My name is Stanislav Savvin, and today I would like to tell you how the Rosbank infrastructural team managed to increase the number of remote connections by 7 times in 10 days and transfer more than 85% of employees to a remote site, without losing the organization’s overall performance.
Obviously, we did not start from scratch. Some technological developments (VPN and terminal access) have already been made and successfully implemented. Before quarantine, Rosbank employees had the opportunity to work outside the office several days a week. By the end of February, about 1,500 people (to the same time, not more than 800) used the udder to some extent. The process of providing access was difficult, on average, it took about 2 weeks to provide (4 departments took part in the process).
When in March it became clear that the task of scaling remote work technologies is the highest priority, since the bank, in fact, is moving to a new format of work, our team had 3 goals:
- infrastructure scaling;
- building Fast trek access;
- Organization of a new user support scheme.
Due to its easy scaling, Citrix was chosen as the main technology. We started by expanding the server farm and the bandwidth of the Internet channels so that they were ready to cope with the new load. At the same time, we purchased additional licenses, including for two-factor authentication. When the servers were ready, we started connecting users in stages. To speed up the process, work was carried out by one group of employees with coordination from one point. Thus, the term for obtaining udalenka was reduced to 24 hours, although from a technical point of view, the process remained quite complex. Access was provided to literally hundreds of users at a time.
We were able to quickly, on the quarantine flag, provide remote access to most of the employees, but the main challenge was ahead: the team had to maintain continuous operation of the systems in the new conditions and proactively solve all user problems. We set ourselves an ambitious goal – to solve 90% of the problems on the receiver with the user within 15 minutes.
To do this, the following steps were initiated:
- round-the-clock monitoring of remote access systems based on automated dashboards;
- daily morning stand-up for monitoring remote access systems;
- prepared many articles, instructions and life hacks for the corporate social network and telegram channel;
- some of the support staff were in shift in the office to solve technical problems with onsite infrastructure;
- part of the support functions was transferred to the 1st support line with appropriate automation.
Now, after eliminating all the problems, during peak periods, about 6,000 employees can simultaneously connect to the bank’s systems in 4 different ways. There are practically no incidents on key remote access systems.
Since most of the bank worked remotely, it was obvious that the remote access platform had become the main IT vital system. The same thing happened with systems that provide corporate communications (email, skype).
Problems that had to be solved in the course of adaptation of bank employees to new realities of work:
- the quality of the local Internet connection on employees’ hacienda (instructive materials on how to diagnose, now we are preparing an automated tool);
- to find additional equipment for working at home (more than 600 sets were issued);
- Improving the quality of remote connections through Citrix (improved infrastructure);
- expanding the capacity of external telephone lines for connecting employees by telephone;
- implementation of additional features for remote connection to corporate mail;
- in the process of implementation – the function of connecting to corporate Skype from a mobile device.
In the short term, after the end of the pandemic and the regime of self-isolation, we have to answer other challenges:
- How to make an employee’s work on a remote site even more effective?
- What new and additional communication and collaboration tools to offer him?
- How to optimize the processes of supporting IT services in a remote work environment, to maximize the possibilities of self-service for the user?
But this is the topic for the next article.