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BBVA USA offers customer-focused retail and digital banking and serves thousands of customers a day. To maintain a high standard of customer experience, we realized that our back-end technology solutions needed an upgrade. That meant migrating the dozens of automated business rules engines that were running in legacy technology - and serving more than 150,000 business process requests per month, including requests for commercial loans, mortgages, and other critical services that are both crucial for building trust with customers and advancing the business. Historically, the framework that handled these requests was expensive and cumbersome to maintain, but in just six months, we have successfully implemented Red Hat technologies to migrate to BBVA Nextgen Platform RuleS Cloud Service. Seems impossible, right? Well, not when you have the right technologies - like enterprise open source tools from Red Hat - in place. Read on to learn how we did it.

First, what is BBVA Nextgen Platform?

As part of our prioritization of digital transformation, we have built BBVA Nextgen Platform, a developers' platform that acts as a single point of entry for 12,000+ BBVA developers, globally. This means that when developers log into the console, it has the resources they need to build business applications. It provides the tools necessary to build and operate software and data in an automated, efficient and effective way. It is integrated with BBVA’s current legacy systems, and is ready to operate in mission-critical banking environments in a highly available and secure manner.

The goals of the BBVA Nextgen Platform are to ensure compliance with global and local regulations, maintain the highest standards of security and reliability, scale to adapt to changing requirements and expectations, be available through the public or cloud environment and ultimately increase the productivity of the BBVA developers.

The platform uses a combination of public and private clouds, with Red Hat OpenStack as the base on which to deploy and the business process management as a service process engine and RuleS rules engine for automation. There is also a monitoring component, with a real-time KPI dashboard. This means that there is just one console for every task.

The importance of Business Process Automation and Operational Excellence

In order to live up to our goal of having BBVA be one of the most successful digital banks in the world, we have been focusing our efforts on working to achieve operational excellence and to be more efficient, effective and successful through automation. Now, more than ever, it is important that we place our customer success first and have the tools to be available to customers 24/7.

Being truly digital means automating back-end processes to make them faster and more efficient, with the goal of improving the service and experience for our customers. Red Hat’s open technologies provide the backbone for our Process Automation Platform. Through continuous innovation, we have been able to put the goal of automating processes on a global scale in action. The single platform has the developer in mind and offers a set of tools to meet reliability, security and quality standards, while being agile and flexible. BBVA has a culture of innovation, and the principles of process automation were also applied to internal functions in BBVA.

In this changing landscape, where all business transactions - even mission critical ones - are being conducted digitally, it is more important than ever that we have the right technology tools in place to both automate and handle the increased traffic. BBVA Nextgen Platform helps us do that, and means that we can move into the future of digital more seamlessly. We always put our customers first, and this platform will help us continue to innovate and provide exceptional services.

Success with BBVA Nextgen Platform in BBVA USA

We saw success from business process automation and the single developer platform right away. At BBVA USA in particular, we needed to move from our legacy rules engine to a new one, because the old one was becoming obsolete. Not only was the migration successful, but the ease of use and efficiency of the platform was clear from the start.

In just six months, the two-person team was able to deploy 18 rules into production, and now, four months later, the remaining 12 have been migrated, and the legacy system completely decommissioned. This is a big milestone for a small team that has many responsibilities and is pulled in multiple directions at once.

The platform was integrated into the critical use case of online banking, that sees more than 350,000 business critical executions - including opening new credit cards and lines of credits, loans and mortgages - per month. The platform also saw fewer than two minutes for decision response times, meaning more decisions can happen, and faster. In terms of deployments, it now takes only two weeks to deploy new rules from scratch, radically improving the time to market.

So what’s next?

At BBVA Business Process Automation, our next challenge to transform all our business processes and rules with the agility provided by the new platform and continue striving to deploy the technologies that are going to help us meet our goal of offering an unmatched customer experience. We are working with the experts at Red Hat and with the open source community on next-generation Kubernetes-native business automation technology.

BBVA is committed to innovation for its customers and its developers having the best possible experience, and open source solutions help us do both.

We are proud recipients of the 2018 Red Hat Innovation Award, and Forrester Research has evaluated BBVA app as tops in its global evaluation, The Forrester Banking Wave™: Global Mobile Apps Summary, 2019, and in Europe for three consecutive years for "combining outstanding functionality with a well-designed user experience," according to The Forrester Banking Wave™: European Mobile Apps, Q2 2019 report. To learn more about the work BBVA is doing with Red Hat, visit Red Hat’s customer success page.


About the authors

In her current role she is responsible for Business Automation backlog, aligning the agile dev team with vision from stakeholders and defining the roadmap to maximize internal customer goals.

In his current role he manages and leads the team that develop and maintain the BPM/Rules/Process Monitoring Platforms that serve the different countries where BBVA operates.

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