that the data mart is loaded with clean, consistent data, keeping accurate and auditable error logs for each load procedure. With all the information integrated in one place, managers can produce accurate reports to adjust interest rates on a moment's notice. "The more quickly we can monitor the impact of rate fluctuations on our various product offerings, the more attractive rates we can offer to customers while still maintaining a profitable spread," explained Dassios. "During times of crisis, when the cost of funds can change quickly, this becomes especially important."

Alpha Bank also relies on WebFOCUS to monitor the behavior of its large customers, since their actions indicate trends that can impact the entire customer base. For example, if the ratio between deposits and withdrawals gets out of balance, the bank can renegotiate its terms with key customers to ensure it doesn't lose their business. Other WebFOCUS reports monitor trends related to consumer loans, providing valuable insight to internal personnel as well as bank regulators.

"Alpha Bank has discovered the power of business analytics to discern patterns and trends in enterprise data, which can then be leveraged to facilitate faster, smarter planning and decision-making," said Jon M. Deutsch, vice president and principal of Information Builders' Financial Practice. "Armed with current, accurate information, the bank can continually fine-tune its strategy and contribute fundamental insight to help with the nation's economic recovery."

About Alpha Bank Group
Alpha Bank Group is one of the leading banking and financial services groups in Greece, offering a wide range of services including retail, SME and corporate banking, credit cards, asset management, investment banking, private banking, brokerage, leasing and factoring. Alpha Bank Group is also active in international financial market, with a presence in Cyprus, Romania, Bulgaria, Serbia, Ukraine, Albania, F.Y.R.O.M. and United Kingdom.

About Information Builders

Information Builders provides software and services that bring smarter decision-making and streamlined processes to leading organizations in business, government, and education worldwide. The company's software is installed in tens of thousands of locations, servicing millions of users. Its WebFOCUS business intelligence (BI) platform delivers massively scalable information applications, analytics, and customer-facing portals to the new generation of information users to deliver game-changing business results. Its iWay Software integration platform allows enterprises to leverage all of their information resources to streamline internal and business-to-business processes while escalating the overall accessibility and integrity of information regardless of environmental complexity. Headquartered in New York City with 60 offices worldwide, the company employs 1,350 people and has established significant industry partnerships. Visit Information Builders at For ongoing news, go to or follow Information Builders at @infobldrs.

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