The solution, which focuses on the administration of one of AIBâs compliance requirements, has allowed AIB to centralise a core business process while at the same time providing a rapid response to the branch network and a higher level of customer service.
Brendan McGovern, IT Delivery Manager for the project at AIB, developed the brief, based on a centralised solution.
"In accordance with corporate policy, we decided to centralise the administration of one of our core compliance procedures. This allowed us remove an overhead activity from the branch network while at the same time standardising a business process. A centralised approach also makes it easier to train people, bring them up to speed on legislative changes and brings a consistent level of service and enforcement".
"We adopted Zarionâs proposal in February 2003 and set about meeting our demanding implementation timescale and concentrating on the business rather than the technical issues"
The challenge was to define and implement a new way of working while at the same time rapidly implementing technology to support the business processes. It was Zarionâs task to deliver the technology that could make this happen.
Key to the delivery of the solution was Web Services as Gerard Newman, director of Zarion, explains.
"AIB wanted a neat, elegant solution that integrated with existing systems. Being able to implement a solution to support a standard centralised business process without an expensive solution build was a critical requirement.
"This fitted very well into our solutions philosophy. Firstly, we specialise in providing business process solutions, based on workflow and document management technologies for financial institutions. In addition to this our solutions approach means that we have packaged our business experience into TouchPoint2 which allows us rapidly deploy pre-configured software modules. This combination fast tracks our solutions and guarantees our results.
"Secondly, TouchPoint2 was built on web-based technology which gives us great flexibility in how we deliver and implement our solutions. In addition to this our use of web services to integrate with existing business systems allowed us to quickly implement a robust method of exchanging data between the existing business systems and TouchPoint2."
Zarionâs solution allows branch staff to fax/scan required documentation directly to the centralised compliance processing division in Dublin. The scanned documentation is stored on managed servers in AIBâs Data Centre. From there it is accessed over the Bankâs network using TouchPoint2âs browser-based interface.
All received documentation is routed through a defined, automated workflow process. Emails and alerts are raised automatically at various points, resulting in considerably faster processing as errors and omissions are picked up immediately. Automated Service Level monitoring is also provided by the solution, making sure that the centralised unit meet the response times agreed with the branch network. Finally, any items which are outstanding are followed up in a structured manner which keeps everyone informed as to their progress.
Zarion has also used TouchPoint2âs Web Services to directly cross reference applications against the centralised customer database, updating and recording relevant information.
"Technically, this is a very elegant solution," says McGovern. "Using Web Services to overlay existing networks and hardware is not only very fast, but it also reduces the requirement for decentralised servers. Thin client solutions with centralised processing also creates easier ongoing maintenance for our IT division. This was a smooth, and a swiftly deployed, integration project.
"In addition, there are also the less tangible benefits for employees. At branch level, significant resources were employed on compliance issues. Now centralised, it reduces the workload locally and creates a team of professionals centrally. Both sets of employees benefited from the migration of function.
"Finally, we can provide group wide reports for external reporting instantly. At the same time, we can offer our customers an instant response. We are delighted on all counts."