December 14, 2006
Business intelligence, business process management and rules engine vendors are forging alliances and integrating systems right and left. So how does all this technology work together? Credit card giant CompuCredit is making the most of the combination, applying BI and business rules to customer service, dispute resolution and fraud detection processes.
One of the largest direct marketers of branded credit cards, CompuCredit has built its business on best-of-breed risk analysis. "Our core competency is building behavioral models that help us manage risk," says CIO Guido Sacchi. "Our analysis of risk, as it relates to each individual customer, needs to be as accurate and as real-time as possible." CompuCredit builds its own behavioral models using SAS for statistical modeling and Business Objects BI software for query and reporting. The models inform decisions on everything from accepting a new credit card applicant to cross-selling products to flagging potentially fraudulent transactions. "Informing" is different than handling those transactions, however, so roughly 18 months ago, CompuCredit selected BPM and rules engine vendor Pegasystems to help it automate customer service processes. "We use Pega as a sort of CRM suite for directing interactions between the customer service agents and the customers," Sacchi explains. "The software has built-in workflows that are very easy to change because of the BPM approach, and we can apply other tools to these processes such as business analytics." The analytics can be used to study process-generated data and spot trends such as an increase in call volumes tied to a particular region, a particular merchant or particular type of transaction. While they're working on the source of the problem, CompuCredit could develop a temporary outgoing (IVR) voice message for related customer support processes acknowledging the problem and, hopefully, circumventing calls. In another example, data flowing from a cross-selling campaign inserted into a customer service process can be quickly analyzed to gauge success and determine whether it should be expanded, revised or abandoned. Sacchi says CompuCredit chose Pegasystems in part because "we are believers that we can simplify and change the process much more easily if it is rules based," he says. As an example, CompuCredit launched a customer dispute resolution process this summer to help automate what had been a highly labor- and paper-intensive task. The BPM software has cut processing time from weeks to days, says Sacchi. Rules are used to ensure compliance with tight deadlines and requirements imposed by Payment Card Industry (PCI) standards, Visa and Mastercard as well as state regulators. The beauty of embedding these requirements as rules is that they can be quickly changed without impacting the underlying process. As for BI's role, dispute resolution "has to be connected to risk analysis capabilities so the card activity gets monitored and we can flag activities that might be a signal of fraud or identity theft," says Sacchi. Thus, the combination of BI, BPM and rules ensures a complete, compliant, quick and well-informed response to customer service needs.
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