Alfa-Bank has been operating in Ukraine for 20 years and is part of a large international holdings group which is also present in Kazakhstan, Russia, Belarus, Cyprus, Netherlands and UK. Quality, speed and reliability of service are its main objectives and with Ukraine’s increased consumerism, services have rapidly grown to accommodate the new demand for credit cards and online banking.
The bank’s site averages 2,000 concurrent sessions with a high number of transactions per hour so it was a serious challenge to maintain service quality, as project manager, Alexander Kotsiurba explains:
“Online banking is very important for us. Because it is revenue generating and interfaces directly with customers, it has to be available 24x7. We needed to have a high level of control over the IT systems, and measure availability and performance to ensure quality of service and get advanced warning of any problems.”
The answer came from ALG Systems, in Ukraine which has had a two-year association with Micro Focus.
“We approached Alfa-Bank with our concept for an integrated solution that combines customer experience management, IT monitoring for the online services site and a business process management component,” says Yuri Kozlov, technical director, ALG Systems.
“We presented this concept based on our capabilities with other projects and that enabled us to obtain the buy-in of technical leaders at the bank. “The reason we recommend Micro Focus is because of its really broad product portfolio that enables us to implement strategic projects and integrate different components and solutions together to create a consolidated picture of IT and allied services.”
Two components make up the Alfa-Bank solution. Micro Focus Real User Monitoring provides a superior user experience by constantly monitoring for all users and devices at all locations. Real User Monitoring tracks and measures passively all the individual user transactions as they interact with the bank’s applications. It provides the consolidated view between lowlevel infrastructure systems, network monitoring data, user experience and IT performance with business performance. Micro Focus Operations Bridge brings advanced event correlation, log intelligence, predictive analytics and automation to IT management of the digital business.
“One of the main outcomes is that Alfa-Bank’s IT operation now has a complete 100% transparent picture of how IT services and infrastructure performs in support of the business,” says Kozlov.
“Everyone has the same picture, the same results and the same dashboard. This displays Key Performance Indicators (KPI) and important critical metrics of both the business and IT operations side. They see cause and effect, and that’s what’s important—transparency and alignment.”
Alfa-Bank has seen many other advantages of Real User Monitoring functionality. Among them is multi-step user transaction which allows it to define application performance in real business terms. Business stakeholders can now see the results of their projects in real-time and this vital transparency supports sound management decisions.
“Through the engagement and application of Micro Focus technology, what we were able to achieve is unprecedented for the bank’s level of alignment of IT operations and management with the business side. Bank staff attend weekly meetings with automatically generated reports and live dashboards, they see consolidated pictures that combine business KPI’s and IT metrics and they see cause and effect—how IT and business collaborate to run the operation.”
ALG places great importance on detailed follow-up for its projects and has created a forward-looking roadmap of how it will move from this solution to a more strategic one based on Micro Focus products. The future plan is to expand the solution to other areas of the banking business.