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Investment Bank BinckBank on cloud nine with Azure DevOps

BinckBank is an online bank for investors and savers, offering its clients fast, low-cost, online access to leading financial markets.

In its continuous endeavor to improve its services, the bank wanted to optimize the tooling platform for its software development teams. An Azure DevOps-based cloud solution was the most logical choice. In order to ensure a smooth migration from Team Foundation Server (TFS), BinckBank involved Xpirit to guide the bank’s IT team. With success, as the migration was completed on time and within budget, and without any interruption to the work of the bank’s developers.

BinckBank – easy, online access to investment services

BinckBank was founded in 2000 and operates as an online bank, offering its clients easy access to investment services and innovative solutions. The bank is listed on Euronext Amsterdam and has offices in the Netherlands, Belgium, France, Italy and Spain, with a leading brokerage position the Netherlands and Belgium, and ranking third in France. An important feature of the bank’s online brokerage services is a stable platform that provides users access to important financial markets, professional trading facilities, and analysis tools.

Azure DevOps enables efficient application management

BinckBank’s Platform Engineering Team provides tooling for some 150 developers and IT specialists. Bart Beemsterboer, manager of the team, describes the importance of making a transition from TFS to Azure DevOps: “Our software releases occur continuously and in rapid succession, and the work involved in the release process and the operations of our development teams is always subject to optimization. This means that testing is automated and version management is transparent. Because a cloud solution would decrease the amount of time, work and cost involved in application management, a transition to Azure DevOps was a logical step to take. Moreover, Azure DevOps always provides the latest functionality and facilitates easier integration with time registration and project management applications.”

Xpirit’s expertise and experience remove concerns

Late 2018 the bank made a decision to undertake the transition. Bart: “Because stakeholders were concerned about continuity we needed to be sure there wouldn’t be any hiccups or delays caused by the migration. Luckily, I knew Xpirit’s Jasper Gilhuis, and I knew he had a wealth of expertise and experience gained from similar migration projects. I contacted him, we organized an initial meeting, and he removed any doubts by explaining that the process included a number of dry run tests. As a result, we were given approval to proceed.”

 

A must for Binck and typical of Xpirit’s approach: they show you what to do, but you do the actual work. The benefit is that you learn much more, and save costs. Altogether a great project with results that put us on cloud nine!

Bart Beemsterboer, Manager ICT, Platform Engineering Team

Smooth operation, completed on time and within budget

Bart continues: “We held a kick-off meeting in the beginning of February, and during the next couple of weeks, Jasper helped us in pinpointing and analyzing possible issues. The actual migration took place during the second weekend of March, starting the Friday night. But lo and behold, that same night the train came to a halt. Fortunately, there was no impact on our operations because all work was done in a separate environment, but nevertheless we were quite worried. However, diagnostics soon revealed that the problem was caused by an issue in Microsoft’s systems, and thanks to Jasper’s excellent contacts within Microsoft, that Saturday morning he managed to get hold of the right person to work around the problem. From there on, it was all smooth sailing, and by the Sunday afternoon the entire transition was completed. Basically, the entire journey, from the moment of the Go decision until the completed migration, took less than 6 weeks, and the project was completed on time and within the budgeted 10 days of Xpirit’s assistance.”

Effective Xpirit advisory approach: they tell, you do, you learn and you save costs

Bart concludes: “In addition to getting exactly what we wanted, there was another great aspect. Jasper advised and assisted, while enabling us to do most of the work ourselves. A must for Binck and typical of Xpirit’s approach: they show you what to do, but you do the actual work. The benefit is that you learn much more, and save costs. Altogether a great project with results that put us on cloud nine!”

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