The Swedish Board of Agriculture (SJV) Boosts Efficiency with Red Hat JBoss BRMS

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May 14, 2014

The SJV decided that it needed a faster way to calculate, process, and handle grant applications for Swedish farmers. After a successful Red Hat® JBoss® BRMS implementation, the benefits were clear: ease of maintenance, improved traceability, and a boost in performance.

Customer: Swedish Board of Agriculture (SJV)

“Red Hat JBoss BRMS surpassed the competition in price effectiveness. The solution was also easy to integrate and manage in our existing platform and delivered on our need for audit and traceability.” - Markus Milerup, unit manager, SJV

Industry: Government
Geography: EMEA
Country: Sweden


Business Challenge:

The Swedish Board of Agriculture (SJV) is responsible for distributing grants from the EU to Swedish farmers. The parameters for grants are complex and they get updated every year, and SJV in turn needs to update the thousands of rules on its system. SJV needed to more quickly and intuitively update the parameters, increase traceability, and improve costs using a more integrated approach.

Hardware:

HP ProLiant DL380 G7, Intel Xeon X5660@2.80GHz; 1vCPU, 4Gb RAM, 34Gb storage; VMware ESXi 5.0; Red Hat Enterprise Linux Server, 6.2, kernel 2.6.32-220. el6.x86_64

Benefits:

“We found a threefold increase in performance over our previous processes. We quickly realised the benefits of the flexibility and manageability of Red Hat JBoss BRMS, as we easily could set up, manage, and change rules more swiftly,” said Markus Milerup, unit manager at SJV.

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Background:

The Swedish Board of Agriculture (SJV) is the government authority on agricultural policies. SJV’s mission is to encourage sustainable development and animal welfare in agriculture and rural development. SJV is the administrator for EU support in agriculture, rural areas, and fisheries in Sweden. SJV has been a Red Hat customer since 2010 and has implemented several Red Hat solutions, including Red Hat Enterprise Linux, Red Hat JBoss EAP, Red Hat JBoss SOA Platform (now Red Hat JBoss Fuse Service Works), and Red Hat JBoss A-MQ.

Business Challenge:

Complex rules and processes halted productivity

The SJV is responsible for distributing money from the EU to the Swedish farmers as a grant. This grant is calculated using a wide array of factors, which are often changed by the EU. Over the years, the SJV had developed a calculation system to determine grants. However, the system was not dynamic and had to be re-coded on a yearly basis to accommodate the many changes made. The whole process was deeply inefficient and very expensive.

On an annual basis, the SJV processes more than 60,000 applications for grants — there are more than 10 different types of grant for which applicants can apply. In addition, there are also specific, yearly projects that the EU establishes for which applicants can apply. Since these rules are updated annually, and applicants are highly dependent on these grants to develop and maintain their businesses, the SJV decided that it needed a faster way to calculate, process, and handle all the applications.

With the assistance of IT consulting firm Capgemini, the SJV established the following four criteria for its solution:

  • Easy management of rules and processes.
  • Compatibility with existing middleware architecture.
  • Capable of audit and traceability matching SJV’s requirements.
  • Needs to be price efficient.
Solution:

“We had an extensive selection process where we evaluated several vendors, visited other companies to assess their solutions, and realized that our best option was Red Hat JBoss BRMS. The business rules management system from Red Hat surpassed the competition by being flexible and easy to integrate, while also delivering powerful traceability and audit functionality. JBoss BRMS exceeded expectations when it comes to performance,” said Markus Milerup, unit manager at SJV.

Successful pilot projects leads to full integration

The integration of Red Hat JBoss BRMS was done in a pilot project. The aim of the pilot project was to extract business rules from SJV’s existing systems. In this project, Red Hat JBoss BRMS performance and integration with existing middleware was also tested. After a successful implementation, the benefits were clear: ease of maintenance, improved traceability, and a boost in performance.

Benefits:

“The pilot was successful and we found a threefold increase in performance over our previous processes. We quickly realised the benefits of the flexibility and manageability of Red Hat JBoss BRMS, as we easily could set up, manage, and change rules more swiftly,” said Milerup.

SJV set out to model the 150 different rule trees that included more than 5000 rules. They developed a concept to implement rules in JBoss BRMS, and this work will continue in 2014. It is expected to be finalized in 2015.

“We set out to deliver the best service possible to our stakeholders. We wanted to manage applicants more quickly, and implementing a flexible system made rule changes simpler and more cost efficient. We wanted a new system that would increase the traceability, gaining both insight into, and transparency of, the organization’s approval process. We believe that JBoss BRMS will able to deliver on all of our requirements and help to modernize our business,” said Markus Milerup.

Red Hat JBoss BRMS has also made it possible for the SJV to define, sort, and group all rules in a more comprehensive and manageable way. This saves time and effort every time rules have to be changed or updated.

“Red Hat JBoss BRMS has helped us optimize and speed up our service and strengthened our relationship with our stakeholders,” said Milerup.

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