Gazprombank (JSC) is a universal financial institution that provides a wide range of banking, financial and investment products and services. It is one of the three largest banks in Russia. The bank’s customers are 45,000 companies from key branches of the Russian economy as well as about 5 million individuals. Gazprombank’s regional network includes 20 branches from Kaliningrad to Vladivostok, while banking services are provided by 400 offices across the country.
IT Transformation Program to Support Business Transformation
Business at Gazprombank is constantly evolving. Since 2018, a major transformation and digitization project for the retail segment of the business has been underway, which already covers millions of private customers who are receiving the full range of banking services.
The strategic decision taken by the bank’s management on retail development was informed both by the need to strengthen its competitive position and to increase the profitability of the business. At the same time, the creation of a new business model and the growth of business volumes did not have to necessarily mean an increase in internal costs: management set the goal of containing or even reducing operation costs.
IT Management Ecosystem Powered by Micro Focus Solutions
“Achieving these four performance indicators involved a range of different projects,” says Larisa Inshakova. “One of the most important things was implementation of the IT infrastructure management platform, which was almost completely implemented based on Micro Focus products.”
When choosing the tools to create the platform, the bank assessed the implementation experience of Russian companies that were comparable in terms of the specifics of activities and indicators of the load on support services, the possibility of standard integration of the products in the range with one another, the cost of ownership, the complexity of development or modification, the availability of resources with the necessary competencies in the Russian market, etc. Micro Focus solutions outperformed competitors in terms of the total weighted score in various criteria.
“One project, but as many as five new systems, which together form what we call the new IT Management Ecosystem,” explains Sergey Petrov, Head of Infrastructure Services Support Department. “It is these systems that lay the foundation for achieving the performance targets of the IT Transformation Program. We are working to ensure rapid detection of incidents, to provide service to internal customers through a single point of contact – the customer support service – and to ensure a high level of reliability of the hardware and software on which Gazprombank business processes operate.”
The IT management platform includes:
- Support management (ITSM platform and single point of contact);
- IT asset management (single database and ITAM process automation);
- Comprehensive monitoring (operational information to resolve incidents and respond to IT events in a timely manner);
- Detection (the collection and storage of information about the current state of the IT infrastructure);
- IT Management Platform Reporting (the collection, storage and visualization of data for operational and strategic decision-making).
The interaction of these systems ensures implementation of the process approach on which the bank’s IT management is based. In turn, the process architecture is based on the IT4IT reference model – the part that relates to IT support. “I am an active supporter of this model and I try to promote the ideas that are embedded in it among my colleagues,” Larissa says. “At the same time, the process architecture created has its own characteristics that reflect the specifics of the bank.”
The process architecture covers all of the canonical processes of ITSM support. The vast majority of them are already operating at full capacity and the remaining ones are being refined as part of the IT Transformation Program.
This architecture has been implemented in stages. First, a single customer service and incident management process was transformed based on Micro Focus Service Manager; the focus then switched to streamlining the processes for managing service requests, problems, configurations and changes in the IT infrastructure. Introduction of the next phase of the integrated monitoring (Micro Focus Operations Bridge) and detection (Micro Focus Universal Discovery) system enabled the configuration database to be populated, implemented visualization for the support of IT incident and event decision-making and improved the quality of the processes for managing IT assets, configuration and changes.
The final step was to create a catalog of IT services and SLAs that visualize the delivery of IT services to the business.
The Portal is a Single Entry Point for Incident Resolution and IT Resource Requests
On the basis of the new IT process architecture, Gazprombank is implementing several important practices that have a direct impact on the effectiveness of IT support.
The introduction of a single support management system has facilitated a move away from the from disparate incident requests to a single point of contact where users can interact over the phone and email. The main point of entry was the portal, which receives 73% of calls.
The portal has a very clear interface and offers the widest range of topics about which users can contact the support service, and is constantly updated. “We continue to add case logging templates to the portal to cover almost any case that may require IT support,” said Larisa Inshakova. The usability of the portal is also improving, although it is already very convenient for users and hides all the subtleties of call handling “under the hood”. “Every tile in the portal, whether it’s asset management, IT infrastructure, system access, etc., is a separate micro-project within the Service Manager implementation project,” Larisa explains.
For example, an IT access request can only be processed through the portal, and this process is now much faster than before in a significant number of cases. If the IT system being accessed is integrated with the account management system, it takes 2 to 5 minutes to resolve the issue. “This is a huge result that users appreciate,” says Larisa Inshakova.
Analytics is a Tool for Making Management Decisions
“The ability to gather comprehensive information about IT infrastructure performance, analyze it, draw the right conclusions and apply the necessary management actions to improve in problem areas is the reason why we’re implementing the IT management system,” says Larisa Inshakova.
Analytical reporting based on Micro Focus Vertica storage and Service Manager and Tableau visualization tools delivers data for the SLA, helps predict private cloud resource requirements and provides the information requested by various IT management processes. Through the visualization portal, IT managers gain a clear picture of the state of affairs: statistics on case handling, IT service delivery and SLA performance, the status of changes in progress, resolution of issues with high business severity and more.
The integration of reporting with other IT tools enriches the data for analytics and makes it possible to take the right decisions faster. Service Manager and Jira integration of Service Manager with Jira allows second-line specialists to quickly communicate information to banking system developers, which significantly accelerates the correction of software errors.
From IT Support to Service Organization
The IT infrastructure management platform based on Micro focus products was commissioned in November 2018. Gazprombank confirms that the implementation of the platform has successfully achieved the goals of centralizing the support service and reducing the time it takes to detect and resolve critical incidents. For two years, Service Manager has processed 1.25 million calls on more than 300 of the bank’s automated systems, at the moment about 70 thousand calls per month, providing total recording and classification of significant incidents and changes in IT infrastructure and application systems. Real-time information analysis ensures that incidents are resolved quickly, and the routine work of incident, change and problem committees ensures ongoing efforts to improve reliability and enhance IT services.
“The implementation of the Micro Focus based platform not only supports successful IT transformation challenges, but also lays a flexible, efficient and reliable foundation for future changes in the IT Management Ecosystem,” says Larisa Inshakova. There are plans to integrate the platform with Micro Focus test automation solutions to improve release management, implement SLA management for external vendors and extend IT asset management capabilities.
But the most far-reaching and ambitious plan, which is already underway, is the implementation of a common support methodology for all the areas that underpin the bank’s activities. “The project to transition to a service organization implies that a single support methodology based on Service Manager and a single service portal will become the main point for bank employees to resolve any issue, which will allow them to perform their business functions,” says Larisa Inshakova. “The service portal will consolidate the processing of all requests in relation to IT, accounting, human resources, logistics, administration services and other areas. This expansion of the support tasks will be accompanied by the creation of a new version of the portal and improvement in its usability and functionality.”