AMP is a financial services company in Australia and New Zealand with superannuation and investment products, insurance, financial advice and banking products including home loans and savings accounts. The company managed more than $110.4 billion in assets in 2015 and had 5,400 employees.
AMP’s Enterprise Release Management (ERM) team formed when AXA Asia Pacific Holdings merged with AMP between 2010 and 2013.
“Consolidating the systems was a huge amount of work,” says Suzanne Murray, Enterprise Release Manager.
The ERM team provide framework, governance and controls around major IT services changes to the production environment. “We used to have quarterly releases, now we have 11 releases a year,” says Murray. “We take a holistic view, which considers all aspects of a change, including planning, designing, building, testing, communications and deployment.”
Suzanne Murray joined the ERM team in order to streamline processes. “Everything was done manually,” she says. “We had lots of spreadsheets. We did lots of emailing and chasing people. It was onerous and we had lots of complaints.”
The ERM team created daily and weekly reports about current releases for managers. Directors and the Chief Information Officer received gate reports. Each report took hours or days to prepare, and did not always present the information in a clear and concise manner.
“It was a very manual, long-winded process. Information was difficult to collect and out-of-date by the time reports were published,” says Murray. “To me, release success is about business impact. I was keen to measure release success when I joined AMP. Unfortunately, the tool sets and processes made it impossible to get the data.”
“Plutora helped us produce 11 enterprise releases this year—up from 4 major and 4 minor releases 2 years ago—with only half the staff.”Suzanne Murray, Enterprise Release Manager, AMP
Plutora made reporting fast and easy.
“The RG2 and RG3 reports require the input of project managers, release managers, team managers and portfolio release managers. They used to take 3 enterprise release team members 3 days to produce. The weekly report used to take 4–5 hours. Now, using Plutora, we create reports in 5 minutes,” says Murray.
Plutora makes capturing data easy. “By giving project and release managers access to Plutora, we can capture all our data and store it in one place,” says Murray. “It is very easy now for portfolios to see how they are impacted by projects run by other portfolios.”
Working weekends was often necessary to support AMP’s integrated and complex releases. By implementing Plutora, AMP has succeeded in reducing the number of weekends worked by IT, Business and other departments.
“How do we define success in Enterprise Management?” asks Murray. “We’ve been able to deliver 11 releases with Plutora. We’ve been able to do it efficiently. We’ve been able to do it with only 2 team members instead of 4. And nothing has gone wrong.”
Suzanne Murray, Enterprise Release Manager with AMP, had many other things to say about Plutora:
Responsive Customer Care
“Very impressed by the customer care from Plutora. We get regular visits and the support line is good.”
“Integration was good. We had someone onsite from Plutora going through our existing processes, mapping it to Plutora and providing ideas.”
“Plutora pricing is reasonable and pricing is generally the bottom line.”
Plutora addressed AMP’s challenges by:
Being easy-to-use and intuitive.
Having configurable gates and timelines.
Sending automated reminder emails.
Allowing enterprise releases to have child releases.
Showing system impacts.
Integrating data from other applications
“As the manager of ERM, I would say Plutora was fundamental to improving how we managed, governed, and reported on enterprise releases and collaborated with our key colleagues. I look back to how we use to do things and how difficult it was. Now managing releases is so much easier.”Suzanne Murray, Enterprise Release Manager, AMP