PJSC Platinum Bank (formerly International Mortgage Bank) was established in 2005 as a specialized retail bank that offered deposit and credit products for customers through a network of branches and points of sale throughout Ukraine. PJSC PTB was registered by the NBU in 2005. The bank operated under an NBU licence.
Since all data processing should be completed by the beginning of the customer service period (usually starting at 8:00–9:00), and the volume of the bank’s retail operations was constantly growing, ensuring a timely beginning of a new business day was one of the main tasks of its IT department.
While most of the routine maintenance was performed in manual or semi-automatic mode, the objective was to dynamically change start times of certain procedures, depending on changes in the NBU’s or the bank’s internal regulations. This led to more operations in manual mode and higher likelihood of mistakes.
As the business expanded and the amount of data processed increased, Platinum Bank PJSC needed to automate preparations for banking day opening. The main driver was the expansion of the bank’s retail business.
Microsoft System Center Orchestrator 2012 was chosen to automate a number of critical routine IT operations that would ensure timely and proper execution of all regulatory procedures during the banking day closure/opening.
Pilot deployment of Microsoft System Center Orchestrator 2012 was done by SI BIS experts who debugged a benchmark process in the system, and automated 15 of the 600 integrated IT operations. This process monitors creation of files in certain folders, checks their details and possibility of further processing, then runs scripts on different servers and monitors their execution. Although the process is fully automated, the text output of scripts is saved in logs for IT engineers to additionally check all steps if necessary or localize any errors that occurred. Successful completion of each stage is verified by checking availability of the downloaded data in the collector database; the next stage is then initiated automatically. Microsoft System Center Orchestrator 2012 can also execute scripts in parallel and output the process progress on a large screen for engineers on duty.
In addition to facilitating the data loading operations, Microsoft System Center Orchestrator 2012 also interacts with other System Center components deployed in the Platinum Bank infrastructure. For example, if any interruptions in the monitored processes happen, Microsoft System Center Orchestrator 2012 generates an incident in Microsoft System Center Service Manager to notify the engineer on duty.
The pilot project took about 30 days. The main challenge was to come up with adequate checks for operations performed on a wide variety of OS (Windows, Linux) and DBMS (Microsoft SQL Server 2005 and 2008, MySQL, Oracle Database). Also, the previously used scripts needed correction to unify their output and simplify automatic monitoring because they created by different experts and incorporating alternative logic.
Automation of IT operations related to data collection and preparation with Microsoft System Center Orchestrator 2012 enabled:
- Improved process fault-tolerance
- Faster identification of emergency situations and easier localization thereof
- Eliminated unforced downtimes and delays
- Lower technical support costs
Monitoring of intermediate operations made business processes more transparent and manageable. Initially, the bank’s IT systems generated up to 1,500 different notifications each day; after the project was completed their number was reduced by a third because Microsoft System Center Orchestrator 2012 streamlined and hid the logic of complex operations. The process could now be managed a single entity, while earlier time delays in any operation required reconfiguration of many others.
The total time saved on data loading operations approached 4 hours.
Automation of IT operations not only minimised the impact of human factor but also made the work easier for IT staff, resulting in up to 2.5 hours of working time saved for each of IT engineers involved.
Sergey Popov, Director of Information and Communication Technologies of Platinum Bank:
“Microsoft System Center Orchestrator proved to be perfectly suited to our needs. The complete control over IT processes enabled exclusion of the human factor from some operations, which immediately had a positive impact on their duration and reliability.
However, we see Microsoft System Center Orchestrator not only as a solution for our current specific tasks but also as a link between other components of Microsoft System Center, which we used as a base for our private cloud infrastructure.”