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Designing a DevOps Delivery System at SVB

SVB sought to create a DevOps delivery system to deliver software reliably, on time, and with high quality

Five and a half million Dutch citizens depend on the availability of Sociale Verzekeringsbank’s (SVB) applications to pay their benefits checks. SVB knew from previous attempts that trying to deliver a reliable system using a big bang, “waterfall” approach did not work. SVB’s release processes moved slowly, fraught with errors and bottlenecks. With dual challenges on the horizon of budget cuts and increasing demands to pay more benefits, they knew they needed to find a way to work smarter. SVB sought to create a DevOps delivery system to deliver software reliably, on time, and with high quality.

SVB chose the XebiaLabs DevOps Platform to create a system that deployed consistently and reliably to production, delivered quickly, and provided full visibility into the entire release process to create a culture of accountability.

David Engberts, Agile Coach at SVB, speaking at the Gartner AADI Summit in London on May 9, 2017.

David Engberts, Agile Coach at SVB, speaking at the Gartner AADI Summit in London on May 9, 2017.

The Story
Three years ago, SVB suffered a highly publicized failure as they attempted to deliver a new large system using a waterfall approach under the direction of a top-tier consulting firm. This failure generated negative publicity on a national scale and cost taxpayers approximately €40M.

SVB knew they needed a new approach. In these times of digital revolution, they wanted to demonstrate value as a service organization and a partner, now and in the future. They needed to transform to provide first-class self-service applications online and to implement Straight Through Processing. They also wanted to automate processes to improve integration with partners, such as their External Service Provider (ESP), the Dutch tax agency, care organizations, and city governments. To accomplish this digital transformation, they turned to DevOps with the XebiaLabs DevOps Platform.


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SVB set out with ambitious goals to transform the way they operate, conduct releases, and handle deployment processes, and to completely change the culture within which they work – all of which they’ve done with XebiaLabs.

Now that deployments are automated, SVB’s developers are self-sufficient and no longer depend on anyone else to execute deployments. They have completely removed bottlenecks and increased deployment velocity by 5X. Because they are no longer manually performing deployments, SVB’s deployment-related error and failure rates decreased by almost 100%. Now deployment plans are automatically generated and maintained using XebiaLabs’ innovative model-based approach.

“With XebiaLabs, we have automated our releases and we deliver on time without failures. It used to take weeks, and now it takes less than two days for a release to move from development to production,” noted David Engberts, Agile Coach at SVB.

“With our new end-to-end release pipeline process, we gained the visibility to show IT management and the business teams the full process and workload involved in releasing applications and updates. This awareness of the process makes communicating and collaborating between the business, operations, and IT teams seamless,” David added.

Within a few months, SVB orchestrated a unified release process for several applications, created visibility for all stakeholders into the entire process, implemented self-service deployments, and improved deployment velocity. Now, SVB produces higher quality, production-ready software reliably, every time, and they can easily monitor their pipeline and make continuous improvements.

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XebiaLabs is the technology leader for automation software for DevOps and Continuous Delivery. It focuses on helping companies accelerate the delivery of new software in the most efficient manner. Its products are simple to use, quick to implement, and provide robust enterprise technology.