Slashes total development and testing costs by 40 percent over three years
Cuts costs by 20 percent compared to extending the mainframe capacity
Under pressure to rapidly deliver new services for customers while keeping overhead costs under control, Banca Popolare di Sondrio set out to unlock efficiencies in its application development and testing processes.
Banks must do more than ever before to keep pace with consumer demands. Customers now expect to be able to manage their accounts online, by phone, in branches and on mobile devices, and their appetite for new services is growing.
At the same time, executives require increasingly detailed analytics and reporting to make savvy business decisions and combat fierce competition from rival firms. Furthermore, banks must frequently adjust their operations to conform with constantly evolving industry regulations.
Milo Gusmeroli, Vice President at Banca Popolare di Sondrio explains: “We are under pressure to develop new services faster than ever before. Critically, we must also keep overheads down to retain our competitive edge.
“We run essentially all of our core production systems on the IBM mainframe platform to ensure high availability and security. With application development and testing also running on the mainframe, we had to carefully schedule our development and testing work to avoid interfering with our mission-critical core-business activities.
“Facing skyrocketing demands for new services, we identified a need to invest in new capacity. We were faced with a choice: expand our mainframe footprint, or shift some testing and development work to a separate platform. We set out to find an expert who could help us select the best approach.”
Adopting the Micro Focus (now OpenText) solution has enabled us to boost developer productivity by 20 percent. This in turn helps us cut time-to-market for new services for customers and business users.
After speaking to several vendors, the bank decided to deploy Enterprise Test Server, Enterprise Developer and Data Express to streamline, automate and accelerate testing and development. The OpenText (formerly Micro Focus) solutions run on cost-effective x86 servers.
“Micro Focus (now OpenText) presented an innovative approach to solving our business challenge,” continues Gusmeroli. “With the Micro Focus (now OpenText) solution, not only are we boosting developer productivity by moving from green screens to a modern, Eclipse-based development environment; we are also saving money.”
Banca Popolare di Sondrio joined forces with the OpenText (formerly Micro Focus) Professional Services team to implement customizations and move to a more agile development environment. Further assistance was provided by OpenText (formerly Micro Focus) Technical Support.
“The support we received from Micro Focus (now OpenText) was excellent,” recalls Gusmeroli. “The team took a proactive approach to problem-solving, and helped us to complete the deployment on schedule.”
Today, the bank continues to improve developer efficiency and the quality of code developed for its mainframe by handling debugging and initial testing using Enterprise Developer on x86 servers. Once the software is considered stable, it is moved to the Enterprise Test Server environment for user acceptance testing and for training purposes.
By deploying the OpenText (formerly Micro Focus) solutions, Banca Popolare di Sondrio has created a dedicated and protected environment for testing, giving IT staff capacity to work on innovative offerings without fear of interfering with core business activities. Moreover, the solution has opened the business to alternative platforms, mitigating the commercial risk of being tied to a single platform. The OpenText (formerly Micro Focus) landscape is also extremely useful for developing new application releases for environments currently not hosted on the mainframe, such as applications for staff training in operational departments.
The approach proposed by Micro Focus (now OpenText) was 20 percent cheaper than the alternative option of expanding our mainframe capacity. Over three years, we expect to cut development and testing costs by 40 percent through heightened productivity and by exploiting efficiencies.
Switching to an Eclipse-based development environment has simplified coding and debugging, enabling staff to accelerate the development and testing process. For example, by facilitating earlier error detection, the solution has allowed the bank to cut test-cycle duration by 20 percent.
“Adopting the Micro Focus (now OpenText) solution has enabled us to boost developer productivity by 20 percent,” remarks Gusmeroli. “This in turn helps us cut time-to-market for new services for customers and business users.” Additionally, the user-friendly interface to Enterprise Test Server helps operational staff provide greater input in application development, resulting in outputs that respond more accurately to business needs.
The solution also enables the bank to save money by preserving valuable mainframe capacity for its core production systems.
Gusmeroli comments: “The approach proposed by Micro Focus (now OpenText) was 20 percent cheaper than the alternative option of expanding our mainframe capacity. Over three years, we expect to cut development and testing costs by 40 percent through heightened productivity and by exploiting efficiencies.”
By offering modern, user-friendly tools, the bank has also sharpened its ability to attract and retain top-performing developers, and reduced its dependence on experienced mainframe developers, who are in increasingly short supply.
Gusmeroli concludes: “With support from Micro Focus (now OpenText), we have built a future-proof platform that delivers real value to our business.
Banca Popolare di Sondrio is one of Italy’s oldest cooperative credit banks. The company employs 2,600 people and operates more than 330 branches across the country.