Banca Popolare di Milano keeps service levels high as operations grow

Faster, more accurate processing improves service quality and customer satisfaction

Published on 28-Jan-2014

"As we introduce greater automation and control with Tivoli Workload Scheduler for z/OS, we will be able to manage a greater volume of production workload more efficiently and reliably." - Cristina Taglioretti, Manager of Application Interface Development, Banca Popolare di Milano

Customer:
Banca Popolare di Milano

Industry:
Banking

Deployment country:
Italy

Solution:
Automation, Enabling Business Flexibility, High Availability , System z Software, Workload Management

Overview

Founded in 1865, Banca Popolare di Milano (BPM) is one of Italy’s oldest cooperative banks, with a strong presence in northern Italy. BPM employs approximately 9,000 people who provide some 1.3 million customers with a range of retail, investment and private banking services, through a network of 768 branches and an online banking service called WeBank.

Business need:
Banca Popolare di Milano (BPM) manages huge volumes of financial transactions daily, and must process this workload quickly and reliably – or risk poor client satisfaction and loss of business.

Solution:
To improve control over rising workload volumes, BPM deployed IBM® Tivoli® Workload Scheduler for z/OS®, gaining easy management for mainframe and distributed environments in a single solution.

Benefits:
Automated workload processing and real-time error resolution will help BPM manage a greater volume of production workload more efficiently and accurately, ensuring a high quality of service to clients.

Case Study

Founded in 1865, Banca Popolare di Milano (BPM) is one of Italy’s oldest cooperative banks, with a strong presence in northern Italy. BPM employs approximately 9,000 people who provide some 1.3 million customers with a range of retail, investment and private banking services, through a network of 768 branches and an online banking service called WeBank.

Managing growing transactions
To support its core banking operations, BPM has trusted the leading reliability and performance of IBM System z servers for many years, running critical systems on two IBM zEnterprise® EC12 servers, each located at separate locations and joined in an IBM Parallel Sysplex® cluster for high availability. The bank also runs an additional number of applications in a smaller, distributed computing environment.

Cristina Taglioretti, Manager of Application Interface Development at Banca Popolare di Milano, comments, “All of our core applications and data reside and run on z/OS on the IBM zEnterprise platform. And even where the front-end now resides on a different platform, everything that is business-critical ultimately comes back to the mainframe, which gives us the availability, flexibility, scalability, performance and data security we need to run the bank.”

As the bank’s operations have expanded over the years, so has the scale and complexity of the financial transactions that it manages. BPM processes around 80,000 batch jobs daily, and recently saw a 25 percent year-on-year increase in this workload when new fiscal regulations were introduced (versus typical annual growth of 5 percent). Equally, the number and variety of source systems and counterparties have grown exponentially, and simple systems have grown into complex multi-tier applications over time.

With three separate instances of monitoring software, BPM lacked a single point of control for monitoring and managing its complex processing requirements on the mainframe and on distributed systems. The monitoring software was difficult to use, lacked forecasting functionality and automation, and did not permit dynamic management of critical-path activities. The result was slow, error-prone processing that impacted the IT team’s ability to meet service-level agreements and, in turn, negatively affected the quality of service provided to customers.

“Even minor delays or errors in processing transactions can have a major impact on operations and service levels,” says Taglioretti. “For example, if certain nightly batch runs are not completed on time, we cannot open our branches or serve customers. We wanted to shrink the batch window even as the volume of work grew, to automate operations and to gain a single dynamic view of all scheduled activities.”

Taking control over workload scheduling
BPM benchmarked workload scheduling solutions from the leading global vendors against its functional requirements, and reviewed the vendors’ customer reference sites and approaches to migration.

“After evaluating solutions from all the major vendors, we selected IBM Tivoli Workload Scheduler for z/OS,” states Taglioretti. “We were convinced by the strength of IBM’s offering, both in terms of product functionality and proven experience with similar migrations. We also knew that – unlike our existing vendor – IBM could act as a true partner, providing a full range of hardware, software and services.”

BPM is currently working with IBM Global Technology Services® to establish an enterprise workload automation strategy using Tivoli Workload Scheduler for z/OS. The solution offers seamless management of workloads across multiple applications, both on System z and on distributed platforms.

The bank currently runs Tivoli Workload Scheduler alongside its existing workload scheduling tools in parallel tracking mode. By using the Tivoli solution to simulate workload management in this way, the IT team can fine-tune the solution and build valuable first-hand experience before moving into full production.

Easy insight with graphical views
Tivoli Workload Scheduler for z/OS provides a clear, integrated view of workloads across mainframe and distributed environments – all from a single point of control. Using the graphical, web-based interface of the Tivoli Dynamic Workload Console, operations staff can easily model and manage different job streams through intuitive dashboards, resulting in more efficient and accurate workload processing.

“Our previous scheduling tools were complex and required a high degree of specialist skill to operate,” comments Taglioretti. “By contrast, Tivoli Workload Scheduler is very easy to get to grips with – the graphical user interface allows even non-specialist users to understand how everything works, which makes for a minimal learning curve.”

Faster problem solving
Once fully operational, Tivoli Workload Scheduler for z/OS will help BPM to rapidly detect and correct errors, reducing the risk of delays and ensuring smooth workload processing. Real-time alerts provide users with detailed information about any issues, helping them take preventative measures fast.

“At the moment, if a job terminates abnormally our operations team is only alerted to this hours after the fact and must go back and restart the job manually, causing significant delays,” explains Cristina Taglioretti. “With Tivoli Workload Scheduler for z/OS, we are alerted to any issues far in advance. In one click the operator can discover and drill down to the job in question, helping fix the problem faster. This will help us keep scheduling on track to meet our targets, ensuring that all jobs are completed within the batch window and avoiding impact on business activities.”

Enhanced productivity through automation
With Tivoli Workload Scheduler for z/OS, BPM will be able optimize workload processing to maximize production throughput and improve company productivity. By automating repetitive, error-prone tasks, operations personnel will be able to use their time more efficiently. Dynamic workload allocation ensures that jobs run on the best available IT resources, intelligently adapting processing in response to changes in the production environment. This will allow operations staff to guarantee that workloads are processed on time, every time, helping BPM maintain continuous operations for essential financial applications.

Cristina Taglioretti concludes, “As we introduce greater automation and control with Tivoli Workload Scheduler for z/OS, we will be able to manage a greater volume of production workload more efficiently and reliably. Increased agility and better problem resolution will allow us to maintain higher levels of service and availability for key systems. Working with IBM – as a partner, not just as a vendor – will make a huge difference to the quality of service we can offer our customers, and will help us to meet changing requirements for our banking services now and in the future.”

For more information
To learn more about IBM solutions, contact your IBM sales representative or IBM Business Partner, or visit us at: ibm.com/software/systemz

Products and services used

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

Hardware:
System z, System z: System z running z/OS, System z: zEnterprise EC12 (zEC12)

Software:
Tivoli Workload Scheduler

Operating system:
z/OS and OS/390

Service:
GTS Integrated Technology Services, GTS ITS IT Strategy & Design: IT Transform Strategy & Design

Legal Information

© Copyright IBM Corporation 2014. IBM Corporation. Software Group. Route 100. Somers, NY 10589. Produced in the United States. January 2014. IBM, the IBM logo, ibm.com, System z, Tivoli, z/OS and zEnterprise 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. 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. 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. The client is responsible for ensuring compliance with laws and regulations applicable to it. IBM does not provide legal advice or represent or warrant that its services or products will ensure that the client is in compliance with any law or regulation. Statements regarding IBM’s future direction and intent are subject to change or withdrawal without notice, and represent goals and objectives only.