Delivering a tailored firewall managed service for a major UK bank

The Client

A leading UK bank engaged ECS to create a customised delivery capability to implement complex firewall changes for a number of different projects.

The Challenge

The bank’s Infrastructure Projects team had been experiencing an unprecedented level of firewall changes. This was impacting several business-critical and infrastructure improvement programmes.

As a result the bank urgently needed to streamline and optimise its firewall change activities.

The Solution

ECS proposed a customised managed service to the client that:

  • Identified synergies to enable the bundling of specific implementations;
  • Obtained the highest levels of ‘right first time’ changes;
  • Proactively managed late-change situations and any complications threatening milestone deliveries;
  • Technically assessed and verified all firewall changes;
  • Managed a change and implementation schedule for the complete portfolio.

Within just two weeks, ECS had mobilised a team of eight experienced firewall engineers to work on these deliverables alongside a managed service layer specialist with responsibility for forward project planning, resource allocation, change scheduling and technical design and implementation approval.

The Results

ECS’s work transformed the client’s firewall team’s ability to deal with complex firewall changes without impacting other parts of the business.

Furthermore, all of the bank’s tight delivery deadlines and SLAs were successfully met during the X-month project. Highlights included:

  • Rapid Change Delivery – successfully implemented over 120 complex changes in six months;
  • Smart Implementations – introduced a proactive review of all changes led by the Firewall Technical Lead to identify synergies for changes. This involved formulating a plan that reduced firewall changes from over 20 to just four consolidated changes;
  • Optimised Change – constantly reviewed workload and type of change to optimise the allocation and utilisation of firewall resource to facilitate faster delivery;
  • Proactive Engagement – reached out to all the project managers to understand requirements and to support deadlines;
  • Improved Take-on Processes – created a checklist and a greater understanding across the relevant teams that saw system and privilege access timelines reduced from more than 10 weeks to just four weeks;
  • Governance Assurance – worked with the Change Management and Platform owners to help ensure timely approval of key governance steps;
  • Process Re-engineering – drove improvement with the platform owners around the firewall implementation process;
  • Resource Efficiency – helped reduce overall firewall resource lead-times across the project community by over 40%;
  • Service Metrics – produced weekly statistics across all the projects highlighting firewall resource request actuals versus forecasts, which has helped facilitate a more effective and targeted allocation of resources.