How To Get Data To Work Together

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VACAVILLE, Calif.-Information never felt so good at Travis CU here, ever since the $1.6-billion CU unified all data-member, organizational, financial, product and transactional-through one platform.

In less than two years, Travis CU discarded isolated platforms in favor of a "comprehensive stack" of business intelligence (BI), content management (ECM) and process management (BPM) applications that can talk to each other and other systems across the business, according to Craig Beaudry, AVP-IT development and operations.

New members now get more consistent service no matter with whom they talk at the CU. BPM tells each representative what was said and done by previous employees-and what to do next.

Employees now get daily dashboard updates on their product sales from the new BI, instead of making hash marks to count sales, Beaudry said. Better sales reports contribute to a consistent and realistic sales incentive and training program for about 200 employees, he explained.

The new BI gathers data from about a dozen sources and feeds them through hundreds of calculations to report performance results at every level, from product to employee to branch to organization, said Beaudry. No longer does corporate spend 100 hours per month slogging through data, only to interpret sales results inconsistently, he said. No longer do employees have to wait for 10 days to view their sales from the previous month.

Acting as a foundation for all best-of-breed applications to work together is Oracle's Fusion Middleware, which Travis CU originally believed was an "unattainable solution," said Beaudry. "Oracle is aggressively targeting mid-market organizations from a TCO perspective. And not many people know that Oracle is extremely strong in the business application market."

Oracle's ECM application displaced five systems and will save Travis CU about $100,000 in annual maintenance alone, Beaudry said. Document searches now take less than a second. And employees working in a core transaction account can click within the system to pull statements from another platform, for example, instead of navigating through separate software and reentering data.

More wins are on the way, Beaudry predicted. Profitability data can be extracted from the new Oracle BI and data warehouse in about five minutes, down from 10 to 20 hours from the old warehouse. "That's the power of an enterprise-ready database."

But BPM is the "coolest," he suggested. Soon, the BPM application will consolidate all interactions with a member-and will connect with all the decisions, documents and systems related to those interactions.

The application automates many steps in any given process, enforcing business rules, and then guides employees through any remaining steps, said Beaudry. "A process that's now 40 or 50 screens will be a single click."

Already, the 60-screen charge-off process has been reduced to one screen with a confirmation button, he said. The process takes seconds to complete, down from 15 minutes.

Travis CU designed and deployed BPM using Oracle's Service-Oriented Architecture suite. Fusion Middleware has set the foundation for BI, ECW and BPM to interact with disparate systems across the CU, and in the long term, the three applications will be integrated with one another, said Beaudry. "Then, we'll see benefits like the BPM interactions feeding into the data warehouse for business intelligence as to how and why members are interacting with us."

Travis CU's data consolidation and information management efforts will be recognized with a Best Practice Award for Member Service at the CUNA Technology Council Conference in Las Vegas on October 1.

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