For years, Argenta Spaarbank has been the honest, sober, safe and people-oriented bank of choice for Belgian and Dutch families. To remain competitive and optimise service to customers, Argenta continually invests in improving its applications.
Jeroen de Vries, Team Leader in Development Support, is responsible at Argenta for the test environments of the applications. In the Transition/Innovation (TRAIN) programme, his task, together with his team, is to increase the frequency of application releases and to improve the quality of the releases.
Needle in a haystack
Argenta’s server farm and test environments are managed by an external partner, Cegeka. Until recently, Argenta had too little oversight of configuration modifications to its server farm, or of any incidents these might cause within the environments and the releases. This led to delays in the testing and release of the applications.
Manually searching for errors was costing the Development Support Team many man/hours. Moreover, the release frequency had to be raised due increasing demand from the business. The logical consequence was even more incidents, and there was a pressing need for an efficient solution.
Thorough analysis of the infrastructure
Argenta arrived at Evolven’s IT Operations Analytics solution, with Ymor as its regular implementation partner. Evolven matched the bank’s needs precisely. Jeroen de Vries explains: “Argenta’s IT environment is highly complex and sensitive to incidents. Evolven provides a complete overview of everything happening on the various servers, and constantly analyses this. The software also makes forecasts based on the ‘machine learning’ functionality. This drastically improves insight into the infrastructure. The interface clearly shows the main problems, enabling us to anticipate them and prevent incidents.”
Knowledge and experience
Ymor took on responsibility for the implementation and training. Jeroen: “Ymor’s wealth of experience and practical knowledge guaranteed good, safe implementation in line with Argenta’s strict standards. In consultation with Ymor, we opted for phased implementation. Thanks to their adequate service provision and consistent pro-active thinking with Argenta, this complex project went very smoothly.”
Less downtime, more application releases
After the implementation of Evolven, the downtime of test environments was considerably reduced. “While an initial installation in a test environment used to take four to eight days, this now takes only one or two days. It’s a gigantic step forward”, says Jeroen. The problems arising after application releases have even bed reduced during weekends. Jeroen adds: “We release on Saturday night and test the application on Sunday. Thanks to Evolven, we gain several hours on Sunday, which reduces our workload and saves man/hours.” Moreover, Argenta can now make eight releases per year, while we previously made three.
Jeroen is also very pleased with the administration: “The people who used to do all the checks manually now perform the administration of Evolven. The system is so intuitive that no extra training is required to allow technical personnel to work with the tool. They can now perhaps resolve twenty times as many problems as before. While an initial installation in a test environment used to take four to eight days, this now takes only one or two days. It’s a gigantic step forward.”
- Reduction in downtime from an average of six to one or two days
- Faster delivery of new functionalities to staff and clients
- Drastic reduction in operational costs
Argenta Bank- and Insurance group is a bank insurance for families, with activities in Belgium and the Netherlands, serving 1.65 million clients. Bank activity is grouped around Argenta Spaarbank and insurance activities around Argenta Assuranties. The Group has a total balance of 38.7 milliard Euros (31 December 2015). The net profit of Argenta Bank and Insurance group is 226 million euro per 31 December 2015. Press releases of Argenta can be found on www.argenta.be.