Thursday, December 15, 2011

The 3 levers of Business Agility in Action. Prolifics Weighs In!

In October, IBM hosted a Business Agility Executive Forum in New York City that was streamed live around the world. The event was focused on how organizations can transform their businesses for continued growth in today’s marketplace. During this information-rich forum, those of us in the audience and streaming the video live, were able to hear how successful companies are improving agility through interconnected business processes supported by a flexible infrastructure.

The Business Agility launch was focused on three key levers – decision management, process management and technologies. Another key theme of the event was how organizations should “Think Big, Start Small, Scale Fast.” All of these themes resonated well with Prolifics and our customer, IDP, who was the keynote client speaker at the event in NYC. Prolifics also had the opportunity to participate, as our VP of BPM and Connectivity, Anant Gupta, was chosen to speak on the panel with IDP. We were pleased to be a part of such a highly informative and interactive panel discussion.

I’d like to discuss IDP’s solution in greater depth, which is a great example of the three levers in action.

Achieve better decisions driven by analytics and business rules - IDP incorporates a sophisticated business rules engine (via ILOG JRules) which is insurance carrier specific and involve algorithms that determine policy rates in real time. Not only does JRules provide the complex logic behind the ratings, but its ease of use allows business analysts, not programmers, to create the rules for each carrier. Another key feature is the governance around the rules. Each configuration can be versioned, and the auditability feature means that it is easy to show compliance with any regulatory needs.

Take a smarter approach to process and integration - IDP integrates data through its usage of IBM WebSphere Enterprise Service Bus across the platform and can deliver data via Web 2.0 on desktops and mobile devices. IBM WESB mediates between the Agent Portal and the third-party Web services carriers use, such as credit reports, payment processing, and claim history repositories. The beauty of the enterprise service bus is that it enables each carrier to link to Web services without affecting the core SaaS solution. No matter how customized the user experience is, the SaaS solution doesn’t have to know anything about the back-end systems it is calling.

Accelerate application, service and information delivery with SOA and extend reach to cloud and mobile – IDP’s solution is a SaaS-based insurance agent portal. Since SaaS is administered by the provider on a one-to-many basis, it’s easier for the provider while also freeing carriers and agents from software administration. Additionally, SaaS is future-proof by scaling and allowing for growth. IDP also offers 24/7 access from anywhere in the world thanks to its mobile component which requires zero architectural changes to the platform. That means that companies can immediately increase efficiency by having insurers, agents and customers all have access to the tools they need and be self-serving.

Another key theme at the launch, “Think Big, Start Small, Scale Fast,” is a philosophy that Prolifics has always adopted helping customers move toward SOA and BPM. In previous years we won the Impact award for work that we did at customer, Equinox Fitness. I recall for that account we created a 3-year strategic plan and roadmap for them, yet we created quick wins to help them realize value immediately while moving them toward fulfilling their long term vision. This is definitely an approach that I would recommend, combining both strategic and tactical activities.

For a video replay of the Business Agility Executive Forum, please click here. I would also like to share some photos from the event. You can read about Prolifics' solution at IDP in this case study. To learn more about how Prolifics is helping companies with their SOA and BPM initiatives, visit our website:

Devi Gupta, Vice President, Marketing for Prolifics