Software could give Intelligent Finance ROI of £37,000 a week

Halifax's offset banking division Intelligent Finance expects to generate £37,000 a week return on investment within a year...

Halifax's offset banking division Intelligent Finance expects to generate £37,000 a week return on investment within a year following a move to the latest version of Computer Associates' Allfusion change management software.

Intelligent Finance will use the software to handle product changes across its highly complex IT infrastructure, which comprises Microsoft software, Sun servers and IBM mainframes, supporting the bank's five main personal finance products: personal loans, mortgages, credit cards, current accounts and savings.

Intelligent Finance supports 750,000 customer accounts in offset banking, which lets customers offset their savings and current account balances against the money they borrow to reduce the amount of interest they pay.

Within the company's three-tier IT infrastructure are 180 different servers and mainframes. These work across five separate logical partitions covering software development, integration testing, system testing, user acceptance testing and production.

Sitting on top of this complex IT infrastructure are tens of thousands of software components. Mike Gannon, head of applications at Intelligent Finance, said, "We have literally thousands of software components running across disparate hardware platforms. Without Allfusion, the management of change would be, if not impossible, then heavily manual and laden with risk."

CA's Allfusion Harvest Change Manager 5.1.1 replaces another CA product, Harvest Change Manager 4, which Intelligent Finance had been using since 2000.

"Version 5.1 has reduced the time needed to deploy our software over the three platforms and has taken away the need for manual implementation," Gannon said.

Gannon added that the roll-out of the new version of Allfusion had also helped Intelligent Finance avoid unnecessary investments in IT hardware. "We have not had to deal with any hardware issues to get software configuration management across our whole infrastructure," he said.

"It has enabled us to establish effective software configuration management without having to invest in changing our hardware."

The company has rigorous software testing procedures underpinning its product offerings, and Gannon said the Allfusion product had enabled the company to cut the time spent on development work by four days a month.

"The four-day saving is in terms of the time that it takes us to move our software through the different testing environments without reducing the actual amount of testing that we do," he said.

Gannon said the company is planning to extend its use of Allfusion to other areas. "The success we have had with this product is making us look at what else we could use this for, over and above software configuration," he said.

Documentation is likely to be the next area that Allfusion is extended to, with the company relying heavily on document alerts to keep the software development community aware of changes to its system specification for products.

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