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Absa aims for better customer experience

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As part of a top-to-bottom renovation of its 24-hour operations command centre, Absa has implemented a suite of CA Technologies solutions that enable the bank to see how customers use and consume mobile and digital services, in realtime.

This has also made it possible for the bank to reduce trouble-shooting time by 50% year to date, significantly improving customers’ experiences of Absa’s digital banking channels across Africa.

“To deliver a smooth, well-designed and reliable experience, we need to know exactly how our systems are performing at any given point and what the impact of any problem is on the individual customer,” explains Kevin Kay, head of service assurance and operations: Africa at Barclays Africa.

“The challenge is that Absa, like most financial institutions worldwide, has a highly complex systems landscape, from legacy mainframe systems to web-based and mobile applications. Business processes initiated by a client via the Absa mobile app, for example, may transverse through the technology stack to the backend mainframe and back again.

“As part of our command centre renovation, we wanted to be able to pinpoint each transaction’s complex route through the various systems so we could identify blockages within minutes and resolve quickly.”

Working with long-time partner, CA Southern Africa, Absa has implemented CA Application Performance Management, CA Infrastructure Management and CA Application Experience Analytics at its command centre, which is dedicated to proactively monitoring technology systems, customer experience and behaviour patterns, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

These solutions are allowing Absa to gain a deeper, highly granular view of the customer experience across its entire business process.

“This product set offered the best fit and value for money for what we set out to achieve,” says Kay. “We were also confident that CA Southern Africa had the right commitment and passion to help us get to where we needed to go.”

Software roll-out is 85% complete but already delivering significant improvements, enabling Absa’s technical team to quickly understand which system component is responsible for a less-than-perfect customer experience, what its impact is on customers, and how to address it.

“We will soon be able to view and better understand customer behaviour across all our digital channels, which in turn enables us to constantly refine the interface design and enhance the customer experience,” adds Kay.

This approach supports the bank’s adoption of DevOps principles within its technology environment, as it enables what is learned in the operational side of the business (ops) to be fed back into the development (dev) process, creating a cycle of continuous improvement that is driven by customers.

Dolf Snyman, account director at CA Southern Africa, says that in the application economy, technology and business are becoming inseparable. “Absa is right at the cutting edge when it comes to understanding how the performance of its technology goes to the heart of the customer experience, and this is a lever of competitive differentiation. We are proud to be helping Absa take its understanding of this crucial issue to the next level.”