Global Bank Scenario
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This Smart Client Software Factory uses the Global Bank Scenario to identify common business challenges that drive many of the requirements for the Smart Client Software Factory reference implementation. The Global Bank Scenario is used across the patterns & practices software factories; these factories include the Web Service Software Factory, Smart Client Software Factory, Web Client Software Factory, and Mobile Client Software Factory.
This topic contains a summary of the scenario and describes the important drivers for the Smart Client Software Factory. For detailed information about the scenario, see Global Bank Scenario.
Business Environment of Global Bank
Global Bank has undergone a series of substantial changes in the last 10 years, starting with the deregulation of the U.S. financial services industry in the late 1990s. Seeking to rapidly expand its portfolio, the bank undertook a series of mergers and acquisitions. Global Bank now has over 200 branches across the western United States and offers a complete line of integrated financial services, including:
- Core accounts. This includes savings and checking accounts.
- Lending. This includes credit cards, consumer loans (such as auto and line of credit), mortgage, and home equity.
- Investing. This includes certificates of deposit, trust services, brokerage services (including securities), annuities, individual retirement accounts, and mutual funds.
- Financial planning. This includes comprehensive financial planning services (including retirement, education, and tax) and estate planning (including both future planning and plan execution services).
The bank's profitability lags behind many of its competitors of similar size, but the chief executive officer (CEO) is actively exploring ways to substantially improve profitability in the future.
Improve cross-selling between services
A recent customer survey demonstrated that in many cases customers are unaware of the full suite of services offered by Global Bank. The CEO sees a significant opportunity to encourage existing customers to make use of additional, more profitable services. To this end, the CEO has tasked the chief technology officer (CTO) to explore ways technology can be used to promote cross-selling opportunities.
Increase efficiency from branch offices
The mergers and acquisitions in Global Bank's recent history are also reflected in the branch office experience. Branch office workers must use a variety of different systems to perform customer service operations. This increases training costs for employees and results in slower customer service in each branch.
The CEO wants to provide more efficient service in branches, which he believes will result in lower training costs and greater satisfaction for both the bank customers and staff.
Make one or more additional acquisitions
The CEO has determined that the fastest way to significantly increase market share is to further acquire financial businesses. He is also looking to use these acquisitions to shift the portfolio of Global Bank to increase its focus on more profitable services. Through well chosen acquisitions, the CEO aims to increase both revenue and profitability in the medium term.
After meeting with the CEO, the CTO realizes that the following changes to the IT environment are necessary for Global Bank to meet its business objectives:
- Improve current application integration and simplify the integration of future applications.
- Provide a single client application for branch office and call center employees.
- Provide a smart client application for the appraiser.
The following section discusses each objective in more detail.
Improve Application Integration
The problem of application integration is at the core of many of the problems identified by the CEO. With technology from a number of different vendors, and a patchwork environment that has evolved over time, compromises have been necessary to get systems working quickly. This has resulted in high operations costs and difficulty in adding new services in a cost-effective and timely manner.
To improve interoperability, one option would be to standardize on a single platform. However, the CTO is worried about the migration costs that would occur and recognizes that, with future acquisitions on the horizon, the problem is only likely to reoccur. Instead, the CTO decides the best solution is to focus on better application integration for the existing applications and providing a more standardized approach to application integration. In particular, the CTO wants to make it significantly easier to add and remove systems.
Provide a Single Client Application for Branch Office and Call Center Employees
The CTO wants to develop a single application that the branch officers can use for all day-to-day branch operations. This application would display an interface specific to the job role of the branch office employee, and it would be able to communicate with the bank's many different systems. The same application will also be used in the call center located in Fargo, North Dakota.
The CTO believes that providing a single client application for branch employees will increase employee productivity and satisfaction, reduce data entry errors, reduce training costs, and decrease customer wait times in branches.
Provide a Smart Client Application for the Appraiser
After analyzing its loan processing time, the CTO determined it needs to provide a smart client application for its appraiser to use through the appraisal process. The bank employs appraisers to assess the value of different properties. The appraisers will use the smart client application to obtain assignments and to enter appraisal information. The appraiser can use the application in the office or at the property. When the appraiser is at a property, the application works in offline mode. After the appraiser connects to the centralized application, the appraisal information is synchronized with the bank systems.