Original Date: 06/02/2003
Revision Date: 01/18/2007
Best Practice : Business Process Collaboration
In 1999, ABC Virtual Communications, Inc., in close collaboration with its mortgage and banking clients, created a first-of-its-kind Business Process Collaboration tool to support industries such as mortgage, banking, healthcare, and insurance.
In 1999, ABC Virtual Communications, Inc. (ABCV), in close collaboration with its mortgage and banking clients, noticed that existing collaboration methods did not integrate data at the application level. No one had developed tools that automated or assisted with the collaboration of business processes, which are labor-intensive. ABCV clients were using an array of disparate systems, traditional groupware, and a lot of e-mail to service its ever-growing client base. These paper intensive transactions, involving interactions between enterprises, financial institutions, marketplaces and other service providers, were ready for change and updating. Since no tools were available to provide this vital function, ABCV created a first-of-its-kind Business Process Collaboration (BPC) tool that automates and assists in the collaboration of these business processes.
Figure 2-1, BPC Current Method, shows how mortgage, banking, healthcare, and insurance industries utilize a team of employees working together to provide a service to the customer (i.e., processing a loan application). Most of the team members work as part of a business process workflow with a multistage pipeline structure consisting of lead generation, sales force automation, ordering, processing, and fulfillment. The lack of ability to share business process information among team members at different stages of the loan application processing makes these business processes extremely complex. For example, front office applications can be closely tied to back-office systems. What was traditionally a back-office function (i.e., underwriting in a service-oriented industry), can now be partially fulfilled by the front office applications if a collaborative environment is available.
ABCV’s Internet Application Framework supports business process collaboration among members in a team of authorized users as well as multiple installations for a given user. ABCV developed security policies that allow groups of people with different roles, possibly from multiple organizations, to work together, share information, and collaborate toward a workflow needed for specific service-oriented business processes. Multiple members of a team can share data using roles, permissions, and subscription. In order to share data, the roles of both members must permit such data movement; the owner of the data must give permission to the subscriber; and further, the subscriber must accept subscription from the owner. Figure 2-2, BPC Implementation, shows that once the authorized subscription is set-up, updates to data made in disconnected mode are also synchronized automatically without any user involvement.
Figure 2-1. Current BPC Method
Figure 2-2. BPC Implementation
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