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Banca Popolare di Sondrio (BPSO)


Banca Popolare di Sondrio (BPSO) is a commercial banking group based in northern Italy. Founded in 1871 as a small bank in the heart of the Alps, today BPSO operates 330 commercial branches in Italy and Switzerland and employs more than 2,600 people.


Convenience is king in the banking industry. Customers expect a personalised banking experience every time, and they don’t think twice about changing banks until they find it. To improve customers’ banking experience and avoid attrition, BPSO needed to make sure customer-facing applications are available 24x7.


  • Helps increase customer acquisition and retention
  • Saves nearly 200 hours each year in recovery time; eases regulatory compliance
  • Lowers TCO of backup infrastructure

The Business Challenge

BPSO customers demand anytime, anywhere banking. They expect seamless, personalised service in every branch, at ATMs, online, and when they use mobile banking apps. They are tech-savvy and eager to find a new bank if their needs are not met. To enhance the customer experience, stay competitive in the banking industry and avoid attrition, BPSO sought higher availability of customer-facing applications.

“Our customer-facing applications are tied to online banking and tellers in our branches,” said Piergiorgio Spagnolatti, Head of Infrastructure at BPSO. “If these applications aren’t available, customers can’t access the data they need for online banking, and tellers can’t access the data they need to serve customers. Application availability became a challenge shortly after we began our digital transformation.”

BPSO’s digital transformation started with virtualisation. Application availability was challenging because legacy backup couldn’t keep pace in a growing VMware vSphere environment where data increases by 25 to 30 percent each year. Backup was so slow that customer-facing applications could only be backed up once every 24 hours.

“We had to be able to back up customer-facing applications several times each day, not just once a day,” Spagnolatti said. “Having more backups to restore from yields higher availability. We couldn’t let poor backup performance dictate the bank’s Availability policies. We had to improve availability, or we were going to lose customers.”

Getting to the bottom of customer attrition is a top priority for banks. In a global consumer banking survey conducted by Ernst & Young, almost half of banking customers opened or closed a bank account because they were dissatisfied with customer service, which clearly illustrates how pivotal the customer experience is to banks globally.

The Veeam Solution

Veeam® Backup & Replication™ dramatically improved availability of the bank’s customerfacing systems. Veeam delivers 24x7 Availability, enabling BPSO to improve the customer experience and increase customer acquisition and retention.

“Veeam performance was a game-changer,” Spagnolatti said. “Veeam enabled us to shift from a technology-driven approach to application availability (our only choice with legacy backup) to a business-driven approach. Not only did we improve customer acquisition and retention, we also lowered the cost of availability in terms of time and money.”

Veeam saves the bank nearly 200 hours each year in recovering critical systems, including Internet access, enabling tellers to serve customers efficiently. Veeam saves thousands upon thousands of Euros per year in backup storage because Veeam integrates fully with Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) StoreOnce and EMC Data Domain storage systems. Spagnolatti said both provide excellent deduplication, letting BPSO store more Veeam backups in less space, which lowers the total cost of ownership (TCO) of the backup infrastructure.

“Veeam provides additional business value that’s harder to measure,” Spagnolatti said. “Veeam simplified our backup infrastructure and made it 100% reliable, giving us a level of confidence we’ve never had before. And, Veeam made it easier for us to compile regulatory compliance reports because fast recovery is a non-issue.”

Simplifying IT and making it more reliable is an essential task for any company that wants to stay competitive. It’s also essential during digital transformation. No one knows this better than Spagnolatti, who joined BPSO in 1995 before the bank had a data centre. Instead, 15 physical servers sat next to his desk. Today, more than 1,000 virtual machines (VMs) reside in two state-of-the-art data centres. Spagnolatti said he doesn’t worry about Veeam backing up 250 TB of data because Veeam provides enterprise scalability.

“Veeam has supported our digital transformation efforts from the beginning,” Spagnolatti said. “We consider Veeam Availability a function of our IT infrastructure, not something we have to fine-tune along the way to get the outcomes we want. Veeam delivers the best solution on the market.”

The Results

  • Helps increase customer acquisition and retention
    Veeam delivers 24x7 Availability of customer-facing applications that support online banking, customer accounts and tellers in bank branches, which helps BPSO improve the customer experience. Without 24x7 Availability, BPSO risked losing customers to competing players in the market.
  • Saves nearly 200 hours each year in recovery time; eases regulatory compliance
    Veeam saves BPSO significant time in recovering critical systems such as Internet access, which enables tellers in bank branches to serve customers efficiently. Recovery with Veeam takes minutes. Before Veeam was deployed, recovery took hours.
  • Lowers TCO of backup infrastructure
    Veeam lowered the cost of availability because it integrates fully with HPE StoreOnce and EMC Data Domain, which store more backups in less space.
Banca Popolare di Sondrio (BPSO)
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