BBVA Microfinance Foundation: Digitalizing the workplace with Google Cloud Platform

About BBVA Microfinance Foundation

Established in 2007, the BBVA Microfinance Foundation nurtures the sustainable and inclusive economic and social development of vulnerable entrepreneurs across Latin America.

Industries: Non-profit
Location: Spain

About Nubalia

A Google Cloud Premier Partner, Nubalia is a services company with solutions for the medium to large size enterprise market with innovative cloud solutions.

The BBVA Microfinance Foundation used Google Cloud Platform to easily share its business intelligence solution with its MFIs in Latin America, with greater efficiency and more control.

Google Cloud Results

  • Allows for a quick transition with minimal disruption using the migration features Google Cloud Platform offers
  • Reduces costs and provides efficient scaling with a cloud-based architecture
  • Provides more control over the infrastructure than the previous hosted solution, without the need for detailed DevOps knowledge

Reduced server costs by 50% compared with the previous infrastructure solution.

BBVA Microfinance Foundation (the Foundation) provides financial and nonfinancial services to vulnerable entrepreneurs to help develop their productive activities and contribute to a sustainable and inclusive economy. Established in 2007 by the Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria, the Foundation is legally independent from the bank and operates on a non-profit basis, reinvesting its profits into its operations. Working in partnership with several on-the-ground entities, the Foundation wanted to share some of its analytics tools with its Latin American microfinance institutions (MFI) but could not do so with its existing infrastructure. The Foundation needed a cloud-based solution, so it turned to Google Cloud Platform (GCP).

“As a non-profit, we have limited resources, so we are always looking for efficiencies and innovation. We want to digitalize the way we work and GCP appeared to be the best way of achieving that.”

Joao Costa, Technology Director, the Foundation

“As a non-profit, we have limited resources, so we are always looking to increase efficiencies and innovation,” says Joao Costa, Technology Director at the Foundation. “We want to digitalize the way we work and GCP appeared to be the best way of achieving that.”

Minimal disruption, maximum efficiency

As a microfinance foundation, the Foundation takes great care in granting loans to ensure it will provide the maximum social benefit. Using a third-party analytics tool, the Foundation’s headquarters in Madrid had developed a highly sophisticated business intelligence (BI) solution that rivals any traditional bank. Operating hosted servers in Spanish data centers sufficed for the first few years of the BI solution, but by 2017 this infrastructure was proving to be expensive and hard to maintain. As a non-profit organization, the Foundation needed to reduce costs and drive efficiency as much as possible. At the same time, it wanted to give its microfinance institutions in Latin America access to the BI tool. To do so with its hosted servers would have taken too much time and money. The Foundation needed to migrate its infrastructure to the Cloud.

“I can turn servers on and off, write firewall rules by myself or configure new VPNs. The GCP console makes it very easy for me to configure the infrastructure without any detailed technical knowledge.”

Miguel Angel Frutos, Senior IT Manager, the Foundation

The Foundation asked Google Cloud Premier Partner Nubalia to look for the ideal solution. Nubalia was already familiar with the Foundation and how it worked, having already helped the Foundation to migrate to the G Suite productivity platform some time earlier. In September 2017, Nubalia showed the Foundation a proof of concept of what the BI solution would look like on Google Cloud Platform. Impressed with what it saw, the Foundation forged ahead and successfully migrated in just one month with minimal disruption to its operations, thanks to the Google VM migration service offered in partnership with CloudEndure.

“Nubalia worked very closely with us,” says Miguel Angel Frutos, Senior IT Director at the Foundation. “They were always there to help when we needed it.” Shifting its architecture to Google Compute Engine, the Foundation could add as many servers as it needed to with the easy-to-use console. Meanwhile, it could use Google Stackdriver and Google Virtual Private Cloud to monitor and manage the platform with minimal effort.

“I can turn servers on and off, write firewall rules by myself, or configure new VPNs,” says Miguel Angel. “The GCP console makes it very easy for me to configure the infrastructure without any detailed technical knowledge.”

“With GCP, there’s no hardware limitations on the bandwidth. It allows us to develop new tools and go into production much faster than before.”

Joao Costa, Technology Director, the Foundation

Raising performance, lowering costs

With Google Cloud Platform, the BBVA Microfinance Foundation can easily share its BI tools with its Latin American MFIs, helping expand its coverage and drive efficiencies on the ground. With a cloud-based infrastructure, the Foundation has reduced its BI infrastructure costs by 50% compared with the previous hosted solution. The ease of use GCP provides means that if the Foundation needs to add more servers to cope with additional users or a heavy load, it can do so straight from the console. In addition to the savings and easy scalability, Google has provided the Foundation with much faster ways of developing new tools and products, without having to hire specialist DevOps staff or invest in more hardware.

“With GCP, there’s no hardware limitations on the bandwidth” says Joao. “It allows us to develop new tools and go into production much faster than before.”

With the BI tool successfully migrated, the Foundation is looking to move all of its services and products to the cloud. At the moment, development of new tools is hampered by a shortage of test environments. The simplicity and flexible pricing GCP offers make it an ideal solution for the Foundation.

“GCP has the flexibility to create new environments, run the tests the way we want, and then close the machine when we have finished,” says Joao. “It’s simple and the cost will be much lower.”

About BBVA Microfinance Foundation

Established in 2007, the BBVA Microfinance Foundation nurtures the sustainable and inclusive economic and social development of vulnerable entrepreneurs across Latin America.

Industries: Non-profit
Location: Spain

About Nubalia

A Google Cloud Premier Partner, Nubalia is a services company with solutions for the medium to large size enterprise market with innovative cloud solutions.

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