Catalyzing Success: Cholamandalam's DevOps Transformation Journey

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About the company

Cholamandalam Investment and Finance Company Limited (Chola), incorporated in 1978 as the financial services arm of the Murugappa Group, has emerged as a comprehensive financial services provider. Chola offers a range of services, including vehicle finance, home loans, SME loans, and more. With operations across 1,204 branches in India and assets under management exceeding INR 1,147.95 billion (approximately USD 15.5 billion), Chola is committed to enhancing the lives of its 2.74 million customers while upholding strong ethical values and a commitment to all stakeholders.

Customer Challenges

Chola was confronted with a critical need for seamless and controlled software deployments. Lacking an in-house development team, they heavily relied on external vendors, leading to a fragmented landscape with multiple vendors and disjointed deployment pipelines. This approach resulted in operational challenges, exacerbated by a continuous influx of change requests from end customers and insurance aggregators. These challenges led to significant downtimes, negatively affecting the end-user experience. To address this, Chola aimed to establish a centralized repository to streamline and govern the deployment process for improved efficiency and consistency.

Why Minfy

Chola selected Minfy as its DevOps partner due to their status as an AWS Premier Partner, extensive experience in complex DevOps projects, the required competencies to build the proposed solution, and their existing partnership with Chola as a managed services provider. This choice was underpinned by the confidence in Minfy's expertise and their ability to deliver a robust and tailored DevOps solution, aligning seamlessly with Chola's cloud-focused objectives.

Minfy’s Solution

Application Discovery:

Minfy initiated the solution by conducting a comprehensive application discovery process, which included identifying the number of applications in Chola's ecosystem, profiling the application stack, and identifying dependencies. This insight provided a clear understanding of Chola's application landscape and was pivotal for the subsequent DevOps activities.

DevOps Solution Setup Activities:

•  AWS Cognito with SAML against ADFS + MFA: Minfy implemented AWS Cognito with SAML authentication against ADFS, enhancing security with Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA).
•  AWS Code Commit Repo Setup: Minfy established AWS Code Commit repositories, offering a secure and efficient version control system for Chola's applications
• Jenkins Master and Slave Setup: Minfy configured Jenkins Master and Slave (Windows) environments as per the proposed specifications. Additionally, they integrated AWS Cognito with Connect ID and set up an S3 bucket for enhanced functionality.
Sonarqube with AWS ADFS SAML Integration: Minfy integrated Sonarqube with AWS ADFS for seamless Single Sign-On (SSO) access and efficient code quality analysis.
CICD Pipeline Configuration: Minfy created CodeCommit repositories for the identified applications and established Continuous Integration and Continuous Deployment (CICD) pipeline scripts, ensuring streamlined code deployment.
• Source Code Commit: Chola's development team and vendors were provided access to commit source code to AWS Code Commit, facilitating collaborative development.
• Deployment, Validation, and UAT Deployment: The solution included deploying the code to the development environment, validating its accuracy and functionality with input from the development team, and then merging and deploying it to UAT servers for comprehensive testing and quality assurance.


Challenges Faced by Minfy During Implementation:

A notable challenge encountered by Minfy during the implementation was the integration of SAML with Jenkins while implementing Active Directory (AD) authentication. A hurdle in this process was the absence of native support for AD authentication in Jenkins. Chola's requirement to onboard multiple vendors onto the AD system further added complexity, especially with their strong preference for avoiding the creation of separate logins for Jenkins. The overarching goal was to ensure that vendors who were already authenticated by the AD could effortlessly access Jenkins without the need for additional login credentials.

To address this challenge, Minfy effectively resolved the issue by enabling AD authentication using AWS Cognito. This solution streamlined the login process for vendors authenticated by the AD, eliminating the need for separate Jenkins credentials. This strategic implementation not only tackled the SAML integration issue but also provided a seamless experience for Chola's users, simplifying access to Jenkins and improving overall efficiency and security within the DevOps ecosystem.

Business Outcomes

Minfy's comprehensive solution effectively addressed Chola's pressing challenges, resulting in transformative outcomes. By streamlining software deployments and fostering collaboration among multiple vendors, Minfy reduced time to deployment and market by 40%, facilitating faster and more agile development cycles. Additionally, the integration of Sonarqube significantly enhanced Chola's security posture, improving code quality and fortifying the codebase. This holistic approach not only tackled Chola's initial challenges related to fragmented deployments but also laid the foundation for heightened efficiency, security, and competitiveness within the evolving landscape of DevOps.




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