HSBC Bank Argentina cuts costs, increases developer productivity by 10 percent

IBM Problem Determination Tools optimize development, testing and debugging processes

Published on 21-Dec-2012

"We’ve increased programmer productivity by 10 percent and cut development costs. Not only that, but we’ve experienced significant decreases in the number of transaction failures within our applications." - Roberto L De Hoz, manager mainframe support, HSBC Bank Argentina S.A.

Customer:
HSBC Bank Argentina

Industry:
Banking

Deployment country:
Argentina

Solution:
System z Software

Overview

HSBC Group is headquartered in London and is one of the world’s largest banking and financial services organizations. With significant operations in retail, commercial, corporate and investment banking and in the insurance business, the group has more than 9,500 offices in 79 countries and territories in Asia, the Middle East, Europe, America and Africa. In 2006, HSBC acquired Banca Nazionale del Lavoro, which serves customers through its network of 140 offices and branches.

Business need:
HSBC Bank Argentina S.A. needed to reduce mainframe application development costs and quickly identify and fix root-cause issues impacting application performance and reliability.

Solution:
Using IBM Problem Determination Tools, the bank’s development team modernized its processes for developing back-end IBM CICS applications.

Benefits:
Developers reduced time needed to analyze coding issues in both development and production environments from hours to seconds, cutting costs and increasing programmer productivity by 10 percent.

Case Study

HSBC Group is headquartered in London and is one of the world’s largest banking and financial services organizations. With significant operations in retail, commercial, corporate and investment banking and in the insurance business, the group has more than 9,500 offices in 79 countries and territories in Asia, the Middle East, Europe, America and Africa. In 2006, HSBC acquired Banca Nazionale del Lavoro, which serves customers through its network of 140 offices and branches.

Meeting application development, testing and troubleshooting challenges

The mainframe application development process is complex and multifaceted. Ensuring the precision of the process and integrity of the applications is extremely critical in the highly regulated, security-focused and customer service-oriented banking industry.

HSBC Bank Argentina’s application development and testing processes were hindered by a cumbersome debugging tool and a data management solution that lacked the functionality necessary to manipulate the hierarchical file system used by the bank’s UNIX System Services and IBM® CICS® applications. This made identifying and fixing application failures during testing a time-intensive and technically challenging process, which required the bank’s developers to manually analyze large amounts of code. Those developers needed the ability to collect data about the application and its environment at the time of failure, without requiring a technical support team’s intervention.

Before launching applications into the production environment, HSBC Bank Argentina also needed to ensure that if any problems arose within an application after launch, developers could quickly discover why it failed, trace the failure back to its root cause and repair it immediately.

Against this backdrop, HSBC Bank Argentina also hoped to optimize its programmers’ productivity during every phase of application development and reduce development costs.

Optimizing processes and resources while improving quality

After acquiring Banca Nazionale del Lavoro, HSBC Group adopted IBM® z/OS® technology as the primary operating system for its global banking operations. This move positioned HSBC Bank Argentina as one of the global group's most sophisticated users of IBM Problem Determination Tools—namely IBM File Manager for z/OS, IBM Fault Analyzer for z/OS and IBM Debug Tool for z/OS software.

The bank’s development, release management, job scheduling and technical support functions use File Manager for z/OS software to consult and manipulate data to perform large-scale code testing and identify potential problems, such as inconsistent data types or invalid data formats within its back-end IBM CICS® and IBM Rational® Developer for System z® data environments.

Fault Analyzer for z/OS software was deployed throughout the bank’s development, testing and production environments, automating previously manual processes for identifying and resolving application failures. Additionally, the bank’s developers capitalize on Debug Tool for z/OS software as a lightweight tool for improving the quality of application code. The tool helps enable them to connect, using graphical interfaces, with CICS and Rational Developer for System z applications, making it much easier and less resource-intensive to manipulate a program and its code variables.

Benefits realized by HSBC Bank Argentina lead to global adoption

Since deploying the suite of Problem Determination Tools, HSBC Bank Argentina has seen application quality increase along with process efficiency and development team productivity. The Debug Tool for z/OS software’s impact, for instance, has been significant and wide-ranging, according to Roberto L De Hoz, manager mainframe support, HSBC Bank Argentina S.A. “We’ve increased programmer productivity by 10 percent and cut development costs. Not only that, but we’ve experienced significant decreases in the number of transaction failures within our applications.”

Developers can also quickly access reports within Fault Analyzer for z/OS software to identify exactly which instructions within an application are causing problems in the production environment. “Before, when there was a failure in production, determining the root-cause issue was not a simple process,” says Mr. De Hoz. We had to have technical support people analyze the issue before providing any help to our development team. With Fault Analyzer reports, the developers themselves can easily identify problems. That saves time and money.”

According to Mr. De Hoz, the company is working with the HSBC Group in Mexico to implement and migrate the Problem Determination Tools and to provide training on those tools to Mexican personnel. "Once HSBC Group saw the cost benefits in Argentina, they gave us a role in deploying IBM Problem Determination Tools at some of the locations that don't already have them. We hope to assist as much as we can in the use of IBM Problem Determination Tools internationally.”

The following HSBC team members are recognized for their contribution to these efforts: Ruben Maurer, Gustavo Vitaliani. Management support was provided by Edgar Avila, Manfred Hartmann, Carlos Defez.

For more information

To learn more about IBM Problem Determination Tools for System z software, please contact your IBM representative or IBM Business Partner, or visit the following website: ibm.com/software/systemz

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Products and services used

IBM products and services that were used in this case study.

Hardware:
System z

Software:
Fault Analyzer for z/OS, File Manager for z/OS, Debug Tool for z/OS

Legal Information

© Copyright IBM Corporation 2012 IBM Corporation Software Group Route 100 Somers, NY 10589 Produced in the United States of America December 2012 IBM, the IBM logo, ibm.com, Problem Determination Tools, File Manager for z/OS, Fault Analyzer for z/OS, Debug Tool for z/OS, CICS, System z, z/OS, Rational Developer for System z, are trademarks of International Business Machines Corp., registered in many jurisdictions worldwide. Other product and service names might be trademarks of IBM or other companies. A current list of IBM trademarks is available on the Web at “Copyright and trademark information” at ibm.com/legal/copytrade.shtml This document is current as of the initial date of publication and may be changed by IBM at any time. Not all offerings are available in every country in which IBM operates. The client examples cited are presented for illustrative purposes only. Actual performance results may vary depending on specific configurations and operating conditions. It is the user’s responsibility to evaluate and verify the operation of any other products or programs with IBM products and programs. THE INFORMATION IN THIS DOCUMENT IS PROVIDED “AS IS” WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, INCLUDING WITHOUT ANY WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY, FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE AND ANY WARRANTY OR CONDITION OF NON-INFRINGEMENT. IBM products are warranted according to the terms and conditions of the agreements under which they are provided. Statements regarding IBM’s future direction and intent are subject to change or withdrawal without notice, and represent goals and objectives only.