reduction in the number of performance issues in production
The Raiffeisen Group is the leading Swiss retail bank. The Group is the third-largest player in the Swiss banking market; it has around 1.9 million cooperative members and more than 3 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. Implementing 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 to be more agile and provide customers with a more compelling online interaction. It is also driven by its efforts to respond faster to customer requirements, propose new online services, and manage backend processes with greater efficiency. The bank needed to adopt a modern performance testing platform that would support such dynamic innovation. It selected NeoLoad’s cutting-edge technology because it enables the testing agility needed to provide a better user experience to customers and staff.
Raiffeisen’s quality assurance team is composed of 12 people, including four performance testing experts. Its mission is to ensure the reliability and speed of 35 applications and backend services used daily by more than 3.8 million customers and over 10,900 employees. Its applications consist of different backend 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. Moreover, month-end spikes occur when all associated companies perform payrolls; this puts a significant load on the backend 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, and the platform supports all banking operations. It 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. Performance testing Avaloq is critical to ensure employees’ productivity and customer satisfaction.
Why NeoLoad is business-critical:
Louis Stark — Software Engineer in the Test & QA department
To align with digital transformation initiatives, Raiffeisen wanted to evolve its performance testing practices. NeoLoad has helped Raiffeisen jump into the new age with faster, more agile, and more efficient load/performance testing. This enables greater testing coverage while using fewer staff—resulting in more reliable apps. Louis Stark, Software Engineer in the Test & QA department at Raiffeisen, shared, “NeoLoad’s technology is superior because it enables faster tests and more accurate validation. This provides 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 a high load).”
Test tuning is also much more efficient. With NeoLoad, Raiffeisen can automatically check all the user paths, requiring far less time to fine-tune a script. What took two days to update with their previous solution takes one day with NeoLoad. Stark noted, “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. It covers test cases that were not possible before (e.g., WebSockets technology). Raiffeisen has reduced some test design-related issues up to 20%.
Overall, shifting to NeoLoad allows the bank to execute more performance tests for more applications—running a higher number of test cases with less staff. “We used to have six dedicated associates testing 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 explained. “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 reached production. We reduced production issues to an average of one per month.”