What we didDesign, implementation, guidance, support
TechnologiesAzure, Azure DevOps, Azure Resource Manager
We started with a vision of the desired situation in a few years’ time, but the challenge is how to actually achieve this.
Transforming Van Lanschot into an Omnichannel Wealth Manager
Van Lanschot is the oldest independent bank of the Netherlands, originated in 1737. It is part of Van Lanschot Kempen, which is a specialised wealth management firm dedicated to the creation and preservation of wealth for private and institutional clients. Under the brand of Kempen, Van Lanschot Kempen offers advanced asset management and merchant banking services to the business-to-business segment.
Client Demand & Market Changes
During the last decade, Van Lanschot has observed changes in the way its clients want to interact with their bank. While the demand for dedicated service of the highest quality has always remained the same, the underlying wealth management market has changed. It has evolved from a slow transparent investment market into a global complex 24/7 market. This implies that Van Lanschot’s clients have a growing need for sophisticated advice and easy-to-use (self-)service. Despite these large shifts towards digital technology, Van Lanschot’s clients continue to value their personal touchpoints. To facilitate this combined need, Van Lanschot has developed an innovative omnichannel strategy to allow their clients to interact with their advisor at any place, any time, anyhow. While maintaining a strong trusted brand, the strategy also supports expansion towards to-be discovered channels.
“We started with a vision of the desired situation in a few years’ time, but the challenge is how to actually achieve this.”
Two-speed architecture implementation by Xpirit
As strategic enabler for its digital transformation, Van Lanschot has chosen to adopt the Azure cloud. Microsoft Azure delivers excellent capabilities on the development side, together with stable and bank regulator-certified security & gateway functionality. Combining this with the most enhanced hybrid cloud strategy, Van Lanschot could get started almost immediately.
To guarantee a future proof continuously shortening time to market a two-speed architecture is implemented by Xpirit. The architecture ensures that the back-office bank systems can develop in a sustainable pace, the business teams can accelerate speed as demanded by every day’s rapidly changing requirements. It also ensures a clear decoupling for scaling, which allows a dynamic scalable front-end while keeping the back-end stable and secure.
As a very tangible proof of these choices, Xpirit has guided Van Lanschot to deliver its Azure based development environments within 3 months. By collaborating closely with all involved parties, roughly 5 months after initiation of the project, the first applications have made their way to production.
“One year down the line, we do not regret any of the choices we have made so far.”
Next wave of banking products
The daily work of the Van Lanschot trusted advisors is changing rapidly. To deliver most value to their clients, the advisors must gain a deep understanding about their clients. The digital platform offers a full 360-degrees view combining all touchpoints, client interactions and client portfolio. By leveraging the cloud in all its aspects, data driven intelligence will be combined with personal attention. These tailor-made advices are then delivered back to the clients in person or through the most compelling mobile and web experiences. To guarantee a long term stable product innovation pace, Van Lanschot has decided to strictly build on top of the shoulders of giants. A clear PaaS-first strategy was chosen, to allow the creation of best in class wealth management propositions.
The digital platform consists of Visual Studio Team Services for orchestrating Continuous Delivery. Sitecore Experience Platform 8.2 was chosen for the delivery of marketing and omnichannel capabilities. Azure API Management is used to facilitate the two-speed architecture and a combination of App Gateway and App Service Environment ensures optimal scalability while dealing with the complex bank-specific regulations.
Xpirit complements the daily (IT) Operation
To allow the business inside Van Lanschot to continuously innovate its products and business models, multi-disciplinary DevOps-teams are being onboarded on the platform continuously by a core Platform team. The platform teams consist of Van Lanschot employees complemented with 2 dedicated Xpirit consultants. The DevOps teams gain full autonomy by taking ownership over a complete business capability. Inside these business capabilities they gain end-to-end responsibility. They will design, build, ship and run their own products. This model doesn’t only allow Van Lanschot to innovate its product at its own speed, it also opens the road for optimal decisions about product focus, sourcing and operating costs.
Xpirit has implemented Visual Studio Team Services as central DevOps platform allowing all teams to work together on one platform. Not only does it deliver collaboration tools, transparent work item tracking and code quality control, it also is the foundation of Van Lanschot’s Infrastructure and Application landscape automation. Build and Release Management is used to enforce Continuous Delivery for every aspect of the Digital Platform. Any Azure service ranging from Networking to PaaS is being completely scripted using Azure Resource Management templates.
The daily work of Van Lanschot’s development teams is changing dramatically. While the end-to-end responsibility is more and more delegated to the focused multi-disciplinary business teams, the introduced automation allows a reduction of cycle times for new features. The full automation also guarantees end-to-end auditability and a highly-reduced risk for IT Operations. It ensures that Van Lanschot is strongly in control over its own Azure environments. For the future, it paves the road for a potential final transformation from the current solution with a Hybrid cloud to a solution that runs cloud only.
“We have been trained in working Agile, where you give up on having full control. With more and regular touchdown moments in return.”
The innovative employer
The new Digital Platform and all its tooling doesn’t only change the perspectives for Van Lanschot and its clients. It also has a significant impact on Van Lanschot’s employees. The increased productivity, rapid time to market and the clear delegation of responsibility makes Van Lanschot a very attractive employer.
Geert van der Cruijsen (Consultant at Xpirit): “While Van Lanschot’s IT landscape has always been an intellectual challenge in the past, it has never been as catchy as it is today. We literally spin up entire client facing production environments in minutes“. His co-worker Chris van Sluijsveld (Consultant at Xpirit) continues: “We’re currently considering the learnability of the platform. Any employee or Microsoft Partner should be able to contribute to the platform with a minimal onboarding time.”
A cloud based development platform was a totally new environment for us. Xpirit guided us and caused a tremendous acceleration. We wouldn’t have achieved what we have by now if we had to do it ourselves.
Are you keen to explore and discover what doors can be opened for your company’s future success? We are more than happy to share our experience with you. Leave us a message or contact Max by +31 6 13468002.
These people know everything about this project
Geert van der Cruijsen
Digital Kickstarter, Enabler for companies to embrace DevOps, Cloud & improve their engineering culture
Michiel van Oudheusden
Microsoft .NET consultant, developer, architect. With a focus on ALM, VSTS, DevOps, APIs, Azure, Containers and everything around it
Martijn van der Sijde
Helping customers with realizing their digital strategy by creating and guiding the implementation of Cloud and ALM architecture roadmaps