Recently, I had the opportunity to communicate with Miren Alvarez Picos, Technical Office Director, Kutxa about the company and its use of Serena Software. Thank you for generously offering your insight.
Please introduce yourself and your organization
The three institutions came together as part of a strategic alliance around the requirement for IT and services. I am responsible for running the application development and management side of IT across these three organizations.
What are the three companies doing that required use of Serena Orchestrated ALM technology?
The three organizations run banking and management applications, which require management and development. Managing this development process is therefore a significant undertaking, involving software change and configuration management (SCCM).
What other products did you consider before making your Serena selection?
We looked at a number of other SCCM solutions out there, but Serena was chosen for the following reasons:
- The company offered solutions for our requirements - we work across both distributed and mainframe environments, so the solution had to support both in an integrated way.
- As we are working across organizations, it had to be simple for each business owner to see where their change requests were in the process, and the workflow design had to take the different companies into consideration.
- Audit and tracking of changes was one of the biggest requirements we had - Serena could demonstrate this capability well.
Why did you select Serena Orchestrated ALM technology?
Application development does not start or stop with the development team: it’s driven by business requirements for new functionality or to remove problems. Serena’s approach is based on understanding that workflow around development, and then orchestrating and streamlining all the activities involved so that processes can be automated where possible. This makes it easier to manage, and provides business owners with the management information that they require when they need it.
The second reason was around making the transitions between development and other sections of the application delivery chain easier. Serena helps us to co-ordinate and automate how work is processed from development and pre-production into training and production environments.
What tangible benefits have you gotten through the use of Serena technology?
The benefits that we have got are around greater efficiency in change management, as well as better handling of releases out to the wider business, whatever the environment is. For the business owners of development work, they can see where things are in the delivery process automatically, rather than having to follow up directly with the dev teams involved.
We have also automated some of our quality testing and control processes, which also helps application delivery to be improved.
Following on from our initial projects around supporting our Customer Relationship Management, Electronic Banking and Contracts applications, we now have over 30 applications with development work being managed by Serena. Getting the business process right around all this was the most important factor to this being a successful project.
What advice would you offer others?
Start small and get the process right, then roll-out to other parts of the application delivery team. Make sure that you understand the workflow around application delivery across the development team and the business too. If you can automate processes, then do so, as this will improve the speed at which you can put work through.
Lastly, I’d say look at your people skills as well as your skills in IT. As IT plays a huge role in the success of the organization, IT professionals have to be able to discuss the business challenges that they are taking on and solving with technology to a non-IT audience.