REVIEWER: Vivekanand Sharma, chief manager projects, international banking group, ICICI Bank.
BACKGROUND: ICICI Bank is India's second-largest bank with total assets of $82 billion) as of September 30, 2008. The bank has global subsidiaries.
PLATFORMS: The IntelliRADAR platform from Herald Logic has been deployed at the ICICI Bank data center on a virtual server and runs in the Windows environment. It connects to an Oracle DB. The product is supported on multiple OS environments. It is completely Web based for the various users from the Bank who access the system via the Web browser. The product has published APIs.
PROBLEM SOLVED: ICICI Bank's International private banking and global private clients group serves High Net Worth Individual (HNI) clients globally through dedicated teams of relationship managers supported by a centralized team of product managers and operations. The challenge was in complying with myriad complex rules of regulators in various countries where the bank planned to do business. This made the whole process very complicated for the relationship managers in the past. In the previous process, Excel (file-based) toolkits were used, which were not scalable for frequent changes, and there was 100 percent reliance on human verification of all compliance requirements. Compliance verification teams had to sift through at least eight to ten different files manually to verify that each of the compliance conditions and requirements has been met. Due to this human compliance verification process, the risk of noncompliance to various regulations and regulatory authorities was very high. There was a significant business risk of reputation, as well as financial loss. To contain this risk, a big team was deployed to assess all the transactions before final execution. This was a significant business cost as well as a control point. Hence ICICI deployed the selling framework compliance solution on the IntelliRADAR platform to provide a very agile workflow and decision control and monitoring system. The rules governing the selling and compliance processes can be dynamically updated by the business users from the compliance team, without any software changes and without any downtime of the running system. The entire solution has been modeled and deployed with zero code the only piece of code in the solution is the integration with some highly complex predefined Excel sheets. The solution has reduced the number of human touchpoints required for servicing clients, thereby improving turnaround time and improving client satisfaction while enabling the bank to comply with all the regulations always.
PRODUCT FUNCTIONALITY: The business users from the product compliance team are able to add new (financial) products and add or update the rules governing their selling in various countries where the Bank operates and sells the products. (Relationship managers are able to enter the transactions directly via the browser and get an immediate system decision on if and how the product can be sold to a particular client. The operations team users get an alert on the transaction entered by each respective sales team member. This alert is matched with the transaction document whenever received. Any discrepancies can be detected and controlled in a timely manner. A separate, highly qualified and educated compliance team has now been released from this task because the compliance functions are integrated into the regular operations activities seamlessly. The ratio of STP (straight-through processing) transactions has gone up by an order of magnitude. Senior management users have compliance exception reports on a mouse click. The cost to the bank for implementing the compliance function has come down dramatically. The solution is very extensible as business objects, reference data and rules can be extended seamlessly as requirements evolve. The key features which benefited the bank are:
- Business objects, reference data, business processes and business rules can be added and enhanced easily without significant time, efforts and costs, to support evolving business requirements.
- Automated decisioning based on business- user-maintained rules to reduce dependency on human verification.
- Real-time alerts and end-user enabled ad hoc querying provides real-time information to all stakeholders, starting from the RMs in the field to the ops users and to senior management responsible for the private banking business of the bank.
- Audit trails available for all user updates.
- Model-driven solution on the IntelliRADAR platform helped accommodate significant changes in business requirements during the project implementation cycle without significant impact on timelines and costs.
STRENGTHS: It is a model-driven solution enables predictable time to market and accommodates evolving business requirements. Business users control the changes in rules and policies governing the business process. An intuitive (360-degree) navigation allows users to efficiently sift through large and complex data sets. Real-time, push-based and actionable alerts increase efficiency of users. TCO of the end solution is significantly low.
WEAKNESSES: Since the UI is dynamically generated in the product (based on flexible and extensible metadata/attribute structure), highly customized user screen requirements require custom programming, which increases the time to deploy we managed this by making optimal trade-offs in the dynamic UI configuration to retain flexibility and extensibility. The product is currently supported only on IE 6 and above; other browsers are not yet supported. However, this has not been a showstopper for us.
SELECTION CRITERIA: The product was selected on the primary considerations of quick time to market; a very high flexibility to incorporate any change in compliance rules with minimal dependency on in-house IT teams and vendor with a low TAT; and a significantly lower TCO (total cost of ownership). We started with looking for a rules/ decisioning engine but in IntelliRADAR we found a complete end-to-end model-driven application platform that met all the end to end requirements of the sales compliance business process, including process management, automated decisioning, dynamic and configurable UI and event-based monitoring (See this article for more information on event-driven performance management).
DELIVERABLES: The main output to the field and operations users are: transaction entry and update screens, actionable alerts and ad hoc flexible and dynamic reports. The outputs to the senior management team are exception alerts and reports and monitoring of TAT metrics. The outputs to the central product compliance team are the attributes and rules governing the compliance process. The outputs to the system admin and audit teams include maintenance of roles and privileges and comprehensive audit trails.
VENDOR SUPPORT: Herald Logic worked as a partner along with the banks team to evolve an optimal solution for the compliance process jointly. The Herald Logic team was extremely responsive to the complex and evolving business requirements and the joint project team from the bank and Herald Logic were fully committed to the project success. The user enthusiasm for the adoption of the system has been extremely high and significantly higher compared to the norms. This solution is of a mission critical and highly sensitive nature and was directly under the scanner of the top management of the bank. Herald Logic has also put in place a Web-based system, accessible to bank users, to report and track any issues with the deployed application for any post deployment issues.
DOCUMENTATION: The documentation and manuals provided enable the business users and the banks internal application support team to be fully self sufficient and perform ongoing configuration changes to the deployed application.
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