(2005), "Business service management without silos", International Journal of Productivity and Performance Management, Vol. 54 No. 2. https://doi.org/10.1108/ijppm.2005.07954baf.001Download as .RIS
Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Copyright © 2005, Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Business service management without silos
Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation (SMBC) offers commercial banking, asset management, e-commerce, and other services to clients across the globe. With more than 23,000 employees and $843 billion in assets, the bank is one of the largest in the world.
SMBC’s International Banking Unit (IBU) deals in commercial lending activities as well as leasing, securities, and other related investment activity. A single data centre in New Jersey hosts the core banking applications used by the IBUs in Europe and North America. With approximately $90 billion transacted through the New Jersey Data Centre on a daily basis, system availability is paramount and downtime is clearly not an option.
Up until a year ago, SMBC’s infrastructure management environment resembled that of many financial institutions. John Premus, chief technology officer for SMBC, said: “We were managing infrastructure as a series of silos”. These infrastructure silos support the business processes that drive bank revenues streams – treasury applications, risk management, demand deposit, loan systems, cash management, general ledger, e-mail, and many more. Applications were also managed as a silo.
Premus said: “When a problem occurred, it was each group’s responsibility to call the other groups to find out if they were having a problem within their specific area”. The process was inefficient and time consuming, and we couldn’t resolve problems fast enough to prevent impact on the business”.
When SMBC’s data centre in London was folded into the New Jersey facility, the organisation keenly felt the need for a global process to proactively manage applications and technology infrastructure. Premus said: “We had a number of objectives. We needed to identify problems quickly. As we were now operating in multiple time zones, we had to be sure that systems operating in New Jersey were available for the European offices. We wanted to minimise downtime and ensure that we provided a very high service level”.
Reducing costs was also a major objective. Premus continued: “Better efficiency in the way we identified and resolved problems, plus being more proactive, would reduce the total cost of end-user support while at the same time improving customer satisfaction”.
Also, the organisation wanted a systems management framework that could scale globally as SMBC explored new worldwide markets.
Premus and his team drew up a list of criteria for the new platform:
Leverage existing solutions. The new management solution needed to integrate with existing tools and correlate alerts across platforms.
Automate discovery and topology creation. The solution needed to automatically discover and build the topology to relieve staff from these ongoing manual tasks.
Pinpoint root cause problems. SMBC teams were overloaded with data and were looking to eliminate floods of symptoms by automatically and accurately pinpointing root cause problems.
Eliminate rules-writing. After working with several vendors’ rules-based solutions, the SMBC team knew it did not meet their requirements. They wanted a solution with the intelligence to understand the relationships between the application and infrastructure components and automatically identify the source of business-impacting problems.
Provide web-based access. The team wanted a web-based user interface so they could access the solution from any location.
Integrate with trouble-ticketing and database platforms. The solution needed to support auto ticket generation and allocation so problems could be assigned automatically to the right team.
Following an in-depth evaluation, SMBC chose SMARTS. Premus said: “From the business service management aspect, SMARTS InCharge bridges the gap between the applications world and network management world. Traditionally, we have managed these environments well separately, but we had no way to understand how problems in either of these two spheres were related. InCharge gives us the ability to understand how network problems impact the applications infrastructure.”
Premus continued: “InCharge also enables SMBC to assess the criticality of component outages by understanding which components support which business services. With InCharge, we can prioritise resources to keep the most critical services up and running. The InCharge architecture allows us to integrate all of our silo management systems, including in-house-developed systems, into one correlation console. Auto-discovery was also exceptional – InCharge discovered our entire network in North America, Europe and parts of Asia in less than a day with full validation of topology in less than a month.”
Root cause and business impact analysis, and the ability to automate these functions without writing rules, sealed the deal.
For the full case study, see www.smarts.com