Westpac sets e-commerce world record with Oracle

Westpac has undertaken one of the largest implementations in the world of Oracle's General Ledger and has gone live with the developer's E-Business Suite for its Australian operations. The bank has more than 500 users of the software nationally, some 200 of them often accessing it concurrently, and expects to process almost one million journals daily, according to Warrant Dunne, head of financial systems at Westpac. The bank has also implemented Oracle purchasing, payables, and fixed assets modules to summarise and analyse all of its financial transactions.

"We can account for all of the bank's operations using a single chart of accounts, ultimately providing us with additional information needed for decision making and removing the necessity for expensive reconciliation processes," Dunne explained.

The bank's software upgrade brought with it significant improvements in the performance and manageability of the bank's accounting processes. Dunne claimed that the use of overnight batch processing, which updates the general ledger to reflect daily changes to customers' accounts, has reduced elapsed time by 40 per cent.

He added that the deployment of the E-Business Suite provided the additional benefit of streamlining Westpac's business processes by allowing personnel to access applications via a Web browser.

Westpac houses its general ledger data on the Oracle 8i database, which it claims has improved the performance of some database operations by more than 100 per cent.