IBM Cloud

IBM delivers migration to IBM Cloud using ICEFLO

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Customer Context

At ABN AMRO, IBM Global Business Services are managing the IT infrastructure that supports the Bank's operations globally. Part of this agreement includes the implementation of a private IBM Bluemix Cloud alongside further standardisation and simplification of the IT landscape.

Through continued optimisation and transformation to cloud infrastructure, the Bank aims to improve service quality, drive greater operational efficiencies and provide new and innovative products that meet the changing digital needs of its global customer base.

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The Problem

IBM faced a huge challenge when confronted with the goal of migrating 1,100 ABN Amro applications to the IBM Bluemix Cloud.  

The migrations had to be delivered in waves, with minimal disruption to the Business and absolutely no unplanned service outages. IBM knew that traditional methods of runbook construction and execution wouldn't cut it in this context.

Based on previous success with other Clients, IBM turned to ICEFLO as their chosen cutover solution.

The Goal

  • To mobilise and manage a global, multi-party cutover migration team
  • To rapidly deliver a significant quantity of application migrations, building confidence in people, process and tools
  • To deliver migrations in waves of up to 30 applications
  • To repeatedly deliver Go-Live cutovers, containing risk and minimising planned service outages 
  • To ensure that all Business systems were fully operational after each cutover event

The Challenge

A Cloud migration on this scale had rarely been attempted at the start of this programme. The challenges faced included the following:

  • Geographically dispersed migration teams, operating from at least 10 countries
  • The critical need to establish common standards, process and vocabulary
  • The need for easy provisioning and a short learning curve for the cutover solution
  • The need for strong, inter-runbook dependency management
  • Effective orchestration of large numbers of people and tasks, all in real-time

IBM Global Business Services and ABN AMRO decided to partner with Agenor Technology and use their ICEFLO platform, based on its track record at other global banks. Key leaders on the IBM team had previously experienced ICEFLO in a similar context.

ICEFLO was trusted to replace "managed chaos" with a sense of calm orderly progression on large-scale complex cutover activities.

The Result

The Approach

  • The entire programme was scheduled over a 4-year period  
  • The migration would involve cutovers in a series of waves
  • The scope of initial migration waves was limited to 1 or 2 business services
  • As confidence in the cutovers grew, the content of each wave was gradually increased
  • The aim of achieving waves of up to 30 applications was defined
Cutover Events
Migrated Applications
Event Participants
Completed Tasks
Calm, controlled cutover execution
Time, effort and cost efficiencies achieved
Active risk and issue management
Higher confidence leading to higher throughput in larger waves
“After dress rehearsals, we have a good view of what has changed and which issues were resolved. This gives great input into making preparations for live events. By making progress information available to all that are interested, we reduce the number of checks and calls, saving time and reducing managed chaos.”

Cutover Factory Lead, IBM Global Business Services


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