Raiffeisen Group is the third largest bank in the Swiss banking sector, with 1.9 million cooperative members, 3.8 million clients and 896 locations throughout Switzerland. The 246 legally autonomous Raiffeisen cooperative banks are amalgamated into the Raiffeisen Switzerland Cooperative, which is the strategic leader of the entire Raiffeisen Group. Raiffeisen Group has $166 billion in assets under management and $176 billion in loans to clients. Its market share is 17.5% in the mortgage business and its total assets amount to $230 billion.
Challenges
  • Provide end-to-end visibility across the digital experience, from end-users to the cloud
  • Establish the means to manage, monitor and improve application performance
  • Optimize mobile working
  • IT has knowledge about technical issues before the user does (proactive monitoring)
Solution
  • Aternity End-User Experience Monitoring
Benefits
  • Establishes single view of digital applications, supporting the bank’s mobile workplace strategy
  • Allows IT team to identify and resolve application issues before they impact users
  • Reduces downtime and improves application performance
“Aternity has enabled us to deliver against all our success criteria. Performance, the monitoring of applications, fast page load times... It has excelled in every use-case.”
Stefan Somogyi System Specialist Expert, Raiffeisen Schweiz, Raiffeisen Group
Challenges: Create a dynamic, mobile workforce

Raiffeisen’s IT department has spent much of the last five years creating a modern digital workplace environment: “We want employees to have access to everything they need on one device,” says Stefan Somogyi, System Specialist Expert, Raiffeisen Schweiz. “They should be able to work from anywhere with an internet connection.”

Raiffeisen has around 11,100 employees at around 900 locations across Switzerland working from laptops, desktops and convertible 2-in-1 tablet devices. The mobile devices are connected via a VPN. The Digital Workplace IT team manages the clients, devices and systems that enable these employees to complete a range of standard banking functions while mobile, from mortgage approvals to credit checks to customer engagement and support.

“Our goal is for employees to be able to work in a modern way without interruption,” says Somogyi. “We want to enable access to all the applications they need, from any device, at any time with fast page load times and no interruptions from system updates or lack of connectivity. All this needs to be achieved via a totally secure environment.”

The IT team had a project to upgrade users from Windows 7 to Windows 10 which highlighted issues with the bank’s ability to effectively monitor the end-user experience.

“It highlighted an issue with our monitoring,” Somogyi explains. “We would have had to check a huge number of devices, manually. This would take too long and would be reactive. We wanted to be more proactive and have clearer reports.”

Most of all, he continues, the IT department wanted insight and detail: “I’ve worked in this function for several years and I know that third-level support is not easy. Previously we could identify if something was slow or not working, but this is too vague. We needed to specifically identify the problem and root cause in order to then rectify it quickly.”

With its emphasis on web-based applications and mobile working, the bank required the same agility across its IT management. “We needed a solution that could display issues in a deeper way,” says Somogyi. “Ultimately, we need insight to help us to identify issues before the end-user has recognized they have a problem.”

Solution: Transforming end-user experience

Raiffeisen conducted a Proof of Concept with alternative solutions from different suppliers, includingAternity : “We were keen to understand how they analyzed application performance, particularly regarding web-based applications. I was also interested in knowing how well they integrated, and how the solutions communicated between agents and servers,” says Somogyi.

Aternity was selected to monitor the end-user experience of enterprise apps in the Raiffeisen portfolio, running on any physical, virtual, or mobile device. It transforms every device into a self-monitoring platform with an integrated view of the multiple streams of data, providing a comprehensive portrait of real end-user experience.

Unlike traditional APM products that monitor specific applications from the perspective of the data center, or device monitoring products that measure device, operating system, and app health, Aternity automatically monitors and correlates together the three streams of data that constitute true user experience – user interactions; device health and performance; and application performance – as seen by the end-user.

Raiffeisen’s Aternity licenses are grouped by specific user types and different locations, including traders, call center staff and the IT team, allowing the bank to extrapolate insight across a wide group of users. “Many clients do the same thing,” says Somogyi. “Addressing any performance issues affecting this sample of users can then be applied more widely and we can also assess the impact of planned changes or upgrades to mitigate downtime or risk.”

The implementation was very easy and seamless with some technical help from the Riverbed team. Somogyi continues, “Aternity simply worked out of the box and the onboarding was excellent. We’re now in the process of widening the understanding of Aternity as our goal is to have our service teams directly supporting a particular division within the bank, such as our call center, to also be familiar with using Aternity.”

Benefits: Less downtime, better management

“Aternity has enabled us to deliver against all our success criteria,” says Somogyi. “Performance, the monitoring of applications, fast page load times…it has excelled in every use-case.”

He says there is less downtime for users, devices and applications are quicker, and it’s enabled the team to stay one step ahead of any performance issues. Upgrades are managed better, as Somogyi is able to test issues on a smaller user group before rolling out more widely across the organization.

“There are a couple of areas where we’ve seen real benefit to the bank,” he explains. “We had an issue with a new piece of software at our call center that was causing some devices to crash when activating. With Aternity, we identified the problem within a few hours, whereas previously it would have taken approximately five days to solve plus another half a day to fix.

“Secondly, we implemented a new security agent that runs on all clients that had created some performance issues. These issues were not easy to identify with other monitoring tools but Aternity gave us absolute clarity.”

“All of this means our end-user trade is uninterrupted, and our customers can enjoy an efficient and more positive experience from the call center. This has a positive impact on the bank’s revenues and reputation.”

Where other monitoring technologies only extrapolate, emulate, or estimate what the end-user sees, Somogyi says Aternity allows him to understand how end-users experience and interact with their applications, devices, and network. “Using Aternity, we can see issues in real-time. We’re then able to drill down, solve the problem, and show people what the root cause was. We can then be absolutely clear with our advice.”

He says this has had a positive, knock-on effect. Somogyi and the team are seen as faster, more effective and more authoritative in their advice. “We’re now faster to fix and quicker to send reports which has resulted in better collaboration with our users.”

Maximizing the value of Aternity

In 2019 Raiffeisen will upgrade to a newer version of Windows 10. Somogyi says Aternity will be pivotal to the successful roll-out of this upgrade, and to future application decisions.

“We favor web-based applications. We’re already monitoring Google Chrome, Microsoft Edge and Internet Explorer, and can check users’ browsing experience. We’ve added the monitoring of five other applications since implementing Aternity, and we’ll add more next year.”

Somogyi says the bank recognized the strategic benefits of its investment in Aternity’s end-user experience monitoring solution. “We were never going to invest in new technology and not fully adopt and use it. We felt the benefits and value would be huge if we did things properly. Aternity has given us insight into the experience of our end-users that we didn’t know we were missing before. It’s not enough to simply buy the solution, it’s also important to accept advice on how best to optimize it for your organization.”

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