Processes 3,000 loan applications each day with under 30 second response times
Accelerates IT operations 2X and speeds up issue resolution five-fold
Strengthens collaboration between teams with visibility across 50+ workflows
BNP Paribas Personal Finance, part of BNP Paribas, the second largest banking group in Europe, needed visibility across more than 50 workflows driving the loan process behind the scenes. With Cisco AppDynamics, it can spot and address performance issues across these workflows five-times faster.
“Even when our systems are being pushed to their limits, it takes just a few people sitting in a room to keep our services running smoothly. That’s what makes AppDynamics so powerful. It makes us faster and more efficient internally so we can give our customers a better experience."
CTO Nordic Region,
BNP Paribas Personal Finance
Eliminate application downtime and optimize the performance of dozens of IT workflows to meet its target of responding to every customer request within 30 seconds.
Cisco AppDynamics provides BNP Paribas Personal Finance with a helicopter view of its application workflows, allowing teams to identify and address the root cause of errors within minutes.
BNP Paribas Personal Finance IT operations team now works twice as quickly and has accelerated issue resolution five-fold, helping it to drive a continuous, positive customer experience.
“Using AppDynamics is like having thousands of eyes on the lookout at once, picking up every abnormality and opportunity that merits our attention.”
CTO Nordic Region, BNP Paribas Personal Finance
Giving customers exceptional banking experiences
Competition is fierce in Denmark’s banking sector, but BNP Paribas Personal Finance has grown steadily each year, propelled by its relentless focus on customer service excellence.
The speed and reliability of BNP Paribas Personal Finance customer experience are major differentiators. For CTO Greg Parker, the bank’s number one priority is to make sure its services, in particular its loan application processes, are working at peak capacity so that customers can bank with confidence and bring their investment goals to life.
“Loan applications touch on people’s personal finances and their dreams for the future,” says Parker. “Our customer service team excels at giving applicants the guidance they need, and my team’s job is to back them with a loan application process that delivers on its promise and gives customers peace of mind.”
Achieving high levels of customer satisfaction comes down to a trifecta of speed, performance, and reliability. More specifically, it means Parker and his team must test their IT applications relentlessly, minimize errors, and address performance issues as soon as they arise so that every customer gets a completely frictionless experience.
Running 50 dynamic workflows in less than 30 seconds
BNP Paribas Personal Finance processes roughly 3,000 loan applications per day in Denmark, and that figure can double or triple during major retail events like Black Friday. The process is user-friendly for customers, but incredibly complex behind the scenes, involving more than 50 IT workflows and multiple integrations with external partners.
Fast IT development cycles only add to the pressure for Parker’s team. On top of managing a dynamic application environment with countless moving parts, BNP Paribas Personal Finance has set a target of processing and responding to every customer’s request in 30 seconds or less. The only way for Parker’s team to deliver on that is with complete visibility and control across the bank’s operations.
“There are dozens of steps to manage in our loan application process, from simple tasks like creating forms, to the external services that validate requests and conduct regulatory checks, to the decision engine that ultimately approves or rejects each application,” says Parker. “Before gaining observability across those workflows, we were operating in the dark.”
BNP Paribas Personal Finance also holds itself to the highest standard of data governance and compliance. From the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) to the Payment Services Directive II (PSD2) to Payment Card Industry (PCI) and Data Security (DSS) Standards, the bank takes every measure to meet the wide range of laws governing the financial services industry.
A long-term partnership that keeps delivering
BNP Paribas Personal Finance began using AppDynamics in 2015. Conscious of Parker’s challenges, BNP Paribas Personal Finance’s implementation partner, Sentia recommended Cisco AppDynamics Application Performance Monitoring as an ideal, user-friendly solution. “Knowing I was a techie, Sentia introduced me to AppDynamics,” recalls Parker. “Seeing across all my applications at once was a game-changer. I was hooked instantly.”
Sentia has been a BNP Paribas Personal Finance partner for more than a decade, helping the bank to modernize and gain more control over its IT operations. “Financial Institutions like BNP Paribas Personal Finance must navigate a complex technology environment and a complex regulatory environment at once,” says David Lange, Chief Commercial Officer at Sentia. “AppDynamics is its compass, always pointing the bank’s IT operations team in the right direction.”
BNP Paribas Personal Finance now uses AppDynamics to monitor, fix, and optimize its loan application workflow from end-to-end. Ninety-five percent of its processes are fully automated, including back-end integrations with six third-party service providers. Even with thousands of loan applications to manage each day, the bank can now deliver on its “30 seconds or less” response time.
BNP Paribas Personal Finance maintains that standard during peak demand periods like new iPhone releases, when loan application volumes can triple overnight. The bank must keep a close eye on average response times, error rates, and more during these spikes, and be ready to act instantly.
With AppDynamics, Parker’s team can process performance issues on the fly and resolve them in minutes. When BNP Paribas Personal Finance experienced an issue during Apple’s latest iPhone release, AppDynamics instantly identified and addressed the root cause of the issue and BNP Paribas Personal Finance’s loan application process was back on track in just 20 minutes.
“Even when our systems are pushed to their limits, it takes just a few people sitting in a room to keep our services running smoothly,” says Parker. “That’s what makes AppDynamics so powerful. It makes us faster and more efficient internally so we can give our customers a better experience.”
“AppDynamics is its compass, always pointing the bank’s IT operations team in the right direction.”
Chief Commercial Officer,
A culture of peak performance
One of the biggest selling points of AppDynamics for Parker was its ease of use. Real-time performance dashboards bring clarity to BNP Paribas Personal Finance’s complex IT environment, which means everyone from seasoned users to new users can understand what’s happening at-a-glance.
Using the AppDynamics mobile app, team members can identify and get to the root cause of performance issues even if they aren’t in the same room. Parker recalls an occasion when he was travelling by train and received a notification that one of his new applications needed attention. After logging into the AppDynamics mobile app, Parker quickly found the error and worked with his team to resolve the issue. Once fixed, all it took was 60 seconds to reboot its systems and get its services running again.
“The ability to spot and manage performance issues on my phone is just one of many life saving features we get with AppDynamics,” says Parker. “In the same way that people swear by Windows or Linux as their operating system, AppDynamics is now part of the culture of my team. That’s how much we depend on the solution.”
Optimizing performance from a unique vantage point
While BNP Paribas Personal Finance has been monitoring its application environment to drive better customer experiences for years, the bank remains relentless in its pursuit of perfection and continues to work with Sentia to find new ways to streamline its customer experience and make it even more frictionless.
With an end-to-end view of its loan application processes, Parker’s team has gained a unique vantage point from which to target, test, and enhance the performance of every workflow involved. Team members use AppDynamics each day to pull performance figures, analyze trends in their performance, and find opportunities for improvement.
This view has accelerated issue resolution by orders of magnitude even as BNP Paribas Personal Finance’s loan application workflows become more complex. Application performance issues are now resolved five times faster than before the bank implemented Cisco AppDynamics, and by Parker’s estimate his IT operations team operates twice as fast as it did just two years ago.
“You might think you’ve tested an application to death and that it’s rock-solid, but a second set of eyes will always reveal there’s room for improvement,” he says. “Using Cisco AppDynamics is like having eyes everywhere at once, picking up every abnormality and opportunity that merits our attention.”
Parker also notes that metrics from Cisco AppDynamics help him work with management to determine resource allocations. “I present overall workflow performance figures from Cisco AppDynamics to the IT management team once a month. The information then forms the basis of the resources we allocate across our teams to dive deeper into any negative trends we see.”
"The ability to spot and manage performance issues on my phone is just one of many lifesaving features we get with AppDynamics.”
CTO Nordic Region,
BNP Paribas Personal Finance
Driving collaboration inside and out
In addition to these steady performance enhancements, Parker points to a “hidden” benefit of working with AppDynamics: the closer collaboration it has fostered between BNP Paribas Personal Finance’s IT operations and development teams. In a business where operations and development employees had long worked towards their own goals and metrics, Cisco AppDynamics aligned both teams’ efforts around the common goal of customer experience excellence.
“Seeing our Ops and development teams join forces over Cisco AppDynamics is incredible. Not only has it improved our working culture, it has made us more efficient in addressing our challenges,” says Parker. “Combining that internal collaboration with Sentia’s expertise has made our IT Operations as strong as they’ve ever been.”
That spirit of collaboration extends to BNP Paribas Personal Finance’s relationships with its external partners. The bank relies on a number of third-party services for its credit and governance checks. When Cisco AppDynamics identifies a performance issue in these services, or a bottleneck that might be standing in the way better performance, Parker can proactively share that insight with the partners so they can take a closer look.
“I can show a partner exactly where performance issues in their applications are affecting our customer services, and they never question me because I have data to back it up,” says Parker. “We’ve always had good relationships with our partners, and the insight I bring to them from Cisco AppDynamics has only strengthened our bond.”
Looking ahead with confidence
Up next, Parker, his team, and Sentia are exploring the analytics capabilities within Cisco AppDynamics as a means to further strengthen BNP Paribas Personal Finance’s data compliance. With regulators catching up to the digital economy and data protection laws evolving daily, governance has become one of the bank’s core business objectives.
The visibility delivered by Cisco AppDynamics continues to play an integral role for BNP Paribas Personal Finance as it tackles future projects and strengthens its existing services. “Whether you’re developing a new service or managing an old one, if an issue arises and you can’t find the cause, it drives you crazy,” says Parker. “The end-to-end view we get with AppDynamics is like a security blanket without the stress of not knowing the root cause of our performance issues, we can calmly focus on making them go away. And that’s an invaluable advantage for our team.”
About BNP Paribas Personal Finance
BNP Paribas Personal Finance is the leading consumer finance company in France and Europe, offering a wide range of consumer credit products. A wholly-owned subsidiary of the BNP Paribas group, BNP Paribas Personal Finance employs close to 20,000 people and operates in some 30 countries. With brands such as Cetelem, Express Bank, Sevenday Bank, Cofinoga and Findomestic, the company offers a full range of personal loans in stores, through broker partners or directly to customers through its customer contact centers and online.
Over a number of years, BNP Paribas Personal Finance has developed an active partnership strategy with retail chains, car manufacturers and distributors, e-commerce websites and other financial institutions (banking and insurance) based on its experience in the credit market and on its ability to offer integrated services tailored to the business activities and commercial strategy of its partners. To support its customers and partners, BNP Paribas Personal Finance is committed to promoting access to more responsible and sustainable consumption.
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Sentia is a Nordic Managed Cloud Service Provider recognized for industry-leading compliance and expertise within hybrid IT, managing the infrastructure and operations of renowned organizations - from any cloud, to any cloud, in any cloud. With our Digital Experience Monitoring proficiency, we support clients in optimizing the digital experience of both customers and employees, and as a strategic partner, we guide clients through their entire cloud journey in compliance with strict regulations and security needs to create competitive advantages and business growth.
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