This is how we decreased Swedbank’s non-operational risk for half of the price

Swedbank* upgraded its key systems from the legacy Visual Basic 6 technology to the newest Visual Basic .NET. In this way we managed to decrease non-operational risk as regards its systems, ensuring that they made use of supported technology. Have a look how Euvic assisted in this process for half of the price of IT services available in Sweden.

What was the problem?

Migration became necessary in 2014 when Microsoft announced the official ending of support for Visual Basics 6. Swedbank decided then to migrate all of its applications running on VB6 to Visual Basic .NET. As the Bank does not have its own internal resources to perform such a migration project, it began to look for an external partner, announcing a formal tender procedure and inviting the largest IT outsourcing providers operating both in Sweden and abroad. Euvic was chosen because of its vast experience in migration projects, well-developed work methodology and good credentials from other major clients and from Microsoft.

The migration project involved 3 crucial applications that Swedbank uses to manage accounts and bank transactions: Reconciliation, Temporary Postings, Rejected Transactions. They had a total of 262,000 lines of source code. For this reason the key criteria in the service provider selection included its competency in implementing large projects to migrate applications running on Visual Basics as well as project safety-related issues. Swedbank also wanted to obtain technical support for the upgraded applications. The price of the service was also important, but not crucial.

How was it solved?

Step 1. The start of the project was preceded by a security audit of the environment in which the migration and maintenance work was to be carried out. Swedbank earlier presented its requirements in this regard and Euvic indicated those already satisfied and those that could be met later on. The audit confirmed that all the security requirements of Swedbank were fulfilled by Euvic (including the physical security of access to the data bank and the security of the software environment in which the project was to be implemented).

Step 2. The project team formed by Euvic was made up of 6 specialists: 1 project manager, 4 developers and 1 tester. They cooperated with a designated employee of Swedbank, working based on the Agile (SCRUM) framework.

As a result of the project, the Reconciliation application was migrated from VB6 to VB.NET, tested and then implemented in a production environment. Until now also the application Temporary Postings has been migrated from VB6 to VB.NET and tested. The project team prepared detailed documentation related to the work performed, including migration guidelines and post-migration recommendations.

Euvic also developed additional tools for the automated code conversion to speed up the migration process. The work was carried out using the .NET Framework 4.5 and the latest version of Crystal Reports.

The migration process:

 – Although about 95 percent of all the work was done remotely, at Euvic’s location, all the time we had a sense of full control over the project, and we saw the effects of the work performed. It was possible thanks to the SCRUM framework based on which the project was carried out, as well as the ease of communication and cooperation with the Euvic project team – claims Caroline Stark, Project Manager on the IT side at Swedbank

Step 3. Plans for this year include the implementation of the Temporary Postings application and the migration of the last system, Rejected Transactions. Both companies also want to extend further the scope of services provided to Swedbank by Euvic.

What were the business benefits?

  1. Upgraded applications using supported technology

Thanks to migrating its critical applications from Visual Basic 6 to Visual Basic .NET the Bank maintained a modern technology in its key applications and hence also the support for the technology provided by the manufacturer.

  1. Full control over the project

All the project work has been carried out in accordance with the approved schedule, without any unexpected events. Maintaining full control over the project was also facilitated by its implementation in the SCRUM framework which provided the possibility of a permanent co-participation in the ongoing work and monitoring the results.

According to a satisfaction survey conducted by Euvic after the completion of the first phase of the project, 69 percent of Swedbank staff involved in the project was satisfied or very satisfied with the communication in the project. 31 percent (4 people) didn’t respond to this question. 61 percent of Swedbank staff was satisfied or very satisfied with the way Euvic carried out the development work. 31 percent (4 people) didn’t respond to this question, and 8 percent (1 person) was dissatisfied.

  1. Cost-effectiveness

Although cost-effectiveness wasn’t the decisive factor for choosing an IT outsourcing partner, Euvic proved that it could provide high-quality service at a competitive price, being about 50 percent less expensive than the Sweden-based IT outsourcing providers competing for this project. The cost-effectiveness of the project was also driven by the way the project was carried out. Good organization and the use of tools that partially automated work contributed to reducing the involvement of Swedbank IT staff to about 40 man-days (compared to 150 man-days of  Euvic’s team involvement).

  1. Better performance of the upgraded application

The upgraded and implemented Reconciliation application has been running in a production environment for several months now. During that time there was 1 reported incident. Euvic maintenance team removed these errors in 8 hours. Both in terms of the number of reported incidents and the speed of response it is a better result than before the upgrade.

About Swedbank

Swedbank is a modern bank firmly rooted in Sweden’s savings bank history. With 7.2 million private and 600,000 corporate and organisational customers, Swedbank holds a leading position in its home markets of Sweden, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. As a major bank, it is a significant part of the financial system of these countries and plays an important role in the local communities it serves. To support its customers’ businesses, Swedbank also has operations in Norway, Finland, Denmark, the US, China, Luxembourg and South Africa. It employs about 14,000 staff in its branches throughout the world. 

Euvic has delivered lots of successful development projects by listening humbly to our customers to understand what they need. We have 1000 responsive and well-trained developers who are ready for the next mission.