|Ilya Morozov, the Head of Corezoid excellence center at the FUIB Bank
One day in 2017, I received a call from a friend. And he said: “Ilya, I think I know that you need it. There is a job to be done. And You are a good fit. I think You will enjoy it.”
I had to meet with 2 people from FUIB, one of them was Yura Palchikovsky (Deputy CTO). We met in a cafe, Yura opened his laptop and showed me Corezoid. And somehow everything came together in my head right away: why Corezoid was needed, for what tasks, what future it has. We ended up talking for 2-3 hours. I asked more questions than they asked me: “Is Corezoid really able to do this? I think it should also be able to X. And I also think it can do Y.” The decision to start working at FUIB was fast. I came to the greenfield: the emergence of the Corezoid-development culture in FUIB.
We met in a cafe, Yura opened his laptop and showed me Corezoid
On the one hand, Corezoid has already started working in FUIB. People in business departments with the support of Middleware were building stuff. It worked well. But on the other hand we in the IT department had the question: what are we going to do with Corezoid next?
It was necessary to bring the use of Corezoid into some formal framework. That is, describe the processes of how such a large organization as FUIB will develop products on the basis of Corezoid. What is our vision? What is the development strategy? Are we missing anything important?
All these topics became my first challenges. It was necessary to form a team for the Corezoid excellence center. And we started with 3 people. First, we worked out the rules, principles, concepts of how Corezoid-based development should work.
It was necessary to form a team for the Corezoid excellence center
Yes. From the very beginning, there was an idea that there should be a division that would connect IT and Business. Corezoid is all about business, flexibility, prototypes, pilots, quick launches. In those years, our IT was still somewhat wary of such things. We used to work with monoliths and not empower business units with the development tools much. With the introduction of Corezoid we needed to change the culture of product development in the bank.
Corezoid is all about business, flexibility, prototypes, pilots, quick launches
|Middleware and FUIB meeting: Corezoid certification of the employees of the Corezoid excellence center in FUIB
It was necessary that IT better understood the business needs, contributed to the experimentation mood, helped business units to launch into production fast.
At first, everyone had a vision that Corezoid is a platform for business. We have tried to preserve this concept to a large extent. It all started with the fact that about 20 people in different FUIB business units tried to build some solutions on Corezoid.
In the Corezoid excellence center, we identified some points of possible risks associated with Corezoid development and began to manage these risks. We all understood that business units wanted to go to market fast, but still there are some principles of software development, data storage, and information security.
We have identified the stages where the help of the Corezoid Excellence Center was needed in the flow of launching processes to production. Corezoid is all about working with events, building API-driven processes. The first thing we did was standardize the processes for calling external services from Corezoid. After all, Corezoid is powerful, and with its requests it can harm the work of other IT systems if they are not ready.
Corezoid is all about working with events, building API-driven processes
We created a library of wrappers based on Corezoid. These are some standardized patterns for calling external services. Together with the IT team in the course of the first six months of our work we created 100 wrappers approximately. It became possible to call 100 various banking services from Corezoid. Nowadays it is possible to call approximately 1000 services. Of course, a lot of work needed to be done by the IT team.
Nowadays it is possible to call approximately 1000 services
And so business units received the opportunity to try, experiment, make mistakes, test assumptions fast, but they didn’t need to think about what parameters are under the hood, how to correctly make API requests etc. Corezoid Excellence Center created the infrastructure so that business units could easily develop the products.
Corezoid Excellence Center created the infrastructure so that business units could easily develop the products
Another important topic here is the Change management procedures. At that time, FUIB was running the Change management express system. It was rather clumsy, with a lot of stages like business analysis, systems analysis, getting the green light from Compliance, Information security, Risk departments. And Corezoid was all about speed, the ability to launch something quickly. Therefore, we have developed a separate “Corezoid change management flow”. Based on Jira, we created a flow reduced to the minimum required steps: development, testing, approval, release, stabilization, scaling.
Therefore, we have developed a separate “Corezoid change management flow”
Such a simplified flow for Corezoid development greatly accelerated the work. In fact, carriers of business competencies began to design processes in Corezoid themselves, doing the work of business analysts. And the role of “system analysis” was already performed by the Corezoid Excellence Center. We suggested best practices, and helped to integrate Corezoid processes with other systems in the bank. Business units have stopped just drawing PowerPoint slides and then waiting for a long time.
During the first two years, the Corezoid Excellence Center managed to create an infrastructure and a change management system for Corezoid development. The number of people in business departments who work with Corezoid has grown to 100 people.
The number of people in business departments who work with Corezoid has grown to 100 people
There were cases when new processes were launched into production in 1 week. For example, things related to the communication calendar, rules for routing and delivering messages to clients, features in the FUIB chatbot.
At the beginning of Corezoid work at FUIB, people from business units who liked the technology began to develop products. And they started to receive good business results and make good carriers. Other employees, of course, wanted to learn also.
Corezoid workshops and training has become another task of the Corezoid Excellence Center. We developed a training program, began to gather Corezoid developers on a monthly basis, show best practices, and talk about new features.
We developed a training program, began to gather Corezoid developers on a monthly basis, show best practices, and talk about new features
In 2017, a lot of FUIB employees visited Middleware HQ to get trained. I believe we had dozens of workshops back then. Gradually, our Corezoid Excellence Center became also able to train people on Corezoid development. Nowadays I meet some people from business units, who started as Corezoid developers – and they have reached the level of mature IT professionals.
In 2017 we started with one instance of Corezoid. We now have eight of them. For different products we have separate dedicated instances. Separately for a mobile application, communication calendar, branch interfaces, chat bots, etc.
Corezoid instance, which is responsible for the operation of the mobile application, manages the highest volume of data. About 4 billion events per month are processed there. Also the high-load is experienced on the instances for communication and cross-sell. We learned how to customize Corezoid for different objectives. A lot of Corezoid processes can and should be reused.
Corezoid instance, which is responsible for the operation of the mobile application, manages the highest volume of data. About 4 billion events per month are processed there.
Yes. We have over 800,000 subscribers in the chatbot on Viber, and there is also our internal bot “PUMBik”, as we call it. Functionality is also actively developing there: booking places in offices, information about insurance, vacations, approvals from information security, notifications for the branches. 7,000 employees work in the bank, and we need to organize communication with these people somehow.
7,000 employees work in the bank, and we need to organize communication with these people somehow
We have put Corezoid on a serious foundation. The system is constantly working under high load, with clear control and monitoring processes. How to accelerate the speed to market with Corezoid is no longer a secret for us. Now it is important for us to ensure maximum stability. It is important to be able to work steadily, regardless of load fluctuations, on paydays, during the high season, on Black Friday, and so on, while maintaining the benefits of development flexibility.
FUIB is actively transforming under the Agile philosophy of product development. 4 tribes were created last year. Business in FUIB has already merged with IT. Sometimes a person stands in front of me, tells me a business idea, but it turns out that in parallel he has already begun developing some prototypes. Tribes have a fairly high degree of self-sufficiency. And here the role of the Corezoid Excellence Center is no longer so much to teach people about Corezoid development, but to collect and distribute best practices, maintain platform stability. As a result, in addition to our “Corezoid change management flow”, we act as the owners of the Corezoid platform for the operation of our tribes.
Business in FUIB has already merged with IT.
I'm glad the business units are learning so fast. Previously, the Corezoid Excellence Center had to be an interpreter from the language of IT into the language of business. Now the words “API”, “json”, “pagination” no longer scare anyone.
Our “achievements” do not go unnoticed, more and more often our partners come to us for experience sharing. Together with Middleware we have done dozens of reference meetings. The IT market is global, and if it is good for the world, we are always open for cooperation.
The IT market is global, and if it is good for the world, we are always open for cooperation
|FUIB software development team
I used to go in for athletics, running, football. Now there is not much sport in my life. In FUIB we have an annual football championship. Due to quarantine, however, the last time it was not held. But in general, this is a really big championship, there are many participating teams, many fields engaged.
|Sport contest in FUIB
Now my main hobby is music. In my youth, I even had a band. We even performed publicly on stage. It's a pity there is not always time for a hobby, but I have a guitar, a synthesizer, microphones at home. The whole studio.