Business challenge

A drop in service levels can lose Banrisul customers, and incur fines from regulators. The bank wanted better insight into IT performance to help it stop issues in their tracks.

Transformation

Banrisul is reaching new levels of service continuity with a powerful operations analytics solution, which enables the bank to identify and resolve IT performance issues at speed and low effort.

Results

Reduces

risk by raising customer satisfaction levels and meeting regulatory requirements

Enhances

efficiency by notifying the right people when issues occur

Boosts

internal security by flagging up password attacks

Business challenge story

Drowning in operations data

With both customer and regulator expectations rising, banks are under more pressure to deliver consistently excellent service levels than ever before. For Brazilian banking enterprise Banrisul, this means keeping a sharp eye on its essential IT systems.

“With help from IBM, we are taking an increasingly proactive approach to ensuring that nothing gets in the way of our service quality.”

—Germinaro Jorge Machado, Analyst, Banrisul

Germinaro Jorge Machado, Analyst at Banrisul, elaborates: “Each month we handle more than 25 million transactions, and if any one of these is processed slowly or fails we risk disappointing a customer. If this happens, our overall service level may drop below the level agreed with our regulator and we could even incur fines.”

Banrisul’s core business operations rely on an IBM® z Systems® platform, which generates 40 million system messages each week. Before, the bank’s support team searched these messages for anomalies that signaled performance issues, then manually alerted someone to take action.

“Our IBM z Systems platform supports our most essential systems, such as our general ledger, bank transfer application and databases, to name just a few,” says Machado. “There are simply too many system messages flooding in for the team to sift through manually, so it was possible for significant ones to slip through the cracks. It was difficult to get to the root cause of any issues that we did detect, so we could lose time in notifying the right person to resolve the problem.”

“The main advantage of IBM Operations Analytics for z Systems is that it helps us reduce the time needed to detect and resolve IT issues. Because we now know what’s causing a problem, we can call on the right person to fix it: saving time.”

—Germinaro Jorge Machado, Analyst, Banrisul

Transformation story

Homing in on what is important

When IBM proposed the IBM Operations Analytics for z Systems solution to Banrisul, the company immediately saw that it could enable a more proactive approach to performance monitoring.

“IBM suggested that we try the solution on a trial basis, and we agreed,” recalls Machado. “We embarked on a three-month proof of concept [PoC] exercise, which proved to be a real success, offering problem identification and resolution capabilities that could make a huge difference to our operations. As soon as the PoC finished, we bought a license and moved the solution from our test z/OS® LPAR [logical partition] to our production environment in just two weeks.”

Today, ten users within Banrisul’s IT department use the IBM tool to analyze log, event and service request data from the company’s IBM z Systems platform to uncover anomalies. The solution automatically notifies pre-defined stakeholders whenever a serious abnormality is detected.

“With IBM Operations Analytics for z Systems, we have an overview of key systems including our IBM CICS®, IBM DB2® and IBM MQ solutions through an intuitive graphical user interface,” says Machado. “It gives us the ability to drill down to the root cause of problems. Any significant anomalies trigger an email to alert the person that has the skills to take effective action. The solution also includes a dashboard that shows overall and per user invalid login and password attempts.”

Results story

Delivering exceptional services, without fail

Equipped with faster, more precise insights into its IT operations, Banrisul has the tools to tackle anomalies before they negatively affect customer services.

Machado offers an example: “Recently, an issue arose with the MQ system that we use to process money transfers to other banks. IBM Operations Analytics for z Systems automatically flagged the relevant system message, enabling us to rapidly uncover the root cause and quickly pinpoint a bug that had come from a recent update. We were then able to rapidly roll back to the previous version before any bank transfers were affected, just one instance of how we can now deliver new highs of service continuity.”

The solution is also helping the Banrisul IT team work more efficiently, as Machado explains: “The main advantage of IBM Operations Analytics for z Systems is that it helps us reduce the time needed to detect and resolve IT issues. Because we now know what’s causing a particular problem, we can call on the right person to fix it: saving time for everyone. It used to take up to 30 minutes to parse through logs looking for errors using command tools, now they just pop up on our screens automatically, in an easy-to-understand format.”

Banrisul is also taking advantage of the built-in login monitoring features to augment its internal security measures. With 3,000 employees accessing the company’s banking system, the ability to detect suspicious activity is an added benefit.

“Now, if a password attack was attempted, we would quickly realize,” comments Machado. “We are yet to come across any internal security threats, but it is reassuring to know we have an extra layer of protection.”

Looking to the future, Banrisul has plans to upgrade to the latest version of the solution, which includes IBM zAware.

Machado concludes: “We are excited to start using zAware to model normal system behavior based on historical baseline system data, allowing us to build a self-learning approach to problem resolution. With help from IBM, we are taking an increasingly proactive approach to ensuring that nothing gets in the way of our service quality, for happy users, customers and regulators.”

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About Banrisul S.A.

Founded in 1928, Banco do Estado do Rio Grande do Sul (Banrisul), is the largest bank in the Rio Grande do Sul state in Brazil, and the seventh largest in the country. Employing 11,000 people, it generates annual revenues of USD2.5 billion, has more than 500 branches and holds 2.9 million accounts.