As Joe's previous entry on the ROI challenge suggests, we may forever face challenges in terms of delineating SOA's specific contribution to the overall business value equation. However, one thing we can do -- if we are smart -- is align our SOA initiatives and projects with specific business problems where value is itself easier to quantify. That's what Cleveland-based KeyCorp has done -- and it seems to be paying off.
With assets of approximately $88.6 billion, Key companies provides an array of financial services in the U.S. and, increasingly, around the globe. The company's enterprise architecture division, which delivers technology recommendations, has realized the value associated with SOA by streamlining and enhancing key business processes. With 30 strategic integration projects now in play, Key is focused on two critical areas of value in particular: customer experience management and regulatory compliance (including the Patriot and Fact Acts).
Having chosen webMethods as its SOA platform partner, Angi Bensinger, Vice President Enterprise Distributed Engineering, says the company is seeking "a flexible and future-proof technology platform to meet our business requirements today, while preparing for tomorrow’s requirements."
In order to improve customer satisfaction and strengthen customer loyalty, KeyBank is now concentrating on providing its representatives with a "360 degree view" of its customers. With more than 60 customer response systems and applications, the challenge was to ensure all service requests are accurately routed to specific lines of business. Now, the company's integrated customer systems provide comprehensive information on all customer interactions with the bank including information on bank accounts, loan and brokerage accounts. Reps can access this information on one screen and make changes and updates that are propagated throughout the enterprise. This approach (which eliminates many manual, error-prone steps) enables the company to be more responsive as well as cross-sell and up-sell its offerings more effectively -- contributing to profitable growth.
SOA also automates process steps and enables the management of revenue-generating business activities -- such as loan-processing -- in real-time. “Real time information is critical to make decisions instantaneously in order to capture the business while the customer is looking for it,” sayss Bensinger. “With an integrated architecture and insight into the types of products customers could be eligible for, we can tailor the customer experience, and provide enhanced services in a simple manner, thereby distinguishing our services in the marketplace.”
On the regulatory compliance side, Keybank's new infrastructure enables it to more cost-effectively adhere to information demands associated with the USA Patriot Act, the FACT Act (which adds additional checks and controls to the Patriot Act) and other regulations.
“We had a very short window to respond to the Patriot Act,” adds Bensinger. “The requirement touched multiple applications and processes but...we were able to build common components that all the applications could interface to, and build a strong solution to be in compliance. We were also able to easily leverage and re-use the solution, to comply with the FACT Act. This has allowed us to be much more responsive, spend less time on regulatory requirements and more time on revenue generating and customer focused activities.”
What's next? KeyBank now plans to leverage the business activity monitoring (BAM) capabilities in the webMethods platform to enable LOBs to see and enhance business processes in real time.