How did the IBM Software Accelerated Value Program help a Financial Services Company save big bucks?
Financial Services Company (FSC) is one of the world’s largest banks with worldwide operations serving more than 75M customers. They’ve made a significant investment in IBM Rational’s software development solutions, including Rational TeamConcert (RTC), RequirementsComposer (RRC) and BuildForge (BF) and planned to deploy these tools to >15,000 users. Though these investments were made to increase global collaboration and software quality across the lifecycle, Financial Services Company experienced a number of RRC and BF performance and stability issues leading to questions about the long term viability of the entire solution. With tensions mounting and tool replacement threats made clear, Financial Services Company agreed to collaborate with Rational AVP.
FSC has a very intricate ecosystem and although RTC performed as expected, the loss of confidence in RRC and BF threatened the migration of 18,000 MKS users to RTC. The client found working with Rational Customer Support to be a very frustrating process as complex interactions between BF and RTC elongated the identification of root cause and remediation. The integration between RTC and BF did not meet user expectations and there were serious questions about BF’s to perform at scale.
To address the integration issues AVP engaged the Customer Satisfaction Project office (CSPO) and Development. Regular checkpoints with the client improved communication and collaboration and Development produced 5 hotfixes that solved this problem.
Now focused on performance, AVP arranged for BF Development to create a series of performance tests using environment variables similar to Financial Services Company’s and increasing user load. The checkpoint meetings monitored test progress and documentation recording settings and results. This also exposed a number of unnecessary workflows which AVP help eliminate, further increasing output. After 3 months BF was stable and performing satisfactorily, without degradation, above the maximum users levels FSC had set. The client was then satisfied their BF investment would produce the requisite ROI. The migration from MKS was back on track!
RRC users around the world were experiencing varied response times with some functions taking too long to respond or refresh. Upon learning that Financial Services Company planned to engage its own performance test team, AVP engaged the Rational Executive and Global Response Teams (GRT) to partner with the Financial Services Company performance group. To understand the problems being encountered, the AVL (Accelerated Value Leader) obtained previous measurements of RRC function response times and network latency from Financial Services Company’s global sites. AVP also arranged for a GRT resource to work onsite to measure system responses and recommend optimized server settings.
GRT discovered that Financial Services Company was using an unsupported topology with RTC and RRC sharing the same server – and would never achieve the desired performance. To improve performance in the short term, IBM recommended migrating to a later version of RRC and adjusted server settings on the unsupported topology to approach target performance levels. AVP also identified the impact using the newer version of RRC would have on other tools in use.
AVP facilitated daily checkpoint calls with the client and extended IBM team. A number of PMRs were raised, which resulted in 2 hotfixes being applied to RRC. Use of the newer, patched version of RRC and tuned server settings allowing the Financial Services Company performance team to report that the product was suitable for use, but the impending move to a new data center necessitated architecting a supported topology. AVP has continued to work with Financial Services Company to ensure that the data center design and implementation will optimize the performance of the Rational solution and ensure Financial Services Company’s ROI.
With AVP coordinating and prioritizing the efforts of FSC and IBM, solution stability and performance have improved, as has the quality of the partnership between our two companies. Increased confidence and usability has positively impacted productivity of Financial Services Company’s global analysts and developers.