Penta’s Technical Status Quo and Looking Beyond 2019 into 2020
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Some of you will have noticed that in 2019, compared to 2018, there was a higher amount of downtime, where our customers weren’t able to access their accounts. This has various reasons which I wanted to highlight today and I also would like to give you an outlook on 2020.
Looking back – Setting Penta’s technical infrastructure up for scale
In the very early days of Penta in 2018, we had only a couple of users using Penta per day.
Today we have high tens of thousands of sessions (logins, payments, etc.) across web and mobile every single day from locations around the globe and have become a major player in the German business banking market with thousands of new customers every month.
Throughout late 2018, we realised that in order to facilitate Penta’s growth across several European markets we need to double down and invest more into our technical infrastructure.
Our goal is simple: providing a seamless banking experience that is easy to use but most importantly, stable.
Hence, we tasked a dedicated team to support Penta’s scaling plans from a technical perspective. This team set out to develop an implementation plan on how to set up our technical infrastructure for scale. We tasked a dedicated team to support Penta’s scaling plans from a technical plan in order to not only accommodate 10,000 customers easily but several hundred thousand customers at the same time.
In 2019, our new CTO, Henrik Jondell joined. Henrik has a plethora of experience in running technical organisations in the financial services industry, with several leadership positions. You can learn more about him here.
Key learnings & initiatives which we are working on in our infrastructure team
The goal of this team is to make sure that in the next years to come, we can not only provide you with a seamless experience but we can go beyond this and make Penta even faster and easier to use for the tens of thousands of customers we’re expecting in 2020 and beyond.
On their journey to define our technical scalability roadmap, the team identified a couple of necessary improvements, some of which I’m highlighting below:.
Becoming technically less dependent on solarisBank to be able to offer you an even better account experience.
- Our banking partner solarisBank AG is one of the partners who provides us with the legal and technical infrastructure to offer you a business banking experience.
- They are truly a great partner for us and are investing a significant amount of resources into improving their technical systems as well. Changes to systems which are connected to the banking world need to be thoroughly tested before they get implemented. At some times, this requires the planned maintenance of their systems which then has an impact on us.
- But at the same time, we are now improving our technical architecture to become less dependent on solarisBank to improve our “buffer”-capabilities so that you won’t even notice such maintenance.
Improving our incident handling to speed up the time to resolution of incidents.
- Investing in our technical setup does not only mean improving our code or systems but also processes, both internally and externally.
- One of our key values is transparency towards our customers and the truth is that technical glitches do happen. Not only at companies like Penta but also in large, traditional banks. Our goal is to stop glitches from happening but when they happen, we can manage these situations professionally and fast. Previously, many of these processes were manual and required too many of our team to triangulate the issue at hand.
- We invested heavily into new tools & more efficient processes to make sure we can address potential issues faster and have access to relevant data immediately.
Improving proactive monitoring to be able to fix things before they can even break.
- Additionally, we are even further improving our proactive monitoring & alerting to make sure we can fix any potential technical glitches before you would even notice them.
What was the impact for you?
Some of the improvements we and/or our banking partner did in 2019 required us to occasionally go under maintenance. We truly understand that this can be inconvenient.
What will 2020 look like?
As mentioned, we will keep on heavily investing into our technical infrastructure in 2020.
Some improvements will be clearly visible to you, such as improvements to our status page or better display of our error messages in case something is not quite right.
On some occasions, we will have to also schedule short periods of maintenance in 2020.
We always try to schedule such improvements at late hours or on weekends. However, in particular when it’s about improving the payments infrastructure, we might be required to do this during normal operating hours.
Many of these improvements will not have a visible impact on you but they will allow us to operate our platform much more smoothly in the long-term and help us continue providing you with a great business banking experience in the future.
If you want to learn more about our technical efforts, you can always send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and we would be more than happy to answer any of your questions.