Raiffeisen Bank Migrates to NeoLoad To Shift Performance Testing
The Raiffeisen Group is the leading Swiss retail bank. The Group is the third largest player in the Swiss banking market and has around 1.9 million cooperative members and 3.5 million clients. The 229 legally autonomous Raiffeisen cooperative banks are brought together in Raiffeisen Switzerland Cooperative, the strategic leader of the entire Raiffeisen Group. With an engaged staff focused on providing the best service to over 3.8 million customers and a constant goal of building business confidence, the bank invests heavily in IT systems. The implementation of the Avaloq market-leading core banking system is laying the foundation for the bank’s agile implementation of future digital projects.
Raiffeisen is undergoing a continuous digital transformation, deploying modern SaaS on dynamic infrastructure such as OpenShift in order to be more agile and to provide customers with a more compelling online interaction. It is also driven by its efforts to be able to respond faster to customer requirements, propose new online services, and manage back-end processes with greater efficiency.
The bank needed to adopt a modern performance testing platform that would support such a dynamic innovation. It selected NeoLoad’s cutting edge technology because it enables the desired agility to provide a better user experience to customers and staff.
Performance Testing Business Critical Applications at Raiffeisen Bank
Raiffeisen’s quality assurance team is composed of 12 people, including four performance testing experts. Their mission is to ensure reliability and speed of 35 applications and back-end services used daily by more than 3.8 million customers and over 10,900 employees.
Its applications consist of different back-end systems and interfaces supporting e-banking and core banking functions. The Avaloq front-to-back platform is the backbone of this architecture hosted on the most modern cloud technologies.
Load and performance testing is critical to ensure the reliability of these business-critical applications at high volumes: the e-banking platform is the most prominent application in terms of size.
The 3.8 million customers account for more than 1,200 transactions per second, with month-end spikes when all associated companies perform payrolls, which puts a significant load on the back-end APIs. Performance testing enables the bank to provide its customers with the best digital experience.
The core banking system is based on the Avaloq platform with different interfaces and backends; it supports all banking operations and is the main application used daily by more than 10,900 employees, with peaks at the beginning of the day when employees log into the system.
Testing of this application’s performance is critical to ensure employees’ productivity and customer satisfaction. Outages or performance bottlenecks would be problematic.
Testing 2x faster: The impact of modern, agile performance testing with NeoLoad
Digital transformation also means the change of performance testing practices. NeoLoad has helped Raiffeisen jump into the new age with faster, more agile and efficient load/performance testing enabling greater testing coverage while using fewer staff resulting in more reliable apps.
Louis Stark, Software Engineer in the Test & QA department at Raiffeisen, illustrates the benefits, “Going to NeoLoad enables us to identify 20% more issues and fix them in production. The applications are faster and significantly more stable because we fixed the main issues in the back-end.”
Stark continues that,
“NeoLoad’s technology is superior because it enables faster tests, more accurate validation – yielding a business model with increased flexibility allowing us to adapt the platform to all our load requirements (e.g., augmenting our license to 7,000 VUs for a limited period to execute tests at ahigh load).”
For Stark, the value of NeoLoad is enormous.
“We test 2x faster than what we were able to before. The same test that would take us five days to write, is now completed in half the time with NeoLoad.”
These test included:
- Test tuning is also much more efficient. With NeoLoad, Raiffeisen can check all the user paths automatically, requiring far less time to fine-tune a script. What was two days to update with our old solution takes one day with NL. “Saving 50% of our time is a huge gain.”
- When it comes to testing maintenance, the gain is even higher. Test maintenance is 80% faster with NeoLoad.
- Beyond efficiency gains for greater agility, NeoLoad provides better test accuracy covering test cases that were not possible before (e.g., WebSockets technology) and has seen a reduction ofsome test design-related issues up to 20%.
Cutting performance issues in production by 10+ from 3 crashes per week
to 1 per month
Overall, shifting to NeoLoad allow the bank to execute more performance tests for more applications using a higher number of test cases with less staff. “ We used to have six dedicated associates test 35 applications. Using NeoLoad we only have four people testing 50 applications. We now provide better test coverage and deliver an improved user experience and reliability to both our customers and employees.”
“The impact on user experience is significant,” Stark explains.
“The core banking application is more stable than ever before, and the users appreciate this. We used to have 2-3 crashes per week during morning peak times; shifting to NeoLoad enabled us to identify and reconcile bottlenecks well before we got into production. We reduced production issues to an average of one per month.
NeoLoad: state of the art technology to support digital transformation
Raiffeisen cites NeoLoad’s state of the art technology platform, enablement of greater agility, and support of dynamic infrastructure (e.g., Docker and OpenShift) as its most valuable improvements. With a scaled-down complexity limited to 17 NeoLoad components, Raiffeisen can update the whole platform in mere hours.
Stark concludes that the NeoLoad platform has been a remarkable asset given the ease with which it integrates with other blocks of the toolchain like Jenkins and Dynatrace Application Performance Monitoring. The Raiffeisen team has appreciated the Neotys support staff, which they describe as “great” when discussing response time and forum for product feature requests/updates. Neotys has become a trusted partner of the bank and it looks forward to building on this strong foundation.