“It’s been a journey. We started with continuous integration and developing the whole DevOps process. And now we’re using Gearset across multiple instances and it’s fantastic.”

Head of Technology | Asset Management arm of a Global Investment Bank
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Achieving ambitious digital strategy goals with Gearset


Using Gearset for their Salesforce DevOps, the Asset Management arm of this Global Investment Bank is able to deliver and scale with their growing business needs and compliance requirements.

In order to keep up with the growth and demand of the enterprise, the company chose Gearset for DevOps to maximize their use of Salesforce, deliver their digital strategy and meet compliance requirements. As the Asset Management firm’s Salesforce demands grew it had become clear that they needed more advanced capabilities and a robust DevOps process. Implementing Gearset has brought order, stability and trust across the organization making both senior management and the security team very happy.

Salesforce is key to the overall digital strategy

As Salesforce is one of the biggest CRM tools in the world, it makes sense that it’s used as the Asset Management firm’s main operating platform. The company has various instances for each of the affiliates and other entities across the world. The Head of Technology, along with his team of ten colleagues, manages the instance for US distribution, supporting ten internal departments and three external groups. He explains that the company is “on a digital journey, building and bringing more onto our Salesforce platform” and over the years, Salesforce has become much more than a CRM platform for the company.

“Over the years, we’ve built Salesforce into more than a CRM system – we’ve built it into our main operating platform.”

As part of the Asset Management firm’s digital strategy, they first started using Salesforce as the CRM for the company. Since then, they’ve added different processes, including marketing automation, and continue to slowly bring other departments onto the system. This allowed the organization “to streamline our inter-departmental processes, automate, make it digital and measure outcomes through departmental and corporate dashboards”.

“Salesforce has enabled us to break down all the silos, giving a seamless user interface to streamline everything.”

Financial Services customizations for security and compliance

As a financial organization, it was vital to have the option to incorporate Financial Services specific customizations. As there wasn’t a Financial Services Cloud at the time, the team created their own customizations. This included a three-level hierarchy for Firm — Office — Reps and custom modules/apps within Salesforce to support Financial Instrument Research papers, Buying Units, Multi-Fee hierarchy, Platform management, Product hierarchy among other things. The Head of Technology admits it was at this stage they started to feel the growing pains:

“We were trying to have more departments, more processes, more data and system integration alongside Financial Services customizations. Our current processes couldn’t handle it and this led to compliance oversight.”

The challenge to do more with less

As a highly regulated business with changing business priorities, it became clear that a process that once worked, also now required changes. The team had started with tools that came out of the box with Salesforce.

“This setup was working fine initially but not for the growing needs of the company.”

Salesforce plays a significant role in the Asset Management firm’s digital strategy. The Head of Technology notes “everyone’s mantra is “do more with less”. As more departments were added, it became clear that their setup was not a scalable solution; it was increasingly difficult to meet the needs of the whole enterprise. He explains the breaking point as:

“There was more code to manage and maintain, more data integrations, more jobs and triggers and more code repositories to manage. This caused some instability and an error-prone system”

The team simply wasn’t able to keep up with the increasing demands of the business that required more departments to be onboarded to Salesforce and the integration of more systems. This resulted in “unhappy senior management and an unhappy business” as projects were not being delivered in time to meet their needs.

A redefined DevOps process with the right toolset

With growing needs, the existing process was lacking in quite a few areas such as code/repository history and code review process. The migration between sandboxes wasn’t easy and if they had to rollback, they had to create another change set. There was also no sandbox data seeding or data backups and no advanced capabilities — which they desperately required. The team decided they “needed a redefined DevOps process and to align the tools”.

Most of all, they needed a robust DevOps process from start to finish that would enable them to have clear policies and governance over the processes.

The adoption of Gearset

After comparing various DevOps solutions, the Asset Management firm decided Gearset was the right solution for them because it had more feature sets and future-proofed them for company growth. Gearset now supports with: continuous integration, monitoring and unit testing, repository management and deployment, code reviews, sandbox data management, backup and restore and static application security testing (SAST) with static code analysis. Through the redefining process, the team determined a 3-week sprint cycle works best for them to get business buy-in and complete development, testing and deployment.

“This didn’t happen overnight. Slowly start somewhere, change and adapt, and make sure you adopt the tools that will help you grow.”

The company implemented Gearset in three distinct phases:

Phase 1: The initial phase consisted of refining the DevOps process. The team worked with Gearset who advised on best practices and the right workflow for the business. Repository backups and continuous integration alongside deployments using Gearset were also part of this phase.

Phase 2: This interim phase was for Git repository management using Dev and Master branches. They also compared orgs for code review and started packaging draft deployments using validations. On top of this they began using deployment and seed data management using Gearset data management.

Phase 3: The financial organization has successfully managed their third phase using Gearset data management between orgs to facilitate a repeatable and consistent process for better testing and incorporated DevSecOps.

Order, stability and trust

The Head of Technology is proud of the newly built DevOps process and credits Gearset with bringing “order, stability and trust” to the enterprise. The team can now set up what needs to be tested and it runs every night. In the daily standup, the team discusses which deployments go into the current or next sprint depending on priority.

“The notifications are cool, you don’t have to take a look every morning to see what’s gone wrong or what didn’t run. I’m sent a notification which makes it so much easier to manage the environment.”

The company can now benefit from having “trusted partners because the business and senior management are happy”. By using Gearset the company has a defined process, with clear visibility of all deployments that’s easy to audit – which makes the security team very happy.

“For any external SAAS platform, our compliance and security team are always trying to put controls in place and Gearset incorporates DevSecOps into the DevOps process so that we stay compliant.”

Gearset helped the financial organization achieve more — with less

As the Head of Technology explains, “in today’s world, teams are expected to roll out more projects, cover all business priorities and show results but with fewer resources and reduced budget.” He has managed to deliver this by establishing a “mature DevOps process and aligning the toolset to the process.” He advises “offsetting this mantra by picking the right toolset that works for your organization is key. For us, Gearset plays a big part”.

The Asset Management firm didn’t achieve this mature process overnight and isn’t finished yet,” it’s a maturity journey and we’re progressing every year, redefining our process and continuously improving and making changes”. As the business grows and market conditions change, the organization is confident their DevOps process and Gearset will allow them to adapt and grow to meet increasing business demands.

“Gearset is a great platform to have. It provides so much, why would you consider anything else?”

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