Impact Dispatch: Notes from the Smarter Process Keynote
Each organization seeing topline growth, thanks to processes made smarter and more customer-centric - through the transformative power of mobile, data and cloud.
In the Smarter Process keynote at IBM Impact, IBM Vice President of Smarter Process David Millen challenged attendees to pursue similar paths and provided ample evidence of how it could be done.
Launched at Impact one year ago, Smarter Process is IBM's approach for reinventing business operations to enable greater customer centricity. It's built on the belief that regardless of your industry, a business process must be:
For 2014, the Smarter Process vision takes its cues from the Composable Business concept put forth by Robert LeBlanc in this morning's opening general session. Now, organizations need to keep the following tenets in mind:
To illustrate how this can happen, Millen then invited Larry Trainer and Jamie Rogalski, both of Fidelity Investments, to the stage. Trainer, VP of Engineering and Rogalski, Director of Project Management, told the story of how with a Smarter Process approach and capabilities, they were able to transform an aging, creaky and hostile user experience into a competitive advantage.
As a provider of workplace savings plans (actually, the largest in the U.S.), Fidelity must provide financial reports to some 19,000 employees and meet federal reporting requirements - the Form 5500. But an aging infrastructure, inflexible processes, capability gaps and a cumbersome, multi-step client engagement experience were hurting performance. "Those problems were manifesting themselves in the client experience."
Fidelity met the challenge head-on. "We needed a different approach to solve a traditional set of problems," said Rogalski. "We realized that what's good for the client is also good for us."
To seek out that crucial quick win, Fidelity went down the path of a four-week proof-of-concept (POC) with IBM BlueWorks Live and IBM Business Process Manager.
Next, the team pursued a 13-week quick win pilot (QWP) to validate the solution.
Again, it worked, and the project went live as planned in January 2014.
"We didn't want to re-platform an old process on new technology," said Trainer. "We really wanted to lead with process."
From a technology and customer experience perspective, the results have been outstanding.
In the former, a cumbersome, weeks-long manual process has been replaced with a move to straight-through processing that enables customers to make adjustments online and that integrates with the U.S. Department of Labor to satisfy regulatory requirements. "We wanted to go from a customer thinking 'This is taking a lot longer than expected' to 'Fidelity made this much easier for me'," said Rogalski.
Under the covers, Fidelity's new and smarter process rests on three components:
The benefits have so surpassed the team's original expectations to reach into the realm of new competitive advantage. "We've enabled capabilities that we expect to be market differentiators," said Trainer.
"Clients can now interact with our processes. That's a big driver for customer growth and retention. The analytics we're now getting will help us move the needle even further than our original expectations."