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Financial Services Migration from Mainframe to the Cloud

meshIQ chosen by a Financial Services company for its messaging middleware expertise and the ability to seamlessly monitor the entire estate from a single pane of glass and also provided observability and critical transaction health for their increasingly complex middleware environment.

Innovation-Focused FinServ Relies on Unique MQ-based Insights

Migration from IBM MQ on the mainframe, and a data center move

The Problem

Financial Services (FinServ) is an exceptionally fast-moving industry, and leaders know that being the best demands excellence in both new customer acquisition (NCA) and the customer experience (CX). Success requires deep and immediate access to everything that happens inside the organization to all of the internal audiences and departments being served in support of those business goals. At the heart of IT (Information Technology) are the critical applications and services, and the messaging middleware that connects them all, this largely determines their level of performance. The right tools to monitor and extract key performance and transaction information from this critical heart of the IT stack are essential.

At this longstanding company, IBM MQ was adopted years ago to provide the most reliable messaging middleware layer possible for their mainframe-centric architecture.

Today MQ remains, but much has changed to ensure they stay on top in their evolving market sector.

The company’s investments in technology across multiple platforms – in-store, online and mobile – have allowed the company to engage consumers when and where they want, and their programs and tools have strengthened the relationship between their many business partners and their customers, driving growth and opportunity across the board. Choosing which projects to pilot, which to fully adopt, etc. involves addressing these evolving needs and growth-generated problems, as well as selecting which new CX-enhancing opportunities to pursue.


Addressing Mean Time To Repair (MTTR) and Overall Problem Resolution Speed and Efficiency

What motivates approval for a new project to support customer experience-related efforts?

One area that motivated this financial services organization to act were the related issues of:

  1. Unacceptable problem resolution efficiency and speed.
  2. Uncertainty regarding the customer experience for the new customer acquisition system

Mean Time To Repair (MTTR) and overall problem resolution speed and efficiency has never been more important. The company had the tools that came with IBM MQ (as well as some tools that were homegrown to augment them) but as workloads and the environment grew, so did the expectations for CX and any problems impacting it.

“Problem resolution needs to be fast and accurate, we need to know where the problem resides (and where it doesn’t) very quickly. We need to have certainty, regarding the customer experience for our new customer acquisition system; that was critical here,” said their VP in charge of IT systems for credit products about the project to address their needs.

They evaluated IBM MQ monitoring solutions meshIQ AutoPilot® and BMC TrueSight/Q Pasa! as well as technology from a third vendor and chose meshIQ AutoPilot after a thorough review. They needed a tool to support real-time problem resolution with a dashboard to see the health of the transactions in real-time as well as to get actionable alerting and related “soft alerts” to ensure their CX was up to their high standards and that their customer acquisition system delivered on their goals. They got that with meshIQ AutoPilot monitoring their entire MQ environment.

Moving forward, another prioritized project was a migration, a migration from IBM MQ on the mainframe to MQ on the distributed side of the house. This was essentially a data center-type migration; moving this extremely important messaging middleware application to one (or more) other platforms. Like most other large, and growing organizations in the financial services space, they also have other technologies in their messaging middleware estate that formed part of their overall environment. So, the management and monitoring of them, in addition to monitoring IBM MQ during and after this migration, also factored into this project.

Their modernization plan required that they increase the visibility of the applications and the middleware that supports them.

“We needed to increase our visibility of application health, and have one single pane of glass (SPOG) for middleware monitoring, and administration, we needed one single pane of glass one solution!” is what they shared.

Again, they considered other options and chose Nastel for its messaging middleware expertise and the ability to seamlessly monitor the entire estate from a single pane of glass and also provide management and critical transaction health and other insights for their increasingly complex middleware environment.

The Future: Cloud Migration, More Microservices, and Innovation

As a leader in FinServ innovation, this company is looking beyond just an expansion of their MQ farm to support growth. Investments and pilots in areas including Linux Private Cloud give the company much to consider regarding net new messaging queue workloads and the plusses and minuses of each option. This is an area that many IT organizations are evaluating, as they think about where to put new middleware workloads, as they evaluate when and how they’re going to migrate different applications to the Cloud. Security, cost, reliability, and, of course, providing industry-best customer experience is where the company is doing its research now.

Related to that, they shared,

“Also, speed-to-market matters even more now, getting new features and new functions that we know our customers and prospective customers want is now critically important. It’s never been more important than it is right now.”

You can’t be a leader in this space without leveraging microservices and the firm is no exception:

“Three years ago, we had one microservice now we have over 20. It’s incredible to think about how many microservices we’re going to have in another year, or in 24 months.”

So, how do you factor in the customer experience elements associated with all of those microservices? And how do you factor in the management and monitoring of everything associated with those microservices? The team is now working through that next evaluation as well as the rest of their modernization plans, leveraging a global innovation program, their customers will continue to benefit from their projects and innovations.

meshIQ has been helping leading companies navigate their options for middleware and the larger evolving I.T. stack to deliver the best possible customer experience for over 25 years and is proud to collaborate with (and support) this FinServ as they continue to lead their market by developing new technology, products, and services to offer their partners and consumers a great customer experience.

Contact us to see their ROI metrics and learn how your company can combine CX excellence with measurable ROI.

The Result

MTTR/Problem Resolution: Unacceptable MTTR (mean time to repair) and overall problem resolution efficiency and speed with included IBM MQ tools and homegrown tools.

CX (customer experience) Risk: Must not have uncertainty regarding the customer experience (CX) for the new customer acquisition system. “Speed to market” is a new competitive priority.