Automating Processes

By Virginia Citrano  |  Posted 2007-06-20 Print this article Print

Automating Processes

Three years ago, Huntington Bancshares sought tools to open new accounts, manage cases of suspected fraud and handle the mailing of marketing literature. The $2.7 billion bank holding company, based in Columbus, Ohio, knew about Pegasystems from a check dispute resolution program that was an earlier product from the vendor.

When Daniel Wollenberg, senior vice president of Huntington's Enterprise Program Office, saw Pegasystems' newer offerings, he was surprised: "They had a lot of what we were looking for wrapped up in one solution."

Huntington's initial BPM project, a $3.5 million effort to automate account openings, is in its first release. Wollenberg expects it will be in full release by August; thanks to increased account openings and a lower cost of adding customers, the bank expects to be 9% in the black on its investment after three years.

Huntington uses programmed rules in Pegasystems' PegaRules Process Commander to help bankers recommend products to consumers. The system enables the exchange of information with credit-scoring companies when the bank needs to determine whether an account is creditworthy, or what interest rate to charge or credit limits to impose. When the rules have been run and questions asked, the banker recommends a product and knows that he or she has gathered the necessary information for the account.

Wollenberg says his team encountered challenges while integrating the software with applications such as IBM WebSphere MQ, which provides a way to connect to legacy systems. Pegasystems, he says, provided software patches that addressed the issue.

Jerry Sherry, a Pegasystems vice president, says the company's customers are some of the world's largest companies, and as such, have legacy systems.

"That means they have lots of legacy systems that we have to peacefully co-exist with," he acknowledges, adding that Pegasystems provides more than two dozen services and connectors and "a whole alphabet soup of integration protocols" to help companies access legacy systems without ripping them up and replacing them.

*This story has been updated to reflect that Metastorm e-Work was the name of the product at the time; it is now known as Metastorm BPM.

Aiming for Efficiency

What It Is:
Business process management software includes automating manual processes and managing workflows, as well as consolidating and standardizing existing automated systems. Some vendors offer components to handle targeted functions like establishing rules for how a process should proceed. Some vendors are grouping these components into software suites.

Key Players:
BEA Systems' Fuego, Global 360, Fujitsu, IBM's FileNet, Lombardi Software, Metastorm, Savvion, Pegasystems.

Market Size:
$1.69 billion in 2006 (Gartner Dataquest)

Implementation Cost:
BPTrends says 58% of the respondents to its 2006 survey spent less than $500,000 on BPM, 34% spent between $500,000 and $5 million, and 5% spent more than $10 million.

What's Happening:
Some 170 vendors offer BPM software, but consultancy Gartner anticipates a shakeout. It expects major software vendors in other categories to enter the market—following the lead of BEA, which purchased Fuego in 2006.

*Companies in italicized type are featured in dossiers this month.


Submit a Comment

Loading Comments...
eWeek eWeek

Have the latest technology news and resources emailed to you everyday.