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Live from InterACT - Bernhard Nann's Keynote

(Posted by guest blogger, James Taylor)

Back to this blog for a session on Fair Isaac's product road map presented by Bernhard Nann, Fair Isaac's CTO. Fair Isaac is in the middle of a major evolution in their decision management solutions and in their platform for these applications. Today decision management solutions tend to be fragmented both by line of business and by customer life cycle - fraud, originations, credit cards, auto loans are all separate. Each of them is quite sophisticated but they are not connected, meaning that the decision process is discontinuous. Risk managers cannot manage the whole life cycle and criminals can use the gaps to target companies. This has to change he says.

The market for decision management applications has changed for a number of reasons.

  • Risk management increasingly crosses across silos and product lines, as does customer value assessment. Deposit, investment and brokerage accounts are being combined with credit accounts.
  • Chief Risk Officers are more common in financial services and more central to an overall risk strategy. Companies are talking about a corporate foundation for risk that can be pushed out to multiple countries and business lines while still taking advantage of local opportunities - control but flexible control with localized rules and models for local regulations, opportunities and customer preferences.
  • Banks and insurance companies are also looking to optimization and adaptive analytics, analytics that have a closed loop response, to improve results.
  • Finally, all of this comes with a greater pressure for transparency from Basel II and similar regulations - monitoring, reporting and notification must cover the whole life cycle and all products.

Technology too has been changed.

  • Distributed, component-based computing has become mainstream allowing a service-oriented architecture or SOA.
  • Disparate systems no longer require integration using batch transfers of data but take advantage of dynamic, more real-time integration.
  • The externalization of business logic has become mainstream with business rules management systems supporting business logic across the enterprise and across multiple decision management systems - many point solutions can share rules and decisions.

These two sets of trends and driving the new set of decision management systems Fair Isaac is delivering.  These new applications will be connected so that decisions can be managed consistently across the life cycle and across products and so that preventative, not remedial, decisions can be made by applying what is learned at one point to another. These connected systems also improve visibility by consider customers across products, across accounts and over time. Integration of these systems into the corporate IT architecture is easier also, a critical issue as financial services organizations standardize on a common IT platform with more re-use, less data and logic replication. Lower total cost of ownership is critical both on the technical side and on the business side - the same code, the same data but also the same management of rules, same development of models. Organizations want to manage common logic and common models once and share them across multiple systems and use the same skills to customize their behavior in different countries. Fair Isaac feels it can do all this because they understand how to build decision management solutions, how to develop and use decision platform products like business rules management systems and analytic models. Their partnership with IBM allows them to use IBM's middleware - WebSphere - as a base. The new products will share a number of items:

  • Shared data model to ensure data can be shared effectively across decisions
  • A single business rules management system, Blaze Advisor, will manage the business logic across all the applications enabling decision logic, models and flows to be shared and reused
  • IBM's Enterprise Service Bus (ESB) makes integration of these decision management systems, and the components within them, easy and straightforward
  • A unified reporting environment provides transparency and understanding across the systems and customers
  • A single case management environment allows cases to move between groups and reflect what happens at each stage

Bernhard gave an overview but pointed a session that I will be blogging on the Smart (enough) Systems blog later for more details. Fair Isaac plans to roll out new versions of all its core applications over the coming years that support connected decisions and are built on a service-oriented component architecture.

Back to the Smart (enough) Systems blog for the next few sessions


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