SNS Bank Reduced Costs and Increased Performance with JBoss jBPM

July 31, 2009

Customer: SNS Bank

Geography: EMEA
Country: Netherlands


Software:

JBoss Enterprise Application Platform and jBPM

Hardware:

Red Hat Enterprise Linux

Benefits:

Flexible and high-performance platform; fast, standardized development, cost effective, low total cost of ownership.

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Background:

SNS Bank was established in 1817 and is one of the top five banks in the Netherlands with more than 3, 300 employees in 146 branches. It is part of SNS REAAL, a Dutch service provider specialising in insurance and banking, and provides consultation for private and business customers looking for smart solutions to broaden their financial possibilities. SNS IT is a 300-person branch of SNS Bank that is in charge of the entire IT infrastructure and determines the overall IT strategy including the development, monitoring, and maintenance of the bankand#x2019;s IT systems. SNS IT ensures the uptime and availability of the systems connected to more than 3,000 workstations, producing the more than 500,000 transactions on a daily basis.

Business Challenge:

As one of the top five Dutch financial institutions, SNS Bank in the Netherlands made a strategic decision to use technology to empower its customers online by fully automating its business processes. The ability to automate its service channels required SNS bank to apply Business Process Management (BPM) techniques to existing selling channels by revamping both its public and internal process in order to provide its end users with an online, full-scale Straight Through Processing (STP) experience. As a prominent financial institution, the need for online STP was of crucial importance to its cost effective banking model in an ever turbulent and changing financial world.

In order to effectively move towards a full-scale STP experience, SNS wanted to align its goals to be continue to be completed via Open Source Software, Service Oriented Architecture (SOA), and BPM.

Solution:

In an effort to effectively target and increase processing efficiency by eliminated unnecessary human intervention, SNS Bank decided to utilize JBoss jBPM after its use with JBoss Application Server in 2002 proved to be effective. SNS Bank wanted to ensure that its customers were informed at crucial process steps since open communication has always being an important factor in customer experience. In the beginning of 2007 the first full scale STP project was kicked off, with the goal of putting new savings products online in the start of 2008.

There was a shift in component strategy in 2004 from three main commercial suppliers to one where FOSS components are preferred when possible. Open source is quite pervasive throughout the solution architecture of all current projects. Furthermore, the development environment and tooling used to implement this solution consists of almost only open source software. Red Hat Enterprise Linux is the proven server environment, JBoss Enterprise Application Platform is hosting the web services and jBPM is the business process engine, the SNS Bank has a powerful infrastructure for exposing the selling channels.

With the implementation of the JBoss Application Server hosting the jBPM process engine, SNS Bank now has a solution that consists of a web-based front-end that allows customer access to products and services. All customer communications are managed by a document management process that tracks both post and electronic communications. The various back-end systems are accessed via a web services layer. In the event that it become necessary to deal with exceptions or be required by law that human decisions be made in the course of a process, there is a web based interface that uses web services to add, modify or end a customer process. As of 2009 the SNS Bank has deployed multiple projects exposing many products and service processes to its customers.

Benefits:

In the current situation JBoss and jBPM have proven to be both cost effective in terms of ownership and in terms of speed of deployment. Reliability has been improved, with absolutely no issues since it has been implemented. Having access to the JBoss technical team, the various online open source communities, and a support contract have proven time and again that the choice for JBoss was the right one.

As strategic products made available to customers empowered by JBoss and jBPM, SNS Bank is able to adjust easily to customer needs. Products and product lines can be introduced into existing business processes in a cost effective manner. The flexibility to combine extends beyond products, product lines, and selling channels to become a very effective tool to reach customer bases in a timely and personalized fashion.

Customer communication are now personalized and tailored to specific processes, products, and customers personal needs as the data generated by their behavior within the processes is documented. There have been very positive reactions from customers with regards to the speed, quality, and the level of detail in communications.

With an ever growing base of BPM process definitions it is clear that the time to market for similar products is much quicker. SNS Bank has projects with estimates ranging from one third to one half of the initial development hours put into initial projects.

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