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A Christmas Carol: Wells Fargo Sings the Praises of SOA

Wells Fargo has successfully used its SOA platform to view customer information across accounts, provide information to a myriad of channels, and establish direct connections to commercial customers. This platform has also played an instrumental role in the merger of customer accounts between Wells Fargo and Norwest.

Celent’s service-enabled version of A Christmas Carol tells the story of SOA Past, Present, and Future. Service-oriented architecture did not spring from IT shops without a foundation. Wells Fargo began incorporating technology from abstract disparate systems in 1993 using common object request broker architecture (CORBA) and object-oriented programming. The Wells Fargo deployment of SOA and its predecessors was driven first by the need to view accounts across multiple core systems for wealth management customers. It expanded to help other groups of customers and further developed to serve multiple channels.

SOA played a key role in the successful integration of Wells Fargo’s and Norwest’s core systems. It used CORBA technology and its account factory router, also known as the “Intergalactic Translator,” to allow employees and customers across the merged company to access customer information independently of the system in which this information resided. This SOA strategy has extended beyond internal processing to include machine- to-machine (M2M) integrations between Wells Fargo and its corporate customers, creating tighter bonds between the financial services company and its clients.

“Wells Fargo has been working with SOA and its predecessor technologies for around two decades. The bank has demonstrated a maturity of understanding and experience best exemplified by the Wells Fargo Extensible Markup Language (wfXML). This IFX-compliant standard creates a common financial services language and set of service definitions across the institution,” says Bart Narter, author of the report and senior analyst with Celent’s banking group. “Because it is IFX-compliant, it can also be used outside of Wells Fargo, to communicate with customers or other financial institutions.”