Project Rescue for Banking Business

Applying best web development practices, Itransition improved the functionality and performance of Otkritie Bank’s web site.

Problem

Customer

Otkritie FC Bank is one of Russia’s largest full-service financial corporations offering retail, corporate and institutional clients a wide range of banking, investment, pension plan and life insurance solutions. In the last few years, Otkritie banking business has grown considerably, having consolidated a number of federal and regional-level banks.

These structural changes made the business evolve at all levels, including online promotion and remote client servicing. Realizing the strategic importance of the core website for sales driving and brand promotion, Otkritie bank decided to enhance and modernize it with regard to the actual market needs.

The local contractor responsible for the solution development failed to meet the Customer’s quality and performance requirements, so they started looking for another software vendor to speed up the product release and meet the deadline set by the business plan. They entrusted the project to Itransition, relying on their rich web development expertise proved by years of experience and solid track record.

Solution

Applying best web development practices, Itransition improved the functionality and performance of Otkritie Bank’s web site. Comprehensive feature set in tune with elegant UI design enable smooth experience for both the website’s visitors and content administrators. The major system’s features include:

  • Custom CMS with flexible layout composition capabilities, including different page styles, diverse content blocks (text, static banners, banner sliders, animations, videos and more). The CMS is designed to support unlimited number of the bank’s websites and provides for centralized management of custom product pages of different websites;
  • Workflows automation. The solution enables automated update of the website financial info from CVS and XML files. Besides, Itransition implemented a number of Jelastic monitoring connectors for tracking up-to-datedness of the displayed financial data;
  • BI-enabled credit, deposit and mortgage calculators with flexible parametrization. • E-commerce engine covering end-to-end coins sales from secure payments to order maintenance;
  • Feedback forms for gathering customers’ opinion;
  • User behavior tracking. The implemented algorithms aggregate data on users’ mistakes, generating the grounds for the analysis of clients’ needs and the product enhancement.

Results

Itransition helped Otkritie bank to improve and accelerate time-to-market of their product. The Customer was utterly satisfied with Itransition’s commitment, operational efficiency and pro-active stand, as well as the value we delivered for their business: 

  1. Migration to o7.com hosting allowed cutting down on the server expenses and support & maintenance costs. 
  2. The general amount of incidents recorded by monitoring systems diminished by 10 times.
  3. The number of major incidents requiring software engineering participation reduced from 12 to 2-3 per week 
  4. After the product release, the website traffic was calculated as 50 unique users per second.
  5. The system stability has risen by 26%.
  6. Itransition completed 530 development tasks.
  7. Every deploy was covered by 1462 unit tests. At present Itransition continues collaborating with the Customer’s team, caring for the website’s evolution in compliance with the latest market requirements.
Admin Part

Admin Part

Client Part

Client Part

Process

Technology

The solution is an RoR-based application, developed with the use of time-tested web development practices. Appealing UI was implemented using Jquery, Angular and Ajax technologies, while business logic rests on Ruby on Rails. For the database layer we applied powerful PostgreSQL database system.

The application was integrated with the Yandex.Maps web service and a custom mobile application, which enables seamless information exchange between them.

From Software Vendor to Trusted Partner

The project developed by the previous contractor was not ready for release. Because of the poor source code and complicated system architecture, the solution was low-performance and difficult to maintain and change. 

Itransition allocated a team of experienced business-analysts to investigate the context. Having examined the source code and business requirements, they prepared detailed documentation and jumpstarted the project in 2 days.

The project goal was to improve the source code quality, implement additional features and make the system easily scalable and modifiable. After the product’s rollout, the Customer planned to enhance the website continually, making it more appealing and interactive.

In this regard, we distributed the project scope between 2 teams.

Itransition’s Contribution

Development Team
9 Software Engineers
Support Team
L1: 10 Customer Support Specialists L2, L3: 3 CS Specialists
Business analysis Project environment monitoring
Source code review on compliance with RoR guidelines Website availability monitoring
Development processes reengineering, from nonsystemic operations to wellorganized Scrum Evaluation of the website’s upto-datedness, operations succession and functional performance
The architecture redesign and simplification Knowledge base creation and maintenance
The source code refactoring Handling the upcoming requests
Improvement and extension of the custom CMS Environment configuration to comply with PCI standards
Development of a fully-featured e-commerce module The system’s migration from reg.ru to o7.com hosting
Unit testing System backup try-out

Outcomes

Development Team
Support Team
The project requirements got structured and documented The solution works stably and fast
Development process became well-organized, yet agile. The Customer obtained more control over the team’s progress The project knowledge base includes 12 requests descriptions, 17 instructions on the core functionality recovery, typical support workflows documentation, cases lists, and more
The source code got cleaner and the solution – easier for monitoring and flexible for escalation The number of incidents on a new hosting decreased from 100 to 10 per week
The CMS now enables flexible layout building, providing diverse page styles and content blocks’ templates The overall amount of incidents diminished by 10 times
It is now possible to manage multiple websites’ content from the single control panel  
The website is instrumental for instant credit/deposit/mortgage calculation and coins purchase  
Project Timeline
Project Timeline

Dealing with Challenges

Realizing the needs of the Customer’s business, Itransition managed to adjust its processes correspondingly without hurting the quality of the delivered services. We undertook nontypical tasks and coped with the following challenges:

  1. Insufficient QA. Initially, there were no QA specialists involved on an ongoing basis. To provide for the necessary control over the software quality, Itransition increased test coverage and introduced code review practices on staging, pre-production and production phases.
  2. Blurred project requirements. Itransition analyzed the Customer’s business canvas, helped to define the project requirements and prepared technical and functional documentation.
  3. Tight deadlines. The previous vendor was far behind the development schedule, so the Customer was in danger of missing the product release deadline. To deploy the project in time, our team adjusted the schedule, working day and night, and the product was put into production in time.
  4. Strict security policy. Due to the Customer’s corporate data security policy, Itransition team was given limited access to the server environment. To deploy monitoring, Itransition implemented non-standard algorithms for gathering metrics via the web panel.
  5. Internal team introduction. At the end of 2015, the Customer introduced the internal team to undertake some of the project works. For efficient cooperation, Itransition reorganized the development process, introducing everyday status calls, as well as scheduled synchronization calls of PMs from both sides, sprint estimation meetings and many more.

Customer’s Trust Is Primary Asset

Itransition’s major achievement is the Customer’s absolute trust. They consider Itransition not just a software vendor, but also a reliable partner capable to assist or give valuable advice in all business-related situations.

During collaboration, we were entrusted a great deal of fundamental decisions, including the selection of an alternative hosting provider, substantial system refactoring, when the release was soon.

Pursuing to meet tight deadlines, the Customer asked Itransition team to help their marketing department in website content filling. Our team was also responsible for the recruitment of software engineers for the bank’s internal team, as well as their further training and adaptation to the project. Overall, we conducted 11 job interviews. The company’s HR department extremely delighted with Itransition’s commitment

What makes Itransition different is their flexibility, commitment and efficiency. Well-established processes enable them to act fast and consistently in any context. Thus, they started the project in 2 days, immediately scaled the team on demand and always met deadlines without hurting the quality of delivery.

For us they became not only a contractor delivering top quality soft, but also a reliable partner assisting in other business processes, such as staff recruiting and training.

Kirill Men'shov