Published on 31-Oct-2011
"I can thank IBM Rational software, specifically IBM Rational Synergy and IBM Rational Change software, for helping us meet our goals." - Source code release manager for distributed applications
Financial Services Company
IBM Rational software delivers a 400 percent application performance improvement with the merger of two companies.
A joint venture between two financial companies needed to integrate multiple entities and comply with relevant regulations.
The company relied on IBM Rational Synergy and IBM Rational Change software to create an asset inventory and automate its build and release processes.
The company was able to demonstrate compliance with regulations while realizing a 400 percent performance improvement and reducing average service request turnaround time from 44 hours to six hours.
A joint venture between the financial services company and another, the company has more than 18,000 financial advisors helping customers with their retirement, education, wealth transfer and other financial needs. The company serves 6.8 million customer households globally from more than 1,000 brokerage locations around the world.
Managing integration as well as new compliance regulations
In June 2009, the company partnered with another financial services provider to combine their Wealth Management division with three subsidiaries, each with offices in different locations around the world. This venture had a significant impact on the distributed source code and release management department of the company, which provides development lifecycle tools for distributed source code and supports approximately 800 applications. In addition to more than doubling the number of distributed developers worldwide, from 600 to 1,200, and adding distributed development sites in North America, India, Philippines and Singapore, the venture subjected the company to a different set of regulatory compliance mandates, including regulations from the US Federal Reserve and US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).
The company therefore had two critical issues to address: Achieving full integration of its two parts and complying with necessary regulations. First, it needed to create a list of every distributed and mainframe application delivered by the distributed source code and release management department. Second, it needed to make the software development lifecycle auditable and traceable from production systems back to source code.
“They gave us two years to meet the goals of the joint venture, the two years are up, and we’ve succeeded. I can thank IBM Rational software, specifically IBM Rational Synergy and IBM Rational Change software, for helping us meet those goals,” says the source code release manager for distributed applications.
Standardizing on IBM Rational software
The two entities that joined to form the financial services company used different development applications before the joint venture. The company's Wealth Management division ran IBM Rational® Synergy and IBM Rational Change software on the Microsoft Windows platform. The other subsidiaries used open source applications, such as CVS, Apache Subversion and Visual Source Safe. The merged company decided that standardizing on the Rational software portfolio would better enable it to meet the demands it faced as a large, globally distributed development organization.
The company worked with IBM Software Services for Rational to upgrade its architecture to support the larger joint venture by moving to the Red Hat Linux operating system. It also upgraded to the latest versions of Rational Synergy and Rational Change software to take advantage of improvements, specifically enhanced WAN performance and new component development functionality. The company also took advantage of IBM e-learning courses to train staff on best practices for the Rational applications.
Dramatic performance improvements
By implementing the newest version of Rational Synergy software, the company realized a 400 percent improvement in application performance. This dramatic gain had an enormous impact on the developers using the application, specifically developers in global locations such as India. In the past, developers in India often experienced delays when using the application. In fact, it could take up to 12 hours to update an average-size project. After the upgrade, developers needed an hour or less to update a project. This performance improvement ranks as especially impressive because it was achieved after the team using it doubled in size and adoption of the application increased by 500 percent.
Passing initial and ongoing audits
Using the Rational Synergy and Rational Change software, the company created a comprehensive inventory of its software and other technology-related assets that enabled the company to successfully pass an audit for the US Federal Reserve. The Rational software also will help the company maintain this inventory on an ongoing basis, aiding future audits. Every time developers create a new application, they create a record in the Rational Change application. The two Rational applications also helped the company establish the traceability it needs to comply with regulations. Every software component within the company’s repositories now links to a system in production.
Using the Rational software to track so much information gives the company’s distributed source code and release management department the insight it needs to track and measure the number of service requests received and the amount of time required to close them. As a result, average service request turnaround time dropped from 44 hours to just six hours. According to the source code release manager for distributed applications, this allows the department to establish service level agreements (SLAs) with the company’s development community. In the past, it simply lacked the insight into operations required to accomplish this. The team also uses the metrics it gleans from the Rational software to assist with architecture auditing and provide valuable reports to its senior development management teams.
Baseline capabilities improve build quality and consistency
Using the advanced baseline and release management capabilities of the Rational Synergy application, the company also improved build quality and consistency. The fully automated build and release processes, proceed from change through deployment without requiring any manual intervention. The Rational Synergy software starts the build and places it in a secure file system. The application then validates that the build contains everything needed. This helps ensure build consistency and allows the company to easily reproduce builds. “We now spend half the time we used to on daily source code management functions like baselining, branching, creating new releases,” says the source code release manager for distributed applications.
For more information
To learn more about how IBM Rational Synergy and IBM Rational Change software can help you, contact your IBM sales representative or IBM Business Partner, or visit: ibm.com/rational
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