Cloud Efficiency in Banking: Portugal’s Largest Private-Sector Bank Saves Thousands of Hours a Year with Crossplane & Upbound

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May 18, 2023

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Nuno Guedes

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Reading time: 5 min read


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Millennium bcp

Millennium bcp is Portugal’s largest private-sector bank, with 1,334 branches serving more than 6 million customers around the world. The key to its vision and success has been continued investment in the latest technologies to generate business value. The bank was among the first in its market to introduce ATMs and alternative payment methods, and one of the first to deploy early online services like transactional websites and an online financial marketplace.


Crossplane is a popular open-source project with the CNCF that leverages the Kubernetes API and control plane model to help organizations build internal cloud platforms managed with control planes. Because Crossplane shares a foundation with Kubernetes it integrates smoothly with most popular cloud native tools.

The Problem

Millennium bcp spent over five years building their automation practices into their platform, including Terraform modules, HCL code, and more. While they adhered to cutting-edge industry standards, challenges such as state drift and continuous compliance still persisted. Also, although infrastructure teams were able to efficiently execute the initial delivery of resources to other teams, internal customers were not seeing the same efficiency gains as infrastructure teams, as their requests were still being queued.

The Solution (or Why Crossplane?)

Millennium bcp wanted to mitigate their problems while incorporating the existing infrastructure they had. Rather than rip and replace, they wanted a technology that could work with the Terraform modules and other legacy code they already had implemented. They intended it to be a phased approach to solving their issues while maintaining the experience for their developers.

Crossplane presented itself as a clear option for the prime solution. It helped eliminate state drift, apply continuous and automatic compliance, and improve their inefficiencies – all while leveraging the existing modules. The adoption of Universal Crossplane by Upbound as a control plane was implemented in a multi-stage approach without impact to the apps or developer experience.

Millennium bcp went from an SLA of 8 days for project and dependencies setup to only a few minutes for full deployment of an app and dependencies to a new environment, saving thousands of man-hours in production per year.

Why Upbound

Upbound is the creator of Crossplane and the industry’s first platform for building internal cloud platforms. Designed around control planes, Upbound offers a new way for building internal cloud platforms, purpose-built for your organization. Customers can build, deploy, manage, secure, and use their platforms all from a single point of control.

Upbound Product Value

  • Building Blocks with Operations. Crossplane is the perfect solution to build an internal cloud platform that increases efficiency and reduces configuration drift. Crossplane contains the logic, machinery, and reusable components that can be assembled to achieve your organization’s unique vision of efficiently and reliably delivering infrastructure and applications to production. You can think of this framework as the “building blocks” for creating specialized and customized platforms. Millennium bcp used Upbound’s official Terraform Provider and featured configurations like custom blueprints and reference platforms to power their internal cloud platform.
  • Self-Managed Control Planes. Crossplane is a framework for building Control Planes which enable organizations to consolidate teams onto a single platform. A control plane-based architecture gives you a declarative approach to defining and managing resources, continuous reconciliation of resources to eliminate configuration drift, and a pattern for achieving self-service. Millennium bcp leveraged the official Terraform provider to help streamline their platform to mitigate configuration drift, reduce human error in provisioning resources, improved compliance throughout the resource’s lifecycle, and more. It gave them flexibility to work with the infrastructure they had already built, helping to save time and effort in the migration.
  • Integration & Migration Support. Millennium bcp loves that they can leverage existing Terraform modules while simultaneously helping them migrate toward a fully-powered Crossplane solution. On top of that, they rely on Upbound’s 24/7 support and assistance to implement enterprise-grade reference architectures and integrations for Crossplane. Universal Crossplane (UXP), the commercially supported distribution of Crossplane, runs anywhere — both on-premise and on any cloud solution. It can be installed into any cluster to expose Custom Resource Definitions (CRDs) and a standard API across your entire infrastructure and service providers.

Upbound Customer Support and Customer Success

Upbound’s Customer Success team exists to deliver value to customers by engaging with them from the moment they sign on. Our regular alignment calls, private Slack channels, private GitHub repositories, and quarterly business reviews ensure we’re always in close communication, and that Upbound always has the correct context to help in the right ways, quickly. We provide architecture reviews, resource support, best practices, bespoke training, and setup and installation guidance. Why? We want to enable customers to swap their business pains with business value; to do everything they want to do with Upbound.

Millennium bcp knew that with Upbound, they would see results quickly, and they would see results that grow and last over time.


Terraform has served as the industry standard to automate various processes to optimize platform infrastructure. However, with Crossplane providing Control Plane architecture, it’s time to shift the standard. Millennium bcp took a phased approach in migrating their infrastructure to Crossplane, all while leveraging the current Terraform modules they currently have. Their migration shortened their SLA time from 8 days to 8 minutes, saving thousands of hours and heavily reducing costs.

Want to know more?

Nuno, Cloud Compute Lead at Millennium bcp, hopped onto a webinar with a few Upbounders to explain the exact steps his organization took when implementing Upbound Universal Crossplane. In addition, he has put together everything you need to know in a useful case study. To see the solution above in further detail, be sure to visit Millennium bcp’s detailed page on Upbound’s website here.

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