Automated, Seamless and Predictable Banking Data Migration
Nationwide (UK) Building Society - Case Study
Nationwide Building Society is a British mutual financial institution, headquartered in Swindon, England. Owned by their members, Nationwide is the largest building society in the UK, and seventh largest co-operative bank in the world with over 16 million members and 18,000 employees. As the second largest provider of household savings and mortgages accounts in the UK, it is one of the UK’s most trusted financial brands.
Nationwide is continuously seeking to deliver financial products which provide better benefits to their members, whilst reducing the IT total cost of ownership that supports the account services delivery. To do this, Nationwide embarked on a program to migrate its accounts and products from a legacy banking system to its modern SAP banking platform. Work was started to migrate the savings accounts, starting with the one million accounts in its eSavings product portfolio. At that time problematic IT projects was a hot topic in the UK following several high-profile disruptions at other financial institutions. Nationwide was very aware of the potential reputational and financial risks of the program and required a solution that would ensure a smooth, risk-adverse, and cost-effective migration of the savings accounts with no disruption to its members.
“This was one of the most important pieces of work that we have undertaken recently, as it proved that we could successfully and efficiently migrate accounts to SAP, which unlocks the rest of the investment needed to complete the migration and decommission our legacy platform.”
Nationwide undertook an extensive and detailed evaluation with SAP and Syniti which resulted in the selection of the “SAP Advanced Data Migration by Syniti” (SAP ADM) solution to orchestrate the savings account data migration. Following the purchase of the SAP ADM solution in December 2018, SAP and Syniti’s team of consultants meticulously deployed the solution within Nationwide’s technical environment, ensuring full visibility and a smooth flow of data once the program was initiated.
The teams jointly executed a series of Migration Events to move batches of customer accounts in early 2020. The onset of the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent UK lockdown in March 2020 was an unexpected challenge for the program. It necessitated an agile move to remote work which was quickly conducted and disruption to the project timeline was kept to a bare minimum given the chaotic global situation. The Nationwide team was challenged with developing a more automated data migration solution which could be executed during “Business as Usual” periods with less people and which could be managed remotely. The project team started on the development of the Flexible Migration Approach (FMA) using SAP ADM and after build and extensive testing, the eSavings data migrations re-started remotely in spring 2021.
“In the past we would have been restricted to account migrations at the weekend in larger batches. These account migrations had to be fitted in around the other business change initiatives which did not leave many weekends clear for the account migrations,” said David Gibson, Change Director at Nationwide. “With the Flexible Migration Approach that we co-developed with Syniti, we had a plan to confidently design, build and execute a ‘migration approach that would be become part of our regular overnight batch’ which meant automating the migration to remove all manual input and integration with our BAU processes on weeknights instead of large-scale manual weekend event. It rapidly sped-up the nightly process reducing the overall elapsed time, kept our internal teams happy and motivated, and ensured customer disruption was absolutely minimal”
Before the FMA solution was introduced, an initial batch of 50,000 accounts were successfully migrated which provided the assurance to ramp-up to larger volumes. This was stopped by COVID-19 which prompted the Nationwide team to focus on building FMA with the objective of running weeknight account migrations, and which could be executed remotely. With FMA, over 100,000 plus accounts were migrated overnight on numerous occasions. Due to the extensive technical and business validation rules built in SAP ADM, accounts that failed were flagged to Nationwide’s team for remediation after the event, meaning only the valid accounts were migrated over to the SAP application.
All this automation and renewed confidence in the data meant that Nationwide and the supporting personnel no longer had to work weekends to facilitate the migration events, improving productivity and morale and giving Nationwide the flexibility to re-assign team members to other strategic tasks.
One of the most significant challenges for Nationwide throughout the migration was ensuring regulatory compliance. Given the sensitivity of the data and the fallout from failed IT projects in the industry, a Big 4 accounting firm was drafted in to audit and oversee the program and Nationwide needed to show at any time that there was clear visibility and auditability from source to target and that remediation and back-up processes were in place for the customer data. Syniti produced extensive custom data migration dashboards for Nationwide which gave them visibility, control, and confidence that customer data was being protected. By the end of the program, the Nationwide assurance team was so impressed with the insight and effectiveness of the approach that they said “it was an industry first of a BAU automated data migration we’ve seen executed successfully.”
“But more important than all the efficiency benefits we saw during this migration was that no members/customers were impacted at all during this program, for us at Nationwide that was so important. We really couldn’t have asked for a more a successful outcome.”
The eSavings account migration was completed successfully in Q3 2021 following a series of effective 19 migration events (batches). Thanks to the validation and checks performed by SAP ADM only the accounts that met Nationwide’s criteria were automatically migrated over ensuring perfect data quality in the SAP application. Alongside the smooth execution of the data migration, Nationwide dramatically reduced the human capital requirements of the on-site team during migration events by 90%.