​First Foundation Bank Case Study

By Sean O’Dowd

December 15, 2021 | min

I’m a habitual note-taker when speaking with customers about their efforts in hyperconverged infrastructure (HCI) and hybrid cloud. And most of the time, I always find a fascinating story buried in the observations I put to paper.

This happened when I examined my notes from a recent discussion with Adrian Darmawan, executive vice president and CTO of First Foundation Bank, which provides personal and business banking, private wealth management and trust services.

He gives credit to the Nutanix HCI for helping to navigate banking regulations, manage $7.7 billion in assets, and support customers and employees at 23 locations – while reducing the time spent on infrastructure management by up to 40%.

In the beginning…

“When I joined the First Foundation in late 2010, we were trying to run virtual desktops in a traditional SAN environment,” said Darmawan. “It wasn’t working well.”

Consequently, Darmawan and his team searched for a better solution to support the bank’s virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI). It was important to find one that offered a single pane of glass to replace the multiple interfaces they were using.

At that time, HCI pioneer Nutanix was among the few companies that could cost-effectively integrate multiple disparate systems into one easily managed hybrid cloud infrastructure. This made Nutanix an easy choice for the bank, a decision that still stands today.

Shortly after Nutanix was installed, the IT organization experienced a dramatic 40% reduction in infrastructure management time. This enabled the team to spend more time working on high-value projects that improved the customer experience.

Fast-forward to the present

So, what’s it like today for the bank’s IT professionals who work on the front lines?

“I spend less time looking at our infrastructure because everything is stable and fully operationally,” said Erik Harijanto, assistant vice president and systems architect at First Foundation.

As a result, the bank’s IT organization today concentrates on supporting a wide range of critical financial services and products for its growing customer base, which extends from Texas and Nevada to California and Hawaii.

Darmawan credits Nutanix for helping First Foundation to grow strategically. Instead of becoming a distraction, the bank leverages technology to stay focused on its core business of personal and business banking, private wealth management, and trust services.

“Nutanix has been a godsend in eliminating costs with VMware through hypervisor,” Darmawan said. “It continues to have a huge, positive impact on our bottom line and is instrumental in keeping us competitive in the banking and financial services sector.”

First Foundation's experience is compelling on the value Nutanix brings to customers and the trust earned over years. I hope you’ll check back from time to time for more stories from the front line.

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