BUSINESS PROCESS CHALLENGES
The overwhelming success of the CEO Portal inevitably led to the question,“How can we provide an even more compelling experience to our customers?”
Danny Peltz, executive vice president and head of Wholesale Internet Solutions at Wells Fargo, in con- junction with the Wells Fargo Services Company, deter- mined they could enhance the existing CEO Portal to make it more personalized and proactive, as well as extend the portal framework to develop an internal portal (the “iCEOsm”) that would empower the bank’s commercial bankers and servicing agents with new information and servicing tools.
Steve Ellis, executive vice president and head of the Wholesale Services Group at Wells Fargo, noted “We have six lines of business within Wholesale Banking that have evolved over time with their own sales, delivery and service infrastructures.They each worked very well, but they were disconnected.We wanted to eliminate any perceived boundaries that customers may see because a single customer may use 10 or 20 products. We want to appear as a unified, cohesive organization. Becoming more customer-centric is critical.The CEO Portal was the first step in that direction, and now we’re expanding that customer-oriented philosophy.”
“Banking, particularly commercial banking, is about relationships,” added Peltz.“Most large banks offer comparable services. Differentiation hinges on the con- venience and simplicity of doing business with the bank, accessibility to assets and services, and the added value of the staff.We view the Internet channel as a key to achieving differentiation by simplifying both our customers’ and our own employees’ business lives, which in turn allows our staff to play a truly consulta- tive role.We want to take the tactical, repetitive tasks off their plate and give them tools to assist clients with problem solving and financial planning.”
Before beginning any new work, rather than building out potentially redundant capabilities on a project-by-
project basis, the team mapped out an innovative serv- ice-oriented architecture (SOA).
The SOA would be the foundation for the delivery of value-added services and advice to customers through both self-service and human-assisted channels. It would enable the bank to break down traditional application silos, and leverage business logic, processes and data stores in a reusable fashion by exposing them as shared services. This would accelerate the introduction of new functional- ity, simplify integration, and reduce the cost of application development.
As part of their progression to an SOA, the IT group migrated the existing CEO Portal, originally built on BEA WebLogic Server™, to the new SOA foundation which included BEA WebLogic Portal as the user pres- entation layer.They then built an integrated desktop for employees, known as iCEO, with BEA WebLogic Portal, leveraging the same SOA foundation.
Both the CEO and iCEO portals implement the con- cept of “portlets.”The portlets bring critical summary information such as account balance and key informa- tion reports to the forefront—that is the homepage— precluding the need to click through an application. Users can customize the portlet for specific information to appear immediately upon login.
“We see WebLogic Portal as a great way to integrate and expose the application logic that we’ve built,” said Ellis.“Most of that logic resides in Enterprise Java Beans that we can expose via portlets.This approach is what makes CEO and iCEO so flexible.We can mix and match portlets as needed, and connect to over 50 systems of record—legacy investments that aren’t going away any time soon. CEO and iCEO allow us to lever- age those investments.”
The presentation layer of the portals provides both cus- tomers and employees with access to the same data sources and business processes, ensuring consistency between channels. However, the personalization features in BEA WebLogic Portal enable the bank to provide