Original Date: 06/02/2003
Revision Date: 01/18/2007
Best Practice : Business Service Provider Strategy
In 1997, ABC Virtual Communications, Inc. created a Business Services Provider Strategy and began to provide small- and medium-sized companies comprehensive services to meet both the technology and business needs of service-oriented industries. ABC Virtual Communications, Inc. initially focused on the mortgage industry, and packaged the best practices of traditional consulting including software, hardware, infrastructure, hosting, and supporting services required by the mortgage industry.
In 1997, ABC Virtual Communications, Inc. (ABCV) saw a need to improve the Information Technology (IT) services to small- and medium-sized mortgage companies. To this end, ABCV developed a comprehensive Business Service Provider (BSP) Strategy and began to successfully provide end-to-end services to meet both the technology and business needs of service-oriented industries.
With the convergence of out-sourced business processing, hosted software, and open standards-based IT infrastructure, some companies are trying newer Internet-centric business models, such as Business-to-Consumer portals (Aggregators) or Application Service Providers (ASPs). Aggregators provide an interface to capture data from customers over the web, while ASPs provide web-based hosted business applications on a pay-based-on-use basis. None of these models address the need for automating comprehensive industry-specific business processes. ABCV’s integrated business services link all the necessary elements for automating business processes in targeted vertical industries. ABCV offers mortgage companies Business-to-Business (B2B) enterprise portals for vertical industries that go beyond traditional product marketing, hosting, and technical consulting services.
ABCV’s unique BSP strategy focuses on comprehensive services including in-house expertise which provides business and technical client support to its vertical industry. ABCV is Iowa’s only small business, high end-to-end consulting, infrastructure, services, and hosting company. ABCV’s core competencies are process re-engineering, consulting, hardware and software solutions, B2B interfaces and follow-on support services. The company uses streamlined, automated, straight-through processing to reduce cost and complexity. Customer data entry need only be entered once at the point-of-sale, requiring no further manual handling beyond the front office. Process or functionality changes (an inevitable result of regulation, legislation, product development or new market opportunities) need only be implemented once to become available throughout the entire end-to-end infrastructure.
Because of ABCV’s unique knowledge of the U.S. mortgage industry, the company was aware that stove-pipe disparate systems clog front-office tasks (e.g., point of sale and origination, and stand-alone vendor product ordering system transactions). At the same time, back-office antiquated functional processes bogged down processing and underwriting, closing, funding, and account servicing.
An essential characteristic of ABCV’s BSP strategy is to provide access to comprehensive services necessary for a given vertical industry using open standards and linking B2B transactions on the back end using a service-based architecture. Execution of the BSP model targeted the needs of both small companies as well as large corporations that needed one-stop access to integrated services in a given industry. The emphasis of ABCV’s strategy is not in attempting to create a new marketplace or new ways to originate customer leads from the web; instead, ABCV’s emphasis is on providing comprehensive services built on integrated infrastructure including hardware, software, and automated business processes and support services. This is an important consideration, because it means that the mature corporations with legacy applications can get access to web-based services faster than they can develop the services themselves. In addition, cost efficiency results by the sharing of infrastructure costs between multiple partners. Figure 2-3, BSP Current Method, shows how small companies can access state-of-the-art solutions at an affordable price.
ABCV is focusing initially toward the mortgage industry. Clients will interface their information systems with services over the Internet. The interface may occur at any stage in the sequence of the value chain. In the mortgage industry, a client may only use the companies’ services to capture information for a loan application, and then transfer the information to a proprietary system, while another may also include services to obtain credit reports, desk top underwriting, etc. Over time, ABCV will expand to other industries in which it has developed extensive know-how (e.g., insurance, banking, utilities) and eventually to others such as manufacturing and pharmaceuticals.
The BSP strategy is unique in providing a comprehensive set of services to meet both technology and business needs of service-oriented industries. ABCV has packaged the best practices of traditional consulting (both technical and business), software, hardware, infrastructure, hosting, and supporting services required by the mortgage industry. ABCV has built integrated frameworks to provide straight-through processing solutions at affordable prices that include all the components as a service.
Figure 2-3. BSP Current Method
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