What were the underlying reasons or business implications for the need to automate business processes?
As a UK-based specialist bank focused on providing asset finance, specialist mortgages, and development finance solutions, Hampshire Trust Bank (HTB) is continuously innovating and implementing sophisticated solutions to optimize internal business processes. These processes range from Business Intelligence (BI) and reporting to screening and payments integrations.
HTB has a clear strategy of acquiring best-of-breed applications to maximize business efficiency and value with new systems that share data and processes within the existing software ecosystem. Each system has its own technology stack on one side and data formats on the other. As a result of this difference, data interoperability became one of the main challenges affecting HTB operational efficiency. Furthermore, considering that data contains personally identifiable information, it required cryptography solutions such as X509 and PGP to be implemented. Once data has been consolidated, screening and monitoring processes are orchestrated to ensure data validity. Paramount among HTB’s concerns were to:
- support the increased processing of payment transactions per month
- improve the process of data screening to ensure data validity
- become more agile and increase customer satisfaction
With process resilience of critical importance for any financial services organization, SnapLogic was used to move workload between data centers or strategically use the cloud depending on availability and requirements.
- Integration of payments, general ledger, direct debit, and direct credit transactions from asset finance software Alfa to internal and external payment systems
- Integration of more than 100 reports from Alfa into HTB’s data warehouse
- Integration of Finova Core Banking Platform’s processes for retail savings customers
- Risk and fraud detection with implementation of transactions screening with Comply Advantage
- Fully automated processes for customer and employee screening
- Payments integration with Bottomline and other external providers
- Consolidation of data into a unified Snowflake Data warehouse for advanced BI analysis and reporting
Planning, defining and documenting
The process starts by defining the business flow, requirements, and edge cases. Once these things have been defined, the design is documented in detail. A team of business users and technical experts reviews the documentation and approves the design.
The implementation of automation starts by creating pipelines and other assets such as parameterizations or storage locations. Pipelines are executed as Scheduled, Triggered and Ultra tasks. JMS consumers in asynchronous mode are used to read messages from message queues. REST Snaps are used to read data and execute processes for REST endpoints. PGP Snaps are used for cryptography operations, and Script Snap is used for custom cryptographic operations. Data is transformed with a combination of mapper snaps. Results are written into various destination file systems by using File Writer Snaps. Log messages are produced and transferred to Splunk. JIRA tickets are automatically created by using JIRA Create Snap in the case of exceptions.
Additionally, email messages and xMatters alerts are sent to the users. Expression libraries are used extensively to parametrize configurations across multiple staging environments. Once the development is complete, the detailed quality assurance process on multiple environments starts before the solution is finally deployed in the production environment.
Integrations combined with specialized banking systems allow the processes to complete faster, more efficiently and with fewer errors across all those systems, dramatically optimizing business processes. Currently, there are more than 50 different systems and apps automated and interoperable in production.
By using SnapLogic automations, HTB can support the increased demand and process tens of thousands of payment transactions per month, as well as thousands of screening operations each month. There are tens of thousands of pipeline executions that result in millions of documents every day. Automation plays a key role in both digital transformation and developing a more agile business. Team members can now focus on higher-priority tasks such as strategy, security and customer relationship management.
The solutions were built by a team composed of internal domain experts, consultants from the external systems, architects, integrators and Quality Assurance professionals. Five FTEs were engaged in the projects. In a relationship that lasts three years, ⋮IWConnect acts as the integration implementation partner and assists in the implementation of multiple projects, each lasting from three to 12 months.