i-flex Launches “New Process Framework for Banking

Mumbai -20 September 2006

Process Enabler to Transform Banking Operations, Enhance Process Efficiencies and Provide a Framework for Managing Operational Risk

i-flex® solutions (Reuters: IFLX.BO & IFLX.NS), a leading provider of technology solutions to the global financial services industry, announced the launch of the “i-flex Process Framework for Banking (iPFB)”, a tool for transforming banking operations. iPFB is a repository of processes that draws on best practices that i-flex has developed in working with more than 660 customers in over 120 countries.

iPFB will help banks tackle one of their biggest challenges - improving process efficiency while simultaneously managing operational risks by allowing them to optimize processes using a Business Process Management (BPM) approach. Banks can also use iPFB to control Operational Risk and integrate diverse applications into a common operating environment.

More conventional approaches to the problem only offer process specifications that must be coded into software or managed manually. As processes can change frequently, keeping such processes up-to-date is extremely tedious, time consuming and error prone. In addition, banks are unable to centrally view and manage processes that are implemented across geographies and often with local variations. Until now, banks have typically lacked a measurement-based feedback mechanism that is essential to manage process performance and have not had a method to evaluate the impact of proposed changes.

iPFB specifically solves these problems. It offers both business process definitions and corresponding executable processes which are implemented using the industry-standard Business Process Execution Language (BPEL).

“Banks are struggling with the challenge of transforming their systems to achieve business agility without risking business disruption. iPFB provides them with the tools to implement business process improvements without a major surgery to the supporting application and IT infrastructure. It also provides them with a way to move from a legacy environment to an SOA environment in a phased manner, while managing operational risk effectively,” says R Ravisankar, CEO International Operations and Business Development, i-flex solutions. “Together this adds up to immediate positive impact on the business.”

Banks using iPFB can now make every part of their institutions as good as the best part because they can analyze data centrally and roll out best practices across the enterprise. It is a training enabler as it maintains the latest process specifications in a manner that can easily be understood by business users. In addition, iPFB monitors risk indicators and serves as the implementation of a Risk Control Self Assessment framework. It also significantly simplifies the task of making process and control information available to regulators when required.

The processes are organized by lines of business - for example, Trade Finance, Retail Lending, Treasury, Cash Management, Wealth Management and Investment Banking -and are defined in a manner understandable by business users. They are end-to-end processes crossing departmental boundaries and are organized by functional areas such as customer service, risk & control, execution and marketing & management.

Today most financial institutions own a complex web of siloed applications that were designed to primarily meet departmental requirements. These same applications impose their own opaque processes; every time banks needed to adapt to changing market and business demands, they implemented new applications or customized existing ones. Banks have begun to break these applications down into a range of services. What has been a challenge is to knit these services together to create an end-to-end banking process.

“iPFB moves i-flex from a vendor of software to that of system integrator and advisor to the largest of banks,” says Bart Narter, senior analyst with the banking group at Celent LLC.

Banks can use iPFB to accelerate their business process management (BPM) initiatives using a battery of well proven processes to knit together diverse applications and manual steps. For banks who want to begin the transition to a process driven environment i-flex offers a range of services including operating business model definition; process architecture and re-design; process integration and implementation and maintenance services.

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