In particular, the enterprise architecture (EA) solutions from MEGA International will provide the knowledge necessary for KBC to create a service oriented architecture (SOA) solution to make the company more efficient.
KBC Group, which serves more than 13 million individual and business customers in some 30 European countries including the United Kingdom, and employs more than 50,000 people, faces certain operational challenges as a multinational organization. As the Belgian-based company expanded across borders, the challenge for ICT, the technology group that serves the company, was to conquer language and cultural differences, and variations in business alignment, goals, and the level of technical and functional skills within IT.
KBC launched a strategic program focused on cultivating a high level of maturity and coherence in all of the company's IT and business groups throughout Europe.
"ICT management believed that by instituting a single methodology for IT program and project development and management, exchange between the different operating groups across countries could become much easier and increase the organization's flexibility and ability to adapt to changing market trends," explained Franky Paul, Business Analyst, KBC Group ICT. KBC began two initiatives to adopt a uniform way to document IT systems in order to improve productivity and professionalism.
First, KBC implemented an enterprise architecture solution to align its IT systems with the company's business processes. Second, the company undertook a program to model the company's business processes as the precursor to deploying business process management (BPM), which would improve the company's operational excellence.
ICT wants to offer best in class technology services for the entire organization, enabling each business unit to run its operations smoothly and efficiently. It plans to implement a SOA to support integration and consolidation activities and attain higher productivity.
With this clear vision, KBC chose the sophisticated enterprise architecture and business process modelling solution from MEGA International, because of the openness of the products, the capability to support design and other aspects of modelling, and because it would grow with the organization.
KBC had considered solutions from Telelogic (Popkin) and IDS Scheer. The MEGA Modeling Suite was chosen because it would allow KBC to better implement its SOA vision and create long-term alignment between technology services and business strategy.
Today, the MEGA International solution is used throughout the company, across all departments and divisions, as they step into a more rigorous process management process. Within KBC Group ICT, there are currently about 1,200 people who use MEGA Architecture, MEGA Process and Mega Designer. As KBC's business in central Europe grows, the number of users is expected to grow to more than 1,500. In addition, it is estimated that there will be 400 business process managers using the MEGA products within two years.
KBC has found improved alignment between business units and IT, fewer discussions and time needed to outline the scope of new projects, and a better understanding of requirements. This has resulted in more efficient use of the company's resources and has helped individuals and teams work more quickly.
One of the big gains for KBC is the ability to model potential changes before actually making them. In this way, the company can avoid problems and save time and money. Especially in the architecture process, KBC is able to look at alternatives and make good choices.
"MEGA International's software has brought us to one universal way of modelling. This is the most important benefit - everyone can work the same way and understand each others' results," noted Paul. "And, with the good documentation that comes from modelling, we can reduce costs when changes or new processes are required, and better solve operational problems."
Because of the success KBC has had with enterprise architecture, the plan is to provide the entire KBC Group with modelling solutions from MEGA International.