Management of Business Processes using Industrial BPM Platform

Today, Renaissance Credit is the third largest private player in the consumer credit market in Russia and Ukraine. The bank serves about 2 million clients, offers a wide range of consumer credit products, including purpose loans, automobile loan financing, general-purpose loans and credit cards.

Details about the Client

Project Summary

In 2006, the Bank faced the necessity to create a strong IT-architecture that will support a specified quality of the credit portfolio. For this purpose, it was necessary to optimally organize the interaction of specialized information systems which enable the Bank’s core business process, namely, the sale of consumer loans.

The project on building an SOA project was opened in April 2006. During 2006–2008, the integration bus IBM WebSphere ESB was connected to by 11 information systems involved in the core business process.

The next step in building an SOA architecture was to manage the business process of granting consumer loans on the industrial BPM platform.

As a result of these two projects, the Bank has established IT-infrastructure to quickly define and automate business processes upon the business demand.

The Bank has fully felt the real benefit of having the architectural SOA in the preparation of IT-component of the new banking product, i.e. sales of consumer loans through the Credit broker. A new business process required for this purpose has been described and implemented in just 2 months without making any changes to the applications used by the Bank.

Services Provided

Background

By the project start, the business process «sale of consumer loans in the partner shops with the participation of the Bank’s credit representatives» was driven by the integration solution developed by Neoflex in SOA architecture. Today this solution supports the coordinated operation of 11 information systems of the Bank, interacting with each other through the integration bus IBM WebSphere ESB, using more than 40 services, operating more than 120 business facilities.

Among these systems are:

  • front-office system
  • systems that support decision-making on the credit application: scoring system, a system of interaction with external credit bureau, counter-fraud system, borrowers verification system according to «black» lists, address check and adjustment system
  • system serving the work with credits: plastic card management system, voice services system, SMS-banking system
  • accounting systems — Russian and western ABS.

Computer-aided sales process control (i.e. call management of the services of integrated information applications, involved in sales) before the project was implemented by means of a system in which the Bank’s specialists enhanced the BPM-functionality.

With the growth of business, this system has ceased to meet the demands placed upon it. Its performance limitations could now be felt. The process implemented in the system was not optimal. And in fact, the system did not allow describing it in a transparent manner. This made it difficult to optimize the automated sales process of the Bank’s current products and the development of new banking products.

Solution

The Bank’s IT-Management decided to implement business process management of the sales of the Bank’s products on the industrial BPM platform. The Bank has chosen an IBM product WebSphere Process Server as such a platform.

At the first stage, it was decided to transfer the consumer loans sales management to the selected BPM-platform in the logic that was implemented in the “old” system. During the transfer process, it was necessary to perform only minimal optimization.

The objective of the second project stage was, based on the results of the first stage, to describe and implement on the BPM platform a fundamentally new business process — sale of consumer loans through the Credit broker. Unlike the conventional scheme, brokerage schemes selling is held without the presence of the Bank’s credit representatives in the partner stores.

Stages

August
2007
September
2007
November
2007
December
2007
January
2008
February
2008
March
2008

August 2007

Neoflex finished gathering business requirements and the development of the technical specification for implementation, based on the BPM-platform, of business process management of sales of consumer loans in the usual way, i.e. with the participation of the Bank’s credit representatives.

September 2007

IBM WebSphere ESB and WebSphere Process Server were built as a highly available scalable cluster of software products.

November 2007

Business process of the sale of consumer loans under the usual scheme has been implemented on the basis of IBM WebSphere Process Server platform.

In the same month, it was included tasks for users of front-office systems (human task), and a system for monitoring key indicators was developed.

December 2007

The business process which was implemented on the IBM WebSphere Process Server, launched in pilot production at several sales points.

January 2008

It was resolved to transfer all the points, where there are sales of the Bank’s consumer loans, to the new business process.

February 2008

Neoflex started to create fundamentally new business processes, namely, sales of consumer loans through the Credit broker.

The new process has been created without modifying applications by relinking ready services that are used in the automation of the sales of consumer loans in the usual way. The process has been implemented as a fully automatic one. Processing the loan application from its receipt by the Bank through the Web-service to sending the Bank's decision on the application in the retail outlet takes less than 2 minutes. During this time, by means of multiple applications, a thorough verification of the potential borrower is being carried out.

March 2008

A new business process is brought into pilot production in the distribution network of one of the Bank’s partners.

Its implementation involved 11 above-named applications that interact with each other through the integration bus, and an auxiliary service that performs the offer generation. The technological characteristics of the solution created provide for the sale of loans 24 hours 7 days a week in more than 1,800 stores of the Trading partner, who adopted the role of the Credit broker.

Outcomes

In the course of the projects implemented by Neoflex, a powerful flexible IT-infrastructure was created to play the role of a key element in improving the Bank’s competitiveness.

  • The bank’s core business process — the sale of consumer loans — is provided by the SOA architecture. Throughout the project, integration solution previously developed was supplemented with a solution for the description and management of business processes implemented on the industrial BPM-platform.
  • Thanks to the SOA architecture, the creation time of IT-component of new banking products was reduced. This was fully confirmed by the draft of the description, implementation and deployment in the trading network of the Business Process Partner of the sales of consumer loans through the Credit broker.
  • By means of the industrial BPM-platform, the automatic metrics generation of the Bank’s business process was performed: the average document processing time for processing at each stage of the process, and others. The metrics are used to monitor business processes and develop proposals for their optimization.

The solution has been implemented in a cluster architecture based on platforms IBM WebSphere ESB and IBM WebSphere Process Server. Solution performance can rapidly increase as the sales of the Bank’s products rise. The solution technical data provide for the sale of loans 24 hours 7 days a week and ensure the Bank’s security from reputational and financial losses.

Interview

Yaroslav Medoks
Yaroslav Medoks
Director of IT Development Department

For what reason was initiated the transfer of the Bank's business processes to the commercial BPM-platform?

Creating solutions for business processes management in the SOA ideology is recorded in the Bank’s IT-strategy. On the other hand, the Bank was getting ready to increase sales at the end of the year, and we were not sure that the current system will cope with the new volumes. In other words, we have come to a situation where developing the existing system was impractical.

Why was IBM WebShere Process Server platform chosen for the project implementation?

The prices and the «price-quality» ratio for all industry BPM-platforms are very similar. And since the bank’s IT-infrastructure is built on IBM WebSphere products, the choice of IBM Process Server was virtually predetermined. We have chosen a high-tech solution and avoided compatibility problems.

What is your impression of the solution implemented on the IBM WebShere Process Server?

The facts speak for themselves: the Bank’s new business process, i.e. sale of loans according to the brokerage scheme, was implemented in just 2 months. Today, the Bank almost instantly provides answers to loan applications coming from the partner’s retail chain. These facts suggest that the solution is the industry one. Now we are engaged in switching to IBM WebShere Process Server the management of all processes associated with the sale of loans. Insofar as it uses standard technologies, we could divide the work between the experts of the Bank and those of Neoflex. This is also a great solution feature.

How do you find the SOA architecture built by the Neoflex specialists?

The architecture established is highly commendable. It should be noted that the data exchange services through the IBM WebSphere ESB have been built correctly right from the beginning. And we would not be able to prepare and expand in the market the sale of a new product for two months, if we had not possessed the “engine”, implemented on an industrial BPM-platform.
German Tishendorf
German Tishendorf
Chief Information Officer

What made the Bank to implement the process of issuing loans under brokerage scheme?

The brokerage scheme of work is beneficial to all participants in the process, both trade networks, and their customers, and banks, which credited the purchase. As practice shows, during the work according to the brokerage scheme, the bank’s expenses decrease 5 times compared to the traditional organization of work, when the bank’s employees conduct sales of loans physically being in the partner’s sales points in the territory of its stores.

How do you assess the outputs of the project?

We have got a stable working solution, and this is the solution that we needed. Now, when the project is becoming known to the market, we are waiting for the proposals of credit brokers and trading partners for joint business development. To my mind, our experience according to the brokerage scheme is important from the point of view of financial market development in Russia as a whole. I am sure that other banks will switch to this operating procedure, too.

To what extent are you satisfied with your cooperation with Neoflex?

It was quite a difficult project, but our joint efforts have led to very interesting results, and together we have learned a lot. During this project, we had problems, and it must be admitted that in many cases the Bank itself gave rise to them. Our bank is dynamically developing; errors in such growth are inevitable. In all problematic situations, Neoflex experts reacted very quickly, always offering solutions to solve them.

Will this project go further?

There is no doubt that it has already gone further. We have a proved functionality, which allows us, together with Neoflex, for quick implementation of the work according to the brokerage scheme with new trading partners and credit brokers.

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