Kiwibank to switch to Vista

Closer alignment with developers, customers prompts upgrade

Kiwibank will standardise on the Windows Vista operating system in a four-stage, company-wide rollout to begin in May, according to enterprise architecture manager Bohdan Szymanik.

Last August Szymanik said that hardware constraints were preventing the bank from upgrading to Vista, but he says “things have moved on” since then. Many of Kiwibank’s older PCs which were running Windows 2000 have now been replaced and the release of Vista Service Pack 1 also influenced the decision to upgrade.

Upgrading to Vista will also allow the bank to align more closely with its customers, staff and software developers, says Szymanik.

Szymanik says Vista is already being used in Kiwibank’s IT development department where it has proved to be popular. The bank is now gearing up for the wider deployment by checking all of its mainstream applications are compatible with Vista and particularly its revised security features.

“If you walk into any major computer retailer all the laptops are running Vista, so when our internet banking customers click into our callcentre it’s an advantage if our staff are seeing the same screen as our customer base is.”

Similarly, Szymanik says many Kiwibank employees are now running Vista on their home PCs, so it would be helpful if they could use the same interface at work.

While conceding that the major software vendors would continue to support XP, Szymanik says most developers now “have their sights set on Vista” and the release of Service Pack 1 meant that “a lot of the hardware work had been done”.

“Under Vista, applications may no longer write files to the root level of the C: drive for example, so we are making sure that none of our software does this. It’s surprising when you do an exercise like this that the diversity of applications you are actually running is much larger than you think.”

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