KLP Case Study

Learn How KLP Automated 1,600 Deployments with a +90% Success Rate

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The Environment

  • XL Deploy
  • Jenkins
  • Confluence
  • JIRA
  • Git
  • Subversion
  • JAVA
  • .NET

The Challenge

KLP’s completely manual processes demanded a significant amount of time to manage software deployments across geographically dispersed teams. With over 160 enterprise applications and an average of 1,600 deployments per month, deploying, un-deploying, and releasing new versions was both difficult and time consuming. KLP needed to streamline their process.

The Solution

KLP chose the XebiaLabs DevOps Platform to automate deployments due to its agentless design and extensible, scalable, and low maintenance architecture.

"Now that we have all the controls with XebiaLabs, we have very few errors, which tend to be human-related, like a developer forgetting property values. But XebiaLabs never fails."

- Rune Hellem, Senior Operations Officer, KLP

Results

  • No more developer time spent on deployments
  • Over an 80% improvement in production deployment speed
  • Immediate realization of ROI as a result of moving from manual to automated deployments
  • Increase in job satisfaction for Operations team members, who no longer work off-hours
  • Fast and easy maintenance, deployment, and un-deployment of new software
  • No more deployment bottlenecks
  • Significantly reduced deployment-related errors
  • Deployment success rate of more than 90%, with any failures due to human error

Background

Kommunal Landspensjonskasse (KLP) is Norway’s largest insurance company, delivering safe and competitive financial and insurance services to the public sector, enterprises associated with the public sector, and their employees. KLP’s technology team provides software and support for in-house business processes, end-user personal accounts such as bank accounts and pensions, and insurance.

The Operations team bears most of the responsibility for software deployments at KLP. The company also has a large in-house development group and employs consultants to work on their external and internal applications. KLP’s highly manual process made it difficult and time consuming for the company to deploy new versions of their applications, especially when working across disparate teams.

KLP wanted to make it easy for developers to deploy their applications without much involvement from the Operations team. They began evaluating deployment automation tools, including the XebiaLabs DevOps Platform.

Requirements

  • Streamline team collaboration and simplify communication
  • Automate, standardize, and accelerate deployments to KLP’s 19 environments 
  • Implement an extensible and scalable low maintenance architecture
  • Integrate with other tools in KLP’s environment, such as Jenkins
  • Provide easy-to-use, drag-and-drop features for technical and less technical teams 
  • Simplify and ease software deployment, undeployment, and rollbacks

Automating 1,600 Monthly Deployments

After evaluating XL Deploy, KLP chose XebiaLabs because it met their requirements for an easy-to-use tool with drag-and-drop features, a scalable architecture, and simple integration with their environment. KLP delivers on average 1,600 deployments per month for over 160 applications across 19 environments using XL Deploy. Deployments now take between 15-30 minutes - an average time savings of 1.25 hours per deployment.

"We had a completely manual deployment process prior to the XebiaLabs DevOps Platform, so we saw immediate ROI. As soon as we implemented XebiaLabs, our deployment process became completely automated and no longer required a team of people pushing each deployment and updating scripts. Now, we don’t even think about deployments - they just happen. And more than 90% are successful," said Rune Hellem, Senior Operations Officer, KLP.

"XL Deploy makes deployments very easy for developers. In fact, most of the developers spend no time directly in XL Deploy. Instead, they use KLP’s build server, start a job, and use XL Deploy’s Command Line Interface (CLI) to trigger deployments to WebSphere. Deployments are so easy that they require no training, no communication across teams, and only three sentences of documentation to explain how to use XL Deploy in their environment," Rune continued.

Prior to using XebiaLabs, KLP managed their release process manually using checklists in Confluence. Now, the Operations team defines the process, including setting the controls, dependencies, and permissions, up front. Operations counts on predictable, consistent, and successful deployments across their 19 environments. “We have significantly reduced the number of errors during deployment. Now that we have all the controls with XebiaLabs, we have very few errors, which tend to be human-related, like a developer forgetting property values. But XebiaLabs never fails,” Rune continued.

"Now, we don’t even think about deployments - they just happen."

For production deployments, KLP’s previous manual process included a lot of off-hours employee time and frequent communication and collaboration with their hosting company. To execute deployments, a hosting staff member and one or two KLP employees had to be on call after hours for every deployment, regardless of day or time.

Now, using only out-of-the-box features in XL Deploy and no customizations, KLP has very few issues during deployments, and their team is truly off during off hours. Frequent communication with the hosting company is no longer required. KLP freed up three people who used to be on call outside of business hours whenever the company deployed an application to production. Now only one release manager is needed to complete the deployments, which takes less than an hour, improving deployment speed by over 80% and increasing employee satisfaction. And because they use XL Deploy’s templates, the team knows that every deployment is standardized.

“Previously we had a lot of communication with the hosting company with regard to deployments. Now many times there are deployments to production that I am unaware of - I do not need to be on call for deployments to happen. We require much less manual work and don’t spend nearly as many hours doing deployments,” said Rune.

KLP met their requirements and more. After realizing immediate ROI with XebiaLabs, deploying new software is fast and easy, and Operations is no longer a deployment bottleneck. Job satisfaction for Operations team members has also improved. They no longer work during off-hours and can focus on more interesting work during the work day. Developers are happier too: they now have self-service deployments, a 90% rate of successful deployments, and they get their applications to market more quickly. KLP was able to scale quickly so that today, they execute over 1,600 deployments per month, and XebiaLabs never fails.