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UnionBank takes on a cloud-first strategy with the help of SAP

UnionBank of the Philippines, a publicly-listed universal bank, commenced SAP S/4 HANA hosted out of HANA Enterprise Cloud (HEC) to fuel its digital transformation in the banking sector.

First founded in 1982, UnionBank is a universal bank in respect to market capitalization, profits and customer coverage, committed to its purpose of making the difference in customers lives by connecting and enabling communities through Smart Banking. Today, the bank distinguishes itself through superior technology, unique branch sales and service culture, and centralized backroom operations.

Justo A. Ortiz, chairman and CEO of UnionBank, shared that in its 35 years of existence, the company believes that the mission to “transform the bank for the digital economy” is the most revolutionary and gigantic step that the bank has taken towards in enabling its customers through digital transformation.

UnionBank, a leader in Philippine digital banking, was among the first of its peers to start the first bank website, pioneer online banking in the country, and launch the country’s first electronic savings account. These things all point to UnionBank’s goal of creating seamless operations in all parts of its transaction for its customers.

“We wanted to create a core banking system that will help us to decentralize our functions for booking, establish a Shared Services framework to support our HR functions, and automate our operations focused on Enterprise GL, Planning and Budgeting, Procurement, and Analytics. This development is vital for us to meet the ever-changing needs not just of our customers but also our employees,” said Ortiz.

Before tapping SAP, UnionBank faces significant challenges with Financial Management, manual Excel-based processes, budget tracking, account and product profitability reports, Reimbursement and Disbursement System (RDS), and Project Management, among other things. Now, with S/4 HANA hosted on HEC, UnionBank can reduce its business complexity with minimum human error and intervention, allowing the company to boost its productivity and efficiency.

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“We want to further establish our position as the most innovative and pioneering bank in the country to advance its operation in the S/4 HANA hosted on HEC as we take on a cloud-first strategy with the help of SAP. But more than that, we see this as a chance for us to streamline processes and meet business needs in a secure, safe, scalable, and robust cloud environment,” added Henry Aguda, Chief Technology and Operations Officer and Chief Transformation Officer of UnionBank.

HEC, a private cloud offered by SAP, helps customers to deploy HANA applications such as S/4 HANA, a real-time enterprise resource management suite that supports different lines of business run simple in the digital economy. With S/4 HANA hosted out of HEC, UnionBank can now focus on solution breath and simplified user experience that will help them lean toward the digital transformation.

“Going digital can provide an immense change in today’s business environment, especially with the way banking in UnionBank is carried out.  We hope that by running live with S/4 HANA hosted through HEC and with our expertise in digital technologies, UnionBank can operate and deliver more value to their customers in a seamless and engaging way,” said Edler Panlilio, managing director of SAP Philippines.

Furthermore, HEC and SAP’s Application Management Services (AMS) make room for different sectors to transform their business by taking advantage of its ability to free-up customer’s resource and IT staff, reduce the investment capital required, and to minimize and avoid energy and data center costs. This is essential for organizations to drive value creation activities, focus on business innovation, and boost revenue.

SAP considers the unique industry-specific needs of UnionBank in a tightly regulated industry and understands the role that technology plays in shifting the dynamics of success. SAP believes that this solution is the cornerstone of future innovations as UnionBank begins to explore blockchain technology, In-Memory Computing, and Big Data. Through this, UnionBank can see that the system is ready to support new technologies and solutions in the market.

Choosing SAP is in line with the bank’s core mission to transform the bank for the digital economy and be the first in the country put all their core operations to the cloud.

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