DATA ANALYTICS | Case study: Information Builders & Scotiabank

Canadian bank standardizes on iWay to reduce development costs and boost revenue

The organization:
Scotiabank, one of North America’s premier financial institutions and Canada’s most international bank.

The challenge:
An outdated sales information infrastructure was creating delays in the delivery and validation of key information needed to support critical growth strategies.

The strategy:
Create a comprehensive sales reporting environment with automatic data feeds from a variety of financial product lines; use iWay to capture data from multiple retail banking systems to deliver weekly sales reports for the bank’s 1,024 branches.

Information Builders solution:
iWay Service Manager, adapters, DataMigrator, WebFOCUS, and Professional Services.

The results:
Scotiabank’s developers spend less time on integration projects with less code to maintain; the business can open new channels more quickly; sales staff gain faster access to results. Banking officers free up more than 70,000 hours for more customer interaction time.

With more than 12.5 million customers in 50 countries around the world, Scotiabank offers a wide array of products including personal, commercial, corporate, and investment banking services. With CAN$527 billion in assets and 70,000 employees, the organization is one of North America’s leading financial institutions and Canada’s most international bank.

As part of its ongoing process improvement, Scotiabank retail banking executives needed to automate a complex sales reporting process for their branch operations. The bank’s Information Technology and Solutions (IT&S) organization was tasked to deliver on this business need. Initially the IT&S organization planned to develop the capability internally. It considered using technology from the big stack vendors as well as specialized point solutions. The department selected integration technology from iWay Software because of its flexibility, its modular design that permits the addition of new data sources, and because it is scalable enough to handle large infrastructure requirements now and in the future.

Scotiabank has a number of core banking systems, which operate on a variety of computing environments and have different access methods and delivery channels. To streamline integration among various service delivery channels, such as the call center and online customer service, as well as across different product and service lines, Scotiabank standardized on Information Builders’ iWay Software integration technology. Developers in Scotiabank’s IT&S department use iWay Service Manager to create reusable interfaces among the core banking systems and iWay DataMigrator to automate bulk data movement among various information systems and banking channels.

“iWay is decreasing our overall number of point-to-point interfaces, which is a big time-saver for our developers,” says Martine Lamoureux, vice president of development for Core Banking Technology at Scotiabank. “Whenever we have a new project, we try to reuse existing iWay interfaces. Over time we are creating more and more standardized interfaces based on our iWay integration gateway. Creating data extracts gets easier and easier.”

Getting started

Scotiabank IT&S provides global technology solutions to support the bank’s core businesses: Canadian banking, international banking, global wealth management, and Scotia capital. Its technology-based solutions enable Scotiabank to achieve sustained profitable growth and a competitive advantage. Canadian Banking’s use of iWay technology began when developers were creating a sales reporting system called Sales Builder to encourage cross-selling and to track complex sales-results rules. Sales Builder supplies crucial information to employees in the retail, small business, and wealth management banking lines of business, helping to ensure that sales officers are well informed, properly motivated, and appropriately rewarded for their efforts.

With the help of iWay Professional Services, Scotiabank automated a tedious data-entry and reporting process, transposing information from many different databases and multiple banking systems to consolidate the results into a centralized database. The database then feeds Scotiabank’s Sales Builder application.

This is just one example of the type of integration project that Scotiabank has embarked on with iWay Software. The banking giant also uses iWay to streamline corporate acquisitions, extend the life of its legacy systems and facilitate international growth and expansion.

“It doesn’t really matter what types of business applications we build or purchase so long as we have a robust integration platform to connect them together,” says Mike Bekic, director of Branch and CRM Technologies, Scotiabank. “That is our objective with deploying iWay.”

iWay Service Manager correlates information from IMS, VSAM, Oracle, and DB2 databases and transposes it into a common relational format, placing the data into distinct event tables in a DB2 database. iWay DataMigrator then accesses the database tables to populate a Sales Hub data mart, which resides on a mid-tier WebSphere/Java™/DB2 environment. The Sales Hub permits sales and marketing professionals to generate reports about customers, sales, forecasts, and other essential customer relationship management (CRM) activities.

“We didn’t have to write any Java code to do this,” says Bekic. “It was all handled using standard iWay transformation flows and visual tooling.”

Automating manual processes

Scotiabank also used iWay Service Manager to develop data interfaces to the Sales Builder system, which services about 90 percent of the company’s sales officers in the Canadian operation as the basis for assessing its performance in selling credit cards, credit lines, mortgages, and investments.

Scotiabank wanted to replace its manual sales reporting process, which was dependent on officer input, to an automated one that captures sales opportunities and then reports the data back to sales officers in the form of coaching and sales results reports. Rather than relying on a manual system, management made the decision to obtain the information directly by gathering it from 21 system inputs and feeding it into the Sales Hub.
In the manual, operator-driven reporting system, the interpretation of complex business rules resulted in inconsistency of reported results across the 1,024 branches. By embedding the business rules within the automated system, better consistency and improved reporting integrity have been achieved.

The CRM system gives Scotiabank’s Customer Knowledge and Insights department the intelligence it needs to reach out to customers and qualify leads in the contact management system, aligning each customer’s profile and product mix with the skill set of the correct sales officers.

“With the kind of capacity we have created here we can realistically expect to generate an additional $250 million in annual sales volume across all of the products that we deliver to customers,” says Mike Henry, senior vice president of Customer Experience and Distribution Strategy at Scotiabank. “That translates into millions of dollars in bottom-line lift for us.”

Henry estimates that Scotiabank spent about $6 million to develop these IT capabilities for an expected return of $2.5 million per year on a go-forward basis. Just as important, Scotiabank has received a positive response from the sales staff. “Employees are very pleased that we have made them more productive by automating these CRM processes,” he notes.

Creating a flexible rules engine

Information Builders Professional Services used the iWay Business Rules Engine and iWay Complex Event Processing capabilities to govern some of the CRM data management processes. The project team, consisting of subject matter experts, iWay Professional Services, and the Scotiabank’s Integration Competency Center personnel, developed a series of business rules to determine what depicted a sale and how that sale was funded.

For example, if a sales officer helps a customer invest $10,000 into Certificates of Deposit, and then a month later persuades the customer to roll $5,000 of that investment into a mutual fund, there is a different compensation structure for each type of deposit. iWay updates the appropriate banking systems and applies a consistent set of business rules to govern how the sales officer will be compensated for each type of sales activity. If a sale involves a transfer of funds from one location to another, the system can reconcile the results from new and previous sales. This is important since the bank bases sales performance on net new money coming into the bank.

“This was not just a technology project. It was about creating business value by making our employees more productive and more satisfied, so they can focus on what matters most: our customers,” explains Henry. “We devised more than 500 business rules to automate a very complex and boring activity for our personal bankers and financial advisors. This successful project freed up more than 72,000 hours per year that these staff members can now spend advising customers. It gives them more time to provide the excellent service that helps our customers to get ahead financially, and that’s what Scotiabank is all about.”

Reusing iWay interfaces

Bekic credits iWay Professional Services for helping Scotiabank’s in-house staff to understand the iWay integration platform as part of these ambitious IT endeavors. For example, they designed the rules engine to be callable from an XML process flow, which permits rules to be dynamically added or changed without modifying the associated business applications.

“The key to this architecture is to abstract the business rules away from the product systems,” says Bekic. “We don’t need to change 15 or 20 systems to update the rules. We just change the business logic in the mid tier using the web-based interface.”

Scotiabank has created a Center of Expertise (CoE) to promote best practices for using the iWay integration environment, along with a robust enterprise service bus as a universal integration layer. The service bus includes a fully redundant enterprise topology with automatic failover to ensure business continuity. iWay receives financial, product, and sales data via web services interfaces, batch interfaces, and interactive data-input procedures, transforms it into a common format and loads it into a data warehouse. iWay Managed File Transfer (MFT), powered by iWay Service Manager, automates multi-step integration scenarios with complete auditing, notification, and security.

All iWay integration processes are reusable, so Scotiabank can leverage these ETL and MFT assets for other business scenarios involving these core banking systems. For example, the bank also used iWay to streamline the development of a new liquidity system, which has 14 interfaces to legacy applications. Using the iWay integration platform and adapters simplifies integration tasks for developers since they do not need to manually transform the data.

“The iWay toolset has allowed us to be more productive by creating web services rather than writing a host transaction or transformation,” Bekic explains.

Lamoureux estimates that creating new interfaces with iWay takes about half the time of what they formerly had to do in Java. Scotiabank applied these economies of scale to a Liquidity Analysis engine application, used by their treasury department, as well as to a new adjudication module. She foresees further standardization using the iWay platform, since it includes a flexible integration engine and hundreds of adapters to interface with various databases and applications. Whether it’s extracting, transforming, and loading data; handling sophisticated file transfers; monitoring business activity; or managing complex business rules, Scotiabank is leveraging iWay’s ability to perform many types of integration scenarios.

Measuring success one system at a time

Scotiabank has several gauges for measuring the success of each iWay project, including development time, the ability to open new business channels more quickly, and a growing repository of integration assets, which means they don’t have to develop each new interface from scratch. Ultimately, Scotiabank’s senior management wants to have a common integration platform not only for its operations in Canada, but potentially forother core business groups outside of Canada.

Scotiabank plans to use iWay business activity monitoring technology to automatically update the Sales Builder reports as key events occur, and iWay MFT technology to further automate the movement of large volumes of data. Bekic and his team are also exploring iWay Data Quality Center to improve the overall accuracy of customer information and to simplify regulatory issues.

“Our partnership with Information Builders is very important to us,” Bekic concludes. “It’s a constant learning environment, and we see our progress as a win-win for both companies.”

For more information visit

Previous post

Modernization in a Big Data world

Next post

Social media & Big Data

Direct Marketing

Direct Marketing

Lloydmedia, Inc is based in Markham, Ontario, Canada, and is a multi-platform media company which delivers a total audience of more than 100,000 readers across four national magazines, three industry directories, and a range of events and online marketing.

No Comment

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *