Deliver Excellence

Deliver Excellence

The need for increased Resiliency  of the infrastructure proved to be the key focus item for the first year of service at V-TServices. As the vast majority of financial transactions go through digital channels, this places significant demands on system resiliency and performance.

In preparation of the service commencement date one year ago, we started with the Transition Program, well before the Go Live.

With the help of UniCredit Business Integrated Solutions, we prepared for the on boarding of the people joining V-TServices, establishing required IT such as e-mail and the portal, organizing access to systems and other practical things. Since the first date of service, we have been delivered a significant improvement in the service leve l performance, as well as a reduction in the mean time to recover from incidents.

In addition to that, the importance of having enhanced resiliency , an even more rigid change management process and an improved compliance, led V-TServices, with the full endorsement and support of IBM, to adapt the planned approach and create, in parallel to the Transformation Program, the so called "Stability Program",  aimed at improving the infrastructure reducing exposures to potential risks, preparing it to host all future solutions coming from R&D and the Innovation team.

Experts from IBM and our partner AT&T were flown in from around the world, working with our V-TServices colleagues, to assess the priorities and to create plans for immediate improvements of the infrastructure.

For each of the different work streams the findings of our analysis have been classified as High, Medium or Low priority.

Immediate focus has been given to improving the change and incident management processes  while from a technology perspective we pay specific attention to network and storage.

To prevent further customer impact, we alsoidentified improvement activities in support of the Critical Applications, such as the Internet Banking applications in the major and CEE countries, the Austrian ATM application and SEPA. Especially on these topics the V-TServices teams work closely with the UniCredit Business Integrated Solutions application teams, and good results have been achieved by adding new tools and technology, upgrading infrastructure, adding processes, resources and training specific skills.

A "New Delivery Model", consistent with the IBM Client First model, has been designed and implemented. The purpose of the new delivery model is to provide clarity within the organization and to our Clients regarding:

  • Client relationships and services as delivered to local clients and per business line
  • Integrated Services organized Cross Country, based on Centres of Excellence for different technical service lines
  • Shared Services such as service and operations management are cross Client and organized cross Country, potentially also from IBM delivery centers
  • Supporting functions such as procurement, communications, HR, legal, finance and business operations.

New Services

As the business is evolving and new requirements have to be supported, new services requests  are submitted to V-TServices. In an outsourced environment this requires different processes  such as demand and solution management, pricing of the service and a formal approval process.

In the first year V-TServices received and processed almost 1000 requests for new services , both through the simple service request process (catalogue of pre-priced and approved items) and the request for services process (intended for unique and larger solutions).

The V-TServices and UniCredit Business Integrated Solutions teams are working together to improve the end to end process (leveraging the Six Sigma methodology with the Customer black/green belt support) with the objective to reduce the time to market and to provide fit for purpose solutions.

To achieve greater efficiency the teams will implement joint tooling and processes, expand the catalogue with new items and pre-bundled offerings, and leverage new technologies such as Cloud computing. As results of the required new service solutions close to 600 new projects have been initiated, of which 250 have been completed, and currently more than 90% of the work is progressing as planned.

Transition and Transformation

The "Transition Program" is aimed to successfully transfer the services from an in-house to an external service.

In the case of V-TServices, this also included the creation of the Joint Venture, and everything that involves setting up a company: as an example a new SAP system was created, we adopted the portal from UniCredit Business Integrated Solutions, implemented a business controls policy and the VT-Services name and logo were registered.

To transition the services we established a management, including contract governance, and prepared new processes for new services.

V-TServices inherited around 500 "in-flight" projects of which 90%+ have been already completed.

The level of compliance, security and data protection were assessed and the outcomes were the basis for the proposals to fill the identified gaps.

All in scope contracts were transferred from UniCredit Business Integrated Solutions to V-TServices, a physical inventory of all transferred assets has been performed as well as an extensive customer environmental analysis, overall resulting in an agreement on joint verification.

The "Transformation Program" consists of 5 clusters:

  • Open Storage
  • Open Systems (including Cloud)
  • Service Management
  • Mainframe
  • Network.

More than 150 experts from IBM are working together with over 100 V-TServices employees, who have come over from UniCredit Business Integrated Solutions to execute the 22 programs that have been identified.

Each of the individual programs has been specified in detail in Program Definition Reports that have been submitted and are approved by the Client as the work is executed.

The upgrade of the Z-Series Mainframe cluster will be closed before the end of September, when we will have implemented all new mainframes without impacting the service.

The benefits are already evident: performance improvement and capacity optimization.

All programs have gone into execution as V-TServices continues the ramp up in staffing.

Through a rigorous joint management system we will ensure to have timely decisions to allow the program to make the required progress.

Specific focus is on "service recipients": critical areas where additional complexity is present due to external regulatory compliance and/or where specific Bank authorizations are required.

In the next months, we plan to finish the infrastructure deployment, configure the network, implement and migrate storage, simplifying the environment and increasing standardization   

Cloud

We have started with the deployment of a Private, on premise Cloud  in the Verona and Munich data centers, delivering Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS).

The first phase will be Infrastructure as a Service, but will rapidly expand to platform and Software as a Service (SaaS).

Additionally, we have just introduced the use of SoftLayer, IBM's global Public Cloud provider, in a Hybrid Cloud delivery model to allow a better evaluation of the potential of this platform.

The V-TServices’ Cloud is planned to rapidly evolve to deliver Platform as a Service and Software as a Service (PaaS, SaaS) in the hybrid environment.

The Hybrid Cloud model will provide UniCredit with the benefits of

  • rapid provisioning of virtual servers
  • lower operating costs
  • improved service management
  • integrated systems governance.

Moreover the platform as a services solution will allow to setup environments and deploy apps very quickly.

In fact, we intend to use SoftLayer to complement and extend the on premise Private Cloud we are building in Verona and Munich.

This will immediately provide enhanced business agility, access to worldwide Data Center facilities and to a growing portfolio of Infrastructure, Platform and Software as service solutions.

The hybrid model leverages the benefits of both the Public and Private Clouds enhancing UniCredit flexibility and scalability and accelerating his ability to cope with the speed of the business requirements.

Governance

A governance  model, which operates on multiple layers between the UniCredit Business Integrated Solutions and V-TServices, has been established to effectively manage all the aspects of service delivery and contract management.

The governance model includes centralized and local bodies  to ensure deep understanding and strict control; in addition, it was agreed to extend the model with Risk Management and separate meetings with the UniCredit Business Integrated Solutions Business Lines in order to improve our understanding of business priorities and to contribute with innovation and a pro-active approach.

We believe in continuous innovation as we want to get ready for the coming "very different future".

We will continue to transform and to provide new products, services and capabilities to the Bank, that are fit for the future, and that will deliver competitive advantages.

This requires a virtual continuous circle between Delivery and Innovation.