First National Bank (FNB) has successfully begun the roll-out of Linux to its branch network, replacing the aging OS/2 system, as well as about 4 000 Windows 2 000 installations. 

The bank is using Novell's SuSe Linux operating system in the implementation.
The change in operating systems forms part of a larger programme that seeks to replace FNB’s current branch systems with an integrated  technology platform which will enable the institution to more effectively and efficiently service its customers.
Riaan van Wamelen, CIO of FNB Branch Banking, says the rollout is already under way.
“We piloted our first branch in July of this year with great success and we are now proceeding with national rollout. The solution has proven to be stable and provides us with excellent centralised administration and deployment capabilities.”
The solution was chosen following a rigorous selection process between competitive products. In the end, technical functionality and the commercial aspects associated with the software licensing drove the selection of Novell.
Van Wamelen adds that the decision to go with Linux for FNB’s branch network was groundbreaking within the South African financial services industry, as it aligns with the bank’s strategy of using open source based product offerings where it makes business sense.