The Instituto del Fondo Nacional de la Vivienda (INFONAVIT) is an organization that provides credit to Mexican workers to help them buy homes. The Institute has become the largest mortgage lender in the country, with a credit portfolio more than three times as large as those of the commercial banks. It provides services to more than 12 million people and 830,000 employers.
At the beginning of 2005, INFONAVIT planned to design and implement a new fiscal collection system, in order to increase revenues, reduce operational costs and streamline businesses processes for improved efficiency.
The Institute's existing IT infrastructure lacked the flexibility required for a modern solution that would meet international standards on IT security and financial controls. INFONAVIT needed a simple, secure platform that would enable easy integration with the systems of other organizations, while keeping costs low as possible.
INFONAVIT’s revenues are growing by more than 15 percent annually, so the organization needed a solution that could scale effectively. The mainframe platform was the only real option given the volume of data that the new payment collection system would need to process, and INFONAVIT wanted a software solution that would offer high performance in a mainframe environment.
After investigating a variety of solutions, INFONAVIT decided to adopt SUSE® Linux Enterprise Server as a stable and robust platform for its new payment collection system. The system is based on the SAP Public Sector Collections and Disbursements (PSCD) application, integrated with INFONAVIT’s SAP ERP solution.
"When we performed a sizing exercise for the new SAP solution, we found that using Linux would reduce the cost of implementation by more than 50 percent," said Oscar Castellanos Peón, IT Service Coordinator at INFONAVIT. "Without Linux, we would have needed to make a considerable investment in infrastructure, not to mention the increased maintenance costs for the hardware and the operating system."
By selecting SUSE Linux Enterprise Server as the platform for its new SAP software, INFONAVIT gained an open, scalable and highly reliable platform for its business-critical payment collection system.
"Before, we had a closed, limited architecture with little security, which could not be expanded," said Castellanos Peón. "There was no way to provide an effective Web interface, making it difficult for us to give our clients—in this case, employers throughout Mexico—full access to information and self-service tools."
INFONAVIT chose SUSE Linux Enterprise because it was impressed by the platform's security, stability and robustness.
"One of the advantages of Linux is that it is highly portable and can run on just about any hardware platform, including the mainframe," said Castellanos Peón. "SUSE Linux Enterprise is extremely modular and customizable, offering easy installation and integration with other systems. We use SUSE Linux Enterprise to manage accounts for most of Mexico's workers and employers—which demonstrates our confidence in the platform. We are certain that we made the right choice."
An additional factor in INFONAVIT’s selection of SUSE Linux Enterprise was the organization’s high opinion of the our support infrastructure.
"We are completely satisfied with the service that Novell (now a part of Micro Focus) has provided," said Castellanos Peón. "Novell helped us rapidly to deliver a completely integrated solution, ensuring that all of our expectations for the new payment collection system were met."
The implementation of the SAP payment collection solution on SUSE Linux Enterprise has helped INFONAVIT achieve all of its strategic targets. INFONAVIT achieved a return on its investment with the new solution in 12 months, thanks to an improved ability to manage mortgage repayments and increased internal efficiencies.
"We believe that the implementation of INFONAVIT's new fiscal collection system is the largest IT project ever performed in Mexico, and is of immense importance to Mexican society and the national economy,” said Castellanos Peón. “SUSE Linux Enterprise Server gave us a stable, high-performance platform for the new solution, and Novell helped us complete the project rapidly and effectively."
By choosing SUSE Linux Enterprise instead of proprietary alternatives, the Institute saved more than 50 percent in infrastructure and software licensing costs. INFONAVIT also gained a platform that is both easy to manage and highly reliable.
“We estimate that we saved approximately US$3 million in hardware costs and US$1.5 million in software licensing by choosing SUSE Linux Enterprise,” said Castellanos Peón. “The stability and reliability of the Novell solution will also help us to keep the long-term cost of ownership to a minimum. Yet even these significant benefits pale in comparison to the immense business value it helped us generate in better managing our operations.”