Guest Blog:Dave Perman , Sr. Product Manager - IBM
For IBM Case Manager’s design, development and offering teams, Friday, September 13th was a very good day. After a year of hard work by IBMers that span the globe, it was the day that the forth major release of the product, version 5.2, was available for worldwide download.
ICM 5.2 contains major enhancements requested by our partners and customers.
It starts with its support for the unified Content Platform Engine 5.2 that offers greater architectural simplicity in addition to performance. This platform release also included capabilities needed to support several new ICM 5.2 features.
A new ICM web based administrative client, modeled after the platform’s ACCE counterpart, makes tasks like configuration and import/export much easier and accessible right from your browser.
Case Builder also got its share of new features. From its integrated solution page designer, to a new data layout editor that lets you design rich form like views to display your case properties, to an integrated rules designer that has case property awareness, and finally to a completely rewritten task step editor that is significantly faster and easier to use. By being part of Case Builder, artifacts from these components are now included in the solution package and automatically deployed along with everything else, saving you time and many manual steps.
The final piece to the ICM 5.2 puzzle is the completely new Case Client. Now built on top of ECM’s popular Content Navigator framework, the client gains performance, visual consistency and behaviors with the other ECM apps like Content Navigator, and a bunch of new features such as Case Visualizer that gives case workers a complete view of what is happening with their cases. You can even combine other Navigator features into a single desktop along with the Case Client for those users who want quick access to each.
Customers and partners who were involved in the release’s design have praised its architectural streamlining, its enhanced customization and configuration, its alignment with a common, standards based UI framework, and its ability to empower end user to handle case style solutions faster and more efficiently.
For us on the design and development teams, we will enjoy the moment, catch a well deserved breath and then start the process all over again. For the rest of you, check out IBM.com and developerWorks for more details on IBM Case Manager 5.2. We think you will like what you see.
Guest Blogby Michael Green - Offering lead, IBM Case Manager
Momentum is a product of the mass and velocity of an object. When something grows in size and in speed it gains momentum. With its feature rich 5.2 release in September of this year, and its increasing number of new customers, partner solutions and implementations, IBM Case Manager is gaining significant momentum in the ACM marketplace.
It is well known that IBM ECM is clearly the ECM market leader with over 2000 customers, but what is less understood is the market momentum of IBM Case Manager. Starting at zero less than three years ago ICM now has several hundred customers and over twenty proven partner solutions, while customer success stories increase month over month. Customers are increasingly reaping the benefits of empowering their knowledge workers and are using the advanced features of ICM to help them make informed, consistent decisions to affect positive case resolutions.
While growing speed of customer adoption is one aspect ICM’s product momentum, the new 5.2 release adds significant mass to its equation. ICM 5.2 is the most mature, feature rich case offering in ICM’s history. Building on the concept of empowering the knowledge worker, ICM 5.2 adds real ad hoc processing to complement its ability to divide processes into discrete tasks. By so doing it enables knowledge workers to be in control of their case files while empowering them with both predefined and ad hoc process management. 5.2 also provides a tighter relationship with information by leveraging the new Content Navigator Experience Framework as its UI component. This provides a developmentally stable platform, better visual design tools and superior document management capabilities. Equally, the analytics story in ICM 5.2 is augmented by the new Case Visualizer capability, allowing users to graphically track case progression and, leveraging Navigator, tighter integration with BI tools like Cognos BI through its HTML 5 technology.
The real momentum with IBM Case Manager 5.2 however, is at the level of the knowledge worker. Increasingly enterprises around the world are using ICM solutions provided by IBM Partners to enable their knowledge workers with access to the right information, the relevant documents, the power to make decisions and to use discrete process management to drive those decisions to positive outcomes. Leveraging this market velocity with its mass of new features makes ICM 5.2 a must see.
Are you the LOB Manager or LOB Director, the CTO or the IT Director in your organization? Then the ACM tracks in the ECM Forum are for you. You will learn how to combine information, process and people to provide a complete view of case information and achieve optimized outcomes.
We will be showcasing some of the exciting stuff throughout the course of the event and I am sure you will have your brain stretched with the amount of takeaways we have in store for you! You will learn about the latest solutions and best practices for quickly using content and process management with advanced analytics, business rules, collaboration and social software to help drive better decisions.
Listen to these customer speakers:
Texas Office of the Attorney General: will share how IBM Case Manager helped streamline victims of crime compensation claims at the Texas OAG.
Turner Industries: will share how they are using IBM Case Manager to manage their quality assurance processes.
Great West Life: will share how to resolve multiple business challenges with IBM Case Manager in concert with IBM Business Partner, Ultera’s solution for insurance.
Do plan to attend these top sessions:
M 08:15 ECM in the General Session
M 10:15 IBM Case Manager to manage criminal history
M 02:00 ECM Keynote: Smarter Content. New Insights. Better Outcomes.
M 03:30 IBM ECM Products & Strategy
T 03:00 Zurich Mexico deploys IBM Case Manager
T 04:30 IBM Case Manager at Turner Industries
W 08:15 ECM in the General Session
W 10:00 Claim-to-Payment: ACM using IBM Case Manager comes to the rescue
R 11:15 Complex claims solutions: Transforming your operations using IBM Case Manager
Please visit the EXPO to learn more about IBM Case Manager and Case Management Solutions:
§ Stop by the Case Management pedestals to learn more about IBM Case Manager 5.2 and how it enables mobile solutions
§ See 15+ Business Partners at the EXPO with case management solutions
§ Visit the Smarter Process pedestal
§ Come see the Case Manager and Content Navigator demo at the Demo Gallery
Do not miss our exciting Business Partner solutions:
Adjacent: Award-winning Texas OAG’s Crime Victim Services Division solution to manage the victim application process, eligibility determination, case management and more.
Pyramid Solutions: A new Cloud/SaaS offering built on IBM Case Manager 5.2 from Pyramid Solutions.
IPD: Complex claims solutions: Transforming your operations using IBM Case Manager.
I would really encourage all of you reading this to view the entire IBM ECM ACM Agenda and use the session builder tool to build your personal agenda. So go ahead and put the exciting ACM sessions on your calendar as must do activities. Hope to meet with you at a bigger, better and exciting Information OnDemand Conference 2013
When I was the CEO of an independent document capture company (Datacap), I found it painful to listen to customers articulate why they were reluctant to bring in a specialty vendor for technology like document capture. "There is a lot of overhead in managing vendor relationships," is the way the discussion would often start. Datacap, being itself a relatively small company working with only a modest number of vendors, did not prepare me to be sympathetic to these concerns.
I would argue that it was far better for them to select the "best of breed" solution then to hang their hats on keeping the number of vendors they are working with down. Seemed obvious to me that the better technology would also be the better choice, no matter how many vendors that involved.
Sometimes that argument worked... but many times it did not help. Customers from large organizations have significant challenges, even within the confines of that organization. Sometimes Herculean efforts are required just to align the interests of different departments, notably those with operational responsibilities versus those with technical/IT responsibilities. Throw into the mix hundreds of vendors with different licensing terms, different support structures and availability, and you get the recipe for ongoing chaos.
Large financial institutions are the very model of these challenges. As banking has been transformed globally from a large set of small organizations with primarily local customers into far-reaching regional, national, and global institutions, the challenges they face in managing technology and, of course, the vendors providing that technology, are vast. What's one more vendor in the mix? It might be the straw the breaks the camel's back!
Now I understand the logic behind vendor consolidation far better - and it helps explain the success we have had in banking and finance as IBM Datacap... that we were never able to achieve when we were an independent vendor. Particularly with the Production Imaging Edition (PIE), we are offering a complete imaging packaging from capture to repository. Of course, there are other explanations as well, not the least of which is the increasingly tight integration we have established with the repository where captured documents are stored.
There's no magic number of vendors, but there is a hidden dynamic that I have learned: on the buying side of the technology equation there are constraints and considerations that legitimately have an impact on vendor selection. Have you run into those constraints? I'd like to hear your experience.
Although I have been involved in document capture for over 20 years, it was not until Datacap joined forces with IBM in 2010 that we started to meet regularly with large banks to help them address their massive mortgage processing challenges. Even given all the things that I had learned over the years about high-volume document capture, I have been surprised just how many nuances and special considerations that there are when it comes time to scan a mortgage.
Are you considering scanning and advanced document capture in your mortgage business (or are you just interested in learning more capture tricks-of-the-trade)? If so, then here's my list of the two most important ways that mortgage document capture is special:
1) Document = Batch
Most document capture applications are batch oriented. Why? Because it is almost always more efficient to scan a number of documents all at once (a "batch") versus one at a time. It is also a very useful simplification technique to reduce the number of "things" to track by grouping them into a batch, for example, if a batch consists of 50 documents, then there is a 50-to-1 reduction in 'things' to track.
There are some situations, however, where each document is its own batch. For example, this is often the case when the capture system reads from faxes. Typically each transmission is read into its own batch, and the sender is typically sending one document. Bank branch batch capture (described here) is another good example, where a customer hands over a document to a branch officer and that officer scans that document as a “batch.”
But mortgages are different. Depending on how you count documents, a mortgage packet of 200 or 250 pages may consist of 15 or 20 fairly generic document types up to 50 to 75 very specific doc types. In other words, the one meta-document, the "mortgage," is made up of many different individual documents, e.g. the loan agreement, proof of employment, liens, etc.
2) The primacy of document classification
For many years, advanced document capture was called "forms processing" because the task was to read data off of fixed forms. The archetypical application of forms processing technology was reading tax returns for government revenue departments. There may be different tax forms and schedules, but typically they had bar codes or other easy-to-identify distinguishing marks. (Read the Virginia Department of Taxation case study.)
A mortgage "document" with all its sub-documents is a completely different beast. In the packet there may be some forms with bar codes, but there are many pages that have to be "read" to figure out what they are. The biggest task - by far - when processing a mortgage is to figure out what each of the sub-documents is, and where they end and the next begins. There's no easy one-size-fits-all solution. Doing a good job requires an armory of techniques, some simple and fast like bar code recognition, and some much more sophisticated such as fingerprint matching and textual classification via content analytics.
Of course, mortgage processing shares many challenges and processing characteristics with other large-scale document capture environments. For example, demands for timeliness are high – getting the documents into the repository at the first possible moment in order to make them available for loan servicing or other parts of the organization. And there is a role – in some organizations – for remote capture in a browser or through MFPs of mortgages and/or related follow-on documents.
Mortgage processing is a bit different than many, perhaps most, document capture applications. But if you have any experience in document capture, you know that one of the enduring characteristics of capture is that it is “hard” exactly because each application is different. Even within the category of mortgage processors - e.g. originators, wholesale, correspondent – each have different needs on what document sub-types they want to identify. The knowledge and experience of one implementation can help with the next, but it is never just a matter of plugging in the same application for two different banks and expecting them to both work the same way!
Document capture improves customers' experience at the bank
These days customers expect their branch banking experience to be like their other retail activities - quick, efficient, and seamlessly interwoven into the smart phone-based tempo of their lives. To stay competitive, a bank must deliver a snappy, iPhone-like experience, even in the context of a walk-in customer. While walking into a bank branch is not the same thing as using an on-demand service from Google and Facebook, many bank customers, particularly the younger ones that banks are always seeking to attract, expect immediate and accurate responses to their requests.
Since documents - like loan and new account applications, signature cards, and changes of address - are central to bank operations, the ability to process those documents quickly and accurately is key to meeting today's consumer expectations. And meeting or exceeding those expectations is the route to a happy customer experience.
Here's how a European bank made their customers much happier
I've recently worked with one of our banking customers in Europe. When I first met with them a year and a half ago, they were determined to improve their customers' in-branch experience, particularly when the customer would come in for a paper document-related transaction (as opposed to simply depositing or removing money).
Before Datacap, the customer would sit with a bank officer who would review the documents for completeness, thank them, and instruct them to come back the next day. Then the officer would type content from the documents into the relevant bank system, as well as faxing or sending the physical documents to a central location.
Now the process has been revolutionized. The paper documents are still there, the customer is still sitting with the bank officer, but once the officer takes a quick look at the document, they drop them into a document scanner at their desk. Then they wait (see my blog about that wait and why it is important and a challenge!). The goal is a turn around time of around 15 seconds, but at peak times it might take a minute.
While the bank officer and the customer are having a quick chat, a lot is happening in the background:
- document images are sent from the branch to central servers
- OCR and ICR, document classification, image enhancement, data validations all take place
- the results are sent back to the branch
Then the officer can review the electronic document, sign off and complete the transaction.
Speed doesn't help if the data being capture is riddled with errors. A mistake on a loan application can be devastating - a denied loan and a potentially desperate search for alternative financing. The manual process of entering data has always been a weak link in banking transactions. Automated data extraction using optical character recognition and related techniques and technologies can reduce errors, particularly when those technologies are paired with skilled workers, such as a bank officer, who reviews the results of automated recognition.
Accuracy is improved because the software will flag problem fields for review. So the bank officer looks only at fields with suspected problems. Worse case scenario: they review every field and it takes as long as it would to do manually. Either way, accuracy is improved because you have one pass of automated data entry and one pass of review by an experienced human.
Fast and accurate transaction make for happier customers
Document capture helps make sure the customer's high expectations are speedily met, so they can leave feeling good and maybe even with some additional money in their pocket! Happier customers make for happier banks who can more easily acquire new customers more easily and retain their existing ones.
For ongoing insights follow me on Twitter @CaptureGuru.
The 2013 IBM Enterprise Content Management Customer Innovation Awards program is seeking submissions by Aug. 23. This program recognizes IBM ECM clients who have demonstrated excellence in creating exceptional business value from IBM ECM software. Winners will be selected from among those organizations who have implemented innnovative solutions using IBM ECM software. Winners will be recognized at the Information On Demand 2013 Conference, November 3 - 7, 2013, Las Vegas, NV. Attendance at the conference is not mandatory to win an award.
For the Innovation Award submission form please email: Amit Kumar,
SUBMIT nomination by AUG. 23
WHY ENTER? The IBM Enterprise Content Management Customer Innovation Awards have a long history of recognizing outstanding companies that have implemented innovative ECM solutions combining business and technical vision with demonstrable results.Past winners include:
UniCredit Allianz Suisse
American International Group
Bluecross BlueShield of Tennessee
State of North Dakota
Standard Chartered Bank
U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission
Tejon Ranch Company
Novartis International AG
Apart from the prestige associated with the awards, it presents an unique opportunity for our customers to showcase their innovative use of ECM technology and to:
Be distinguished as a technology leader in your industry solving specific business challenges.
This awards program will recognize innovative use of IBM Enterprise Content Management solution to solve challenging, leading-edge problems that face your / your customer's organization and industry. This solution brings together IBM capabilities in creative, visionary ways. The results yield quantifiable outcomes, enabling you to stand ahead of your peers and transform the way you do business. The solution relies on one or more of the following capabilities and can also include IBM Business Partner involvement and/or solutions:
Capture: Document Imaging and Capture solution
Activate: Advanced Case Management solution
Socialize: Social Content Management solution
Analyze: Content Analytics solution
Govern: Information Lifecycle Governance solution
Other IBM solution
IBM Business Partner solution
In all nominations, judges will look for deployed applications that solve challenging or unique business problems. Extra emphasis will be placed on quantifiable return on investment or creative deployments that lead specific industries for business transformation
I’ve been on my high horse – or more accurately, my bicycle – for a while about looking at the benefits of document capture from a different point of view: the customer’s customer, and how it affects them. I summarized these ideas in a video tribute to the Tour de France which ended in Paris yesterday… Tour de Office...
But let’s look at the details. How does document capture fit into a strategy of improving customer satisfaction, better customer retention, and acquisition? Let's think of it from the point of view of a bank and their retail customers. Banking globally is still one of those businesses where paper plays a crucial role in many customer interactions. Capturing data off of a new account application or a loan origination form is crucial to the bank's business - and doing it accurately and in a timely manner will have a big impact on customer satisfaction.
But these metrics, no matter how significant, do not tell the whole story of the way that document capture and imaging can improve a bank customer's experience. It goes beyond the simple ability to turn a document around, i.e. to process the information on it.
Take a look at this quick video from PT Bank Internasional Indonesia (also known as Maybank) in Indonesia. As a rapidly growing bank, they faced daunting obstacles in scaling up their paper processes, particularly as they surveyed the market for international expansion. Account opening, for example, was a manual, paper-based process, delaying the sharing of information between branches. The goal, for Maybank was a central repository to store documents so that branches and departments that previously faced massive hurdles in sharing information could start to do so effortlessly.
Digitizing and electronically capturing customer documents helps Maybank simplify and iterate account-opening and remittance processes, which reduces turnaround time and improves customer satisfaction. The solution also allows them to update customer records and transactions in real time and then share this information across multiple systems for accurate decision making.
In other words, a significant benefit, and one that has a direct impact on customer satisfaction, was the ability to break down some of the barriers within the bank itself. (I’ve explored this theme in an earlier blog on Smarter Commerce.)
And let's not forget that by "truncating" (scanning and destroying) the paper early in the process - at the branch - there is a huge benefit to the customer of increased security for their personal information. The loan application they fill in, instead of floating around the branch, and being sent as unencrypted paper around various bank departments, with sensitive personal information, including income and dates, now becomes an electronic document, all access to which is strictly controlled and tracked.
This is just one, real-world example illustrating some of the indirect benefits of document capture. Of course, capturing a document is really just the beginning of a process, most commonly associated with document imaging. It’s an academic question whether the true value is in the capturing or the storing (and retrieval!) of documents. The point is that when combined, capturing and imaging documents can play a central role in a customer-centric document strategy, which both improves internal processes and customer satisfaction.
Learn more about IBM’s Production Imaging Edition which features a unique bundle of document imaging and capture technologies here.
And don’t forget to follow me @CaptureGuru on Twitter!
Join the IBM ECM session today (May 23) at Smarter Commerce Global Summit, Nashville 2013 where you will have the opportunity to learn how IBM ECM software enables an organization to make better decisions, faster. Featured ECM presentation for Day 3 includes:
Join the IBM ECM today (May 22) at Smarter Commerce Global Summit, Nashville 2013 where you will have the opportunity to learn how IBM ECM software enables an organization to make better decisions, faster. Featured ECM presentations for Day 2 includes:
Join the IBM ECM today (May 21) at Smarter Commerce Global Summit, Nashville 2013 where you will have the opportunity to learn how IBM ECM software enables an organization to make better decisions, faster. Featured ECM presentations for Day 1 includes:
Session # 3279
Location: Jackson A
10:45 - 11:45 AM
Manage and Exploit Customer Content and Communications to Achieve Superior Customer Service
Myriad documents, email, fax, forms, and statements initiate and define customer relationships, and record transactions and communications throughout the customer lifecycle. Often, records of customer interaction are scattered across departments and systems, thereby inhibiting superior customer service. Learn how to become more effective and efficient in serving customers by providing a single point of secure access for content and correspondence captured and created during the course of the customer lifecycle, resolving customer service and support issues that require collaboration among subject matter experts, and uncovering detailed insight contained in customer communications.
Session # 3575
Location: Jackson B
12:00 - 1:00pm
Do You Have Your Customer's Back? Improve Customer Service and Loyalty Via Effective Fraud Management
When customers think of the service provided by companies with which they do business, they think not only of the flexibility, convenience and responsiveness of those companies, but also the level of confidence they have when doing business with them. An often overlooked element of world class customer service is effective fraud management. Companies that implement efficient, proactive fraud management inspire customer loyalty because those customers know that their identities, accounts, and personal information are protected; their transactions and requests will be executed safely and with integrity; and that others they engage with in the context of this company are known entities that can be trusted. Learn how IBM provides a holistic point of view on managing fraud throughout its lifecycle - from discovery to detection through investigation - all done in a proactive manner with the goal of creating a safe environment for customers to do business.
Session # 3576
Location: Jackson B
4:30 - 5:30 PM
Optimizing Self-Service and Customer Communications with Content Manager OnDemand
Today's fast-paced, 24-hour-a-day, constantly connected consumers expect instant access to information that has traditionally been delivered in printed format. They seek partnerships with organizations that embrace ecologically friendly delivery of information, but still expect full access on their time schedules. Content Manager OnDemand embraces these concepts and enables your organization to meet these requirements while saving costs associated with print, fulfillment and retention of critical transaction documents. Explore use cases which align with Consumer Products, Banking, Finance, Insurance and other industries which leverage this solution to engage with consumers, including you, on a daily basis.
IBM ECM at Smarter Commerce Global Summit, Nashville 2013 (May 21-23)
IBM Enterprise Content Management (ECM) solutions help businesses deliver exemplary service to their customers across multiple touch points, anticipating client behavior and taking action to promote customer satisfaction. IBM ECM is the established leader in directly supporting the customer service needs of banking, finance, insurance, utilities, telecommunications and government.
With IBM ECM solutions targeted to specific line-of-business needs, organizations can capture, manage and share critical content associated with suppliers, products, services and customers throughout its life cycle to help ensure compliance, reduce costs and maximize productivity.
Join the IBM ECM team at Smarter Commerce Global Summit, Nashville 2013 where you will have the opportunity to learn how IBM ECM software enables an organization to make better decisions, faster. Featured ECM presentations include:
Date & Time
Tue, May 21, 2013
10:45 AM - 11:45 AM
Manage and Exploit Customer Content and Communications to Achieve Superior Customer Service
Tue, May 21, 2013
12:00 PM - 1:00 PM
Do You Have Your Customer's Back? Improve Customer Service & Loyalty Via Effective Fraud Management
Tue, May 21, 2013
4:30 PM - 5:30 PM
Optimizing Self-Service and Customer Communications with Content Manager OnDemand
Tue, May 21, 2013
3:00 PM - 4:00 PM
IBM Mobile Enterprise Content Management
Wed, May 22, 2013
12:00 PM - 1:00 PM
Find the "Voice of Your Customer" with IBM Content Analytics
Wed, May 22, 2013
3:00 PM - 4:00 PM
How Collaborative Customer Interaction Management Improves the Quality of Customer Service
Guest Blogby Michael Green - Offering lead, IBM Case Manager
What is next for case management in healthcare? Lets start with some interesting statistics. Medical information is doubling every 5 years, and the majority of it is unstructured – not just health or financial data, but reports, notes and documentation – including things like digital images, xrays and lab reports. Another interesting statistic is that each year in the US, 1.5 million people are incorrectly prescribed medication, and up to 98,000 die of preventable errors in hospitals alone. We trust our doctors, we trust our system, but at critical areas it is not meeting that trust.
The next steps for case management in healthcare is to begin the process of making sense of the growing information available and to provide better guidance to the healthcare professionals who we trust to make our life and death decisions. Capture the information wherever it may be housed, analyze it – both unstructured and structured – and provide both focused individual data and objective cross-patient analytics to our medical providers so that they can make the right decisions to affect positive outcomes. The medical establishment worldwide has come to the realization that some of the ways it can rein in the cost of healthcare is by being proactive: by identifying high-risk patients early on; by putting in place home based health plans to help those patients reduce their risk; and by making better, more informed, decisions. This is not just a US trend, promoted by the Affordable Health Care Act, it is a worldwide initiative. The ability of advanced case management to provide the information and analytics to improve investigation and decision-making is a key capability in the next phase of medical care.
IBM Patient Care and Insight is an application written on top of IBM Case Manager. It brings together assets from IBM Research and from the Watson initiative to provide powerful predictive and analytical tools to help healthcare professionals make more informed decisions. It also provides access to patient information, next steps, best practices and collaboration within a single web based interface that can allow all those involved in a patient’s care – in the hospital, the home and the wider community based medical establishment - to have a single reference and tool for care management. IPCI is the first step in bringing the power of advanced analytics in an interconnected world to help rein in the cost of healthcare and provide better outcomes to patients.
Please join us at Impact Global Conference to discuss the Patient Care and Insights solution tomorrow, Wednesday, May 1 - 12:00–12:45 AM
IBM Patient Care and Insights: A Care Coordination and Management Solution
Guest post by David G. Caldeira, IBM Director of ECM Products and Strategy
The shift from traditional software delivery models to cloud or SaaS for some use cases has gained quite a bit of momentum over the last five years. In fact, IBM expects cloud computing to deliver $7 billion in revenue by 2015.
Traditional business applications can be complicated and expensive. Some require a team of experts to install, configure, test, run, secure, and update them. When you multiply this across dozens or hundreds of applications, it’s easy to see why even companies with the best IT departments don’t get all the applications they need.
With cloud computing, costs can be reduced pretty dramatically because you’re not managing hardware and software – the vendor does it for you. The shared infrastructure means it works like a utility: you only pay for what you need, upgrades are automatic, and scaling up or down is easy.
This week at IMPACT 2013, we’ll be demonstrating a case manager solution for SmartCloud, IBM’s enterprise-class, secure cloud technology. It’s a hosted environment for demonstration, evaluation, education, development and testing of case management solutions.
Organizations today face case management challenges that require more insight, responsiveness and collaboration. IBM Case Manager extends case management by integrating capabilities designed to help close cases efficiently with better results – in essence, to work smarter. Using enhanced and proven capabilities, advanced case management helps companies deliver better business outcomes by extracting more value out of their information -- whether that’s in a customer request, loan application, complex industry or regulatory procedure or other complex, knowledge worker-driven activities.
By automating the right processes, applying the right analysis and involving the right people, management can optimize case outcomes.
For example, UniCredit, a global banking and financial services company, wanted to take a proactive approach to crisis management and establish world-class capabilities via faster response times, a shorter decision chain, and the ability to share information with authorities and other banks. With Case Manager, UniCredit is now able to quickly simulate different scenarios of an event or combine different events in a single case from internal and external data sources. This information can be securely shared across the organization or with external parties via PC, tablet or Blackberry. As a result, the bank has been able to reduce risk, minimize liability, secure information, and capture the experience to learn and prepare for future crisis.
Tejon Ranch, the largest private landholding in California, is using Case Manager to maneuver contracts through the office more easily and ensure that insurance certificates are updated from more than 5,000 consultants. The company can also quickly react to access bonds for general use improvements and additional building projects. Management can easily track what’s been spent, maintain all supporting documents for those activities, and be ready to take advantage of the best opportunity to exercise future bonds
This latest release of Case Manager is part of IBM's overall strategy to deliver advanced case management solutions that unify information, processes and people within many industries to handle their critical business caseloads more effectively. You can see a preview of Case Manager on SmartCloud and other Smarter Content solutions in action at Booth SP-6 in the Smarter Process zone.
Guest blog by Michael Green - Offering lead, IBM Case Manager
While an understanding of how the power of content differentiates IBM Case Manager from IBM BPM is important in any discussion of the two, it is not the only differentiator. Another key feature of case management is that in case the knowledge worker or case manager is the main decision maker. As such, the ability to provide flexible process flows that emanate from the case worker and do not have a predetermined outcome is of critical importance.
In classic BPM the processes are understood as being end to end – with business rules and process parameters dictating the process flow between applications and through an organization. Out of this structure comes repeatable processes, enhanced efficiencies and faster throughput. A rules based assembly line assembly line for enhancing the productivity of knowledge works.
Case management however, defies this rational. It is has too many unrepeatable steps, too many that if they are repeatable are done so out of order, or used for some cases and not others. Mostly, it is a process that is driven not by a rules engine but by a knowledge or case worker, based on the unique specifics of the case. Certainly there can be business rules involved to handle initial triaging and scoring, and process choreography to handle the required back end updating and data collection, but the majority of decisions and task initiation in a case are made by the case workers themselves. These decisions are based on the documentation associated with the case, the policies and regulations surrounding the case type, and the case workers own understanding of what would be needed to successfully resolve the case file – to achieve a positive outcome.
To achieve the benefits of BPM in a case scenario the processes must therefore be discrete, individual and none sequential. They must be able to be chosen as needed by the case worker and include the ability to launch ad hoc process steps (usually via email sent from within the application) and include searchable comments – so that decisions are documented and kept in context. These are capabilities found in IBM Case Manager about which I will enunciate next post.