Micro Focus

Global Insurance Company
Success Story

One of the largest insurance companies in the world wanted to improve its process for deploying applications and provisioning environments. Specifically, the goals were to reduce the number of defects found after applications were released into production, speed release delivery, and minimize rework in the application release process.

“Serena (now part of Micro Focus) has deep experience with enterprise-class customers along with an application release automation product that we felt was best-in-class for an enterprise customer.”


APPLICATION RELEASE MANAGER
Global Insurance Company

At a Glance

Industry

Insurance

Location

United States

Results

  • Reduced release deployment time onto server from one hour to ten minutes
  • Increased productivity, automation equivalent to several FTE test engineers
  • Created an end-to-end change and release management solution tailored to fit its needs

Overview

One of the largest insurance companies in the world wanted to improve its process for deploying applications and provisioning environments. Specifically, the goals were to reduce the number of defects found after applications were released into production, speed release delivery, and minimize rework in the application  release process.

Challenge

After an internal analysis, the company estimated the cost of issues associated with the existing manual and decentralized release processes was approximately 2 million GBP per year (over $3 million USD per year), driven by rework after lost productivity.

The company decided to pursue a strategy that created a more consistent deployment approach across the path to production, including test, preproduction, and production environments. Speed, reliability, visibility, and traceability were key attributes desired in a new application release process. The company decided to look for a trusted vendor with a best-in-class application release automation product that could help it achieve this strategy.

Solution

After evaluating several options, the company felt that Serena (now part of Micro Focus) offered the best application release automation product available in the market. Micro Focus Deployment Automation stood out with unique, enterprise-class capabilities such as high availability clustering, ease of use, and enterprise-wide scalability. Additionally, the company saw Micro Focus as a trusted vendor through its previous relationship with Micro Focus and Micro Focus’s extensive experience in the release management market. “Serena has deep experience with enterprise-class customers along with an application release automation product that we felt was best-in-class for an enterprise customer,” stated the Application Release Project Manager for the company.

The ease of use in Deployment Automation allowed the company to quickly pilot the product internally and demonstrate potential improvements to their release processes. This provided the confidence that Deployment Automation was a tool that could be rolled out efficiently with near-term benefits and cost savings. Micro Focus’s professional services personnel and solution architects also stood out for their knowledge and commitment to make the company successful.

The company wanted a solution that not only helped solve its deployment problems but also integrated into its systems. It found that Deployment Automation integrated well with other Micro Focus solutions, such as Dimensions CM, and it used Micro Focus SBM to create an extensive set of integrations with other vendor applications across the software development lifecycle, such as quality management and IT service management. This allowed the company to create an end-to-end change and release management solution tailored specifically to its needs.

Results

The company expects significant improvements from the Deployment Automation implementation. The time taken to deploy a new release onto a server has gone down from approximately one hour to ten minutes. Across many servers and releases, this will result in hundreds of hours of saved deployment time per year. In another case, the service-level agreement (SLA) for provisioning a database will go from 10 days to hours. Additionally, the automation of deployments will significantly improve tester productivity. Rather than upgrading testing environments during business hours, which makes environments unavailable during the upgrade, upgrades can be automatically scheduled to deploy after business hours. This unmanned, after-hours deployment is made possible by the combination of a shorter release window that fits within nonbusiness hours, and the scheduling features of Deployment Automation, which allows prescheduled deployment to take place without manual intervention.

This means testers can arrive at work in the morning with an updated environment and remain productive throughout the day. Over the span of a year, this productivity gain will be equivalent to several full-time-equivalent (FTE) test engineers.

Deployment Automation also provides a central repository for release artifacts and a central location to store release and deployment process logic. This centralization allows improved quality, traceability, and risk mitigation. By having artifacts and process logic centralized and recorded, the company automatically and consistently repeats the same deployment steps with traceability for troubleshooting. The centralization of process and artifacts means that the knowledge of the release process resides in the company’s systems rather than in personal memories or fragmented across personal machines. In addition to the hard benefits of faster deployments and greater productivity, Release Automation raises the confidence of the business in IT’s ability to release with quality and predictability.

With Deployment Automation’s integration across many internal systems, the company has a single pane of glass to view data from all of the systems that are involved in an application deployment.

In the months ahead, this global insurance leader plans to roll out Deployment Automation across more environments, more technology platforms, and more stages of the software development cycle based on the observed success to date.