Tag: process automation


“Banking Transformation Needs Smart Automation”

Last night I participated in a webinar titled “Banking Transformation Needs Smart Automation”. The webinar highlighted BPM and ECM as catalysts for financial services transformation and how business benefits could be accrued from their implementation. The speakers included Derek Miers, Principal Analyst of Forrester Research and Mridul Sharma, Senior Vice President, Solution Delivery Team, IndusInd Bank and Ritesh Verma, Head, CoE Banking Practice.

Mr. Derek Miers talked about “Driving Transformation in Financial Services.” He began by stating that most organizations today are in the midst of one of the most disruptive shifts in economic history. The shift has been from producers and those who hold capital to consumers. Consumers he said had a plethora of choices today and even more so in the finance and banking industry. He went on discuss the gradual transition from the way banking services were delivered on paper to the 360 degree approach that is followed today. He stressed on the fact that since customers had so many choices, the greatest differentiator was how customer experience was delivered to customers. If customers were dissatisfied, they would invariably jump ship. To keep in tune with customer needs, organizations had to evolve and transform themselves. Mr. Miers spoke about how processes were at the center of this transformation from Traditional Line Management to Processes and Services Management. He argued that this did not warrant a Band-aid approach where specific systems or parts of the organization were changed but more like a “Wellness Program” which brings overall vitality, rejuvenation and business transformation. He felt that customer centricity should become the default behavior of the organization and especially its front line.

This approach reminded me of the term “Big Process” that I read in an article by Connie Moore titled “Embrace Big Process Thinking” where she said, “Big Process is when senior-most business and technology leaders embrace business process change by shifting the organization’s focus from isolated BPM and process improvement projects to a sustainable, enterprise-wide business process transformation program that is then supported and driven by top executives.” I think this aligns perfectly with what Derek was trying to explain.

Derek went on to elaborate on how organizations should build their transformation plan by focusing on outcomes and working backwards to the processes it needs to deliver that outcome. He concluded by highlighting that organizations should look at this as an opportunity to shine and take the lead rather than waiting for change to happen.

Mridul Sharma then took the speaker’s role and discussed how Newgen’s BPM solution helped the bank to improve processes, reduce turn-around-times, foster transparency and lay the foundation for a paperless and green office.

Ritesh Verma concluded the presentation session by discussing Newgen’s capabilities in BPM and ECM and stressing on how Newgen is in the business of transforming banks. He went on to point out how Newgen has become a key enabler for fast growing banks. He also enumerated the company’s achievements in the BFS industry and its pedigree of 850+ installations across 45 countries. He concluded by showcasing the number of clients Newgen has worked with and how it has helped 119 banks across the globe to achieve their business goals.

The webinar was wrapped up by a Question and Answer round where participants interacted with the key speakers.

Name: Imroz Adeeb

Bio: Imroz is Associate Manager - Corporate Communications at Newgen Software.


Driving Agility and Business Performance by Continuously Improving Business Processes

In order to capitalize on the growing market opportunities and mitigate potential risks, businesses need to follow the rule of thumb – ‘Sound business processes are the backbone of a business’. This looks like a simple rule, but when brought into practice turns out to be a rather abstruse proposition owing to the fact that the very definition of a ‘sound business process’ keeps changing continuously. Change is the order of the day, and only processes that adapt and respond quickly to changing market requirements, deliver sustainable business advantages. This ability of a business to identify change and to respond quickly to it is termed as business agility.

Now that we understand the basic meaning of business agility, the challenge before us is to understand not only how to achieve the threshold business agility to rise above competition, but also how to maintain that competitive edge. The solution is obvious – incorporate business agility into the very nature of your business processes.

Dynamic processes, capable of reacting and adapting to an ever-changing business environment, can be achieved by underpinning business processes with an efficient Business Process Management (BPM) platform. BPM is essentially a strategic management discipline aimed at continuously improving processes spanning business functions, bringing about the much needed visibility, and agility to facilitate business innovation. Further, the Business Activity Monitoring (BAM) component of BPM enables better control over process output and extensive process performance reporting. To sum up, BPM combines technology with strategic management practices to address changes in real time with minimal IT efforts and thus drives business agility.

Bio: Garima is Manager - Marketing & Communications at Newgen Software.


Escalating Customer Expectations – Challenge or Opportunity

In this fast changing business landscape, the only thing that has managed to keep pace with the evolution of technology is the evolution of customers’ expectations. Customers today demand more of everything; more value for money, more features, more comfort, more customization and more positive experiences. Apparently, this poses a challenge for businesses to meet and exceed customer expectations, in order to remain competitive. However, this challenge comes with a surprise package – the opportunity to build customer trust and loyalty by surpassing customers’ expectations and gaining a competitive edge over other players in the market. To leverage this opportunity to its fullest, a business needs to focus on achieving process agility or the ability to align processes with dynamically changing market requirements.

Access to the right information, at the right time, by the right people is the key to profitably meeting the ever-increasing customer expectations, in a volatile and globally competitive business landscape. To achieve true agility across the breadth and scope of all operations, an organization needs to practice continual process improvement by implementing more flexible and transparent processes and systems that are capable of accommodating changes seamlessly and quickly.

 Automation of business processes has become the order of the day, but to differentiate themselves from competition, business organizations are increasingly turning to Business Process Management (BPM). At its outset, BPM primarily focused on automating workflows and moving documents from “system to system”, but today it has evolved to incorporate more “human-centric” and role-based capabilities across the process lifecycle. This enables stakeholders at different levels of the organizational structure to take the appropriate action at the right time and to more directly drive the creation and management of business processes with minimal dependence on IT. An efficient BPM platform underpins the IT infrastructure and enables an organization to lower operational costs, increase productivity and enhance customer experience.

Bio: Garima is Manager - Marketing & Communications at Newgen Software.


Road Beyond Core Banking: Centralized Back-Offices and Leaner Customer Centric Branches

Indian banking sector is poised to become the 3rd largest in asset size by the year 2025 as per the IBA-FICCI-BCG report, titled “Being Five-Star in Productivity – Roadmap for Excellence in Indian Banking”, launched at the recently concluded Global Banking Conference, organized by IBA and FICCI at Mumbai. The report further sets out an action agenda for banks, based on a benchmarking exercise conducted across 40 banks, highlighting that the banks have to strive for excellence on five dimensions: with one of the dimensions being lean operations.

In the context that the second highest number of people are employed in non customer-facing, back-office roles, lean operations can be achieved by digitization of processes and centralization of back office operations, while the employees having customer facing roles can be based at the leaner front office / branch.

Care must be taken to ensure that at the process design stage, we must take a customer-centric approach, so that centralization does not lead to lack of touch with the customers.

For the high volume and relatively lower transaction value lines of businesses like retail banking, non customer-value adding activities need to be centralized and modeled as a lean process, eliminating all error-prone, redundant and superfluous activities like manual hand-offs, over-staffed tasks, needless paper movement, redundant checks and validations etc. Focus of process design should be on providing a smooth and efficient interface between the customer centric branches and centralized back-end operations factories.

For lines of businesses where the transaction volumes are low, the cost savings from centralization will be less. For such lines of businesses, the transactions will be lesser in number but the size and complexity of transactions would be higher, thus requiring higher levels of customer service. Here, the efficiencies can come by bundling of processes across customer segments with a focus on seamless alignment between products / offerings and targeted customer segments.

The underlying technologies for enabling swift implementation of any BPR exercise and continuous process improvement for operational excellence consist of ECM and BPM platforms based on digitization, document management and workflows, and productivity tools like monitoring dashboards etc.

Thus, at a time when most banks have already implemented “Core Banking Solutions”, BPM and ECM platforms present an answer to the question “what to do after core banking?” Another important benefit offered by these technologies is the ability to meet regulatory compliance, which is again a very important factor, especially in the light of the prediction that Indian Banking industry will become one of the biggest in the world by 2025, and that along with great size, must come great responsibility. Or is it that, only due to our prudent and responsible banking practices shall we be able to become one of the biggest in the world?

Bio: Rohit Thakur is Senior Manager-Marketing, at Newgen Software


Synergized Process: Automate to Differentiate

Human Resources have always been an integral part of any organization and the success of an organization is largely dependent on the quality of its resources. To achieve optimum utilization and efficiency of human resources, various strategies are introduced by different organizations, such as training and development, reforms in policies for recruitment, selection or retention, change management, better compensation, programs to enhance employee motivation, recreation, employee benefits, facilities and so on, the list is never ending.

Many organizations feel that productivity can be increased by motivating employees or providing training; many feel that change in management structure is required, recruitment should be proper, working environment should be improved or policies should be changed while some others feel that incentive or payment structure should be improved. Similarly many more thoughts are there to debate, but in this post I would not discuss the improvement in employee productivity through these means, but explain how supporting employees by providing tools which can help them to gain edge faster, as compared to traditional means of improvement, which can at times prove to be sheer wastage of time and resources. In simple terms if you are weak in calculations then instead of learning mathematics and going through the learning classes, just use calculator and move forward. So in my opinion, we should improve our abilities instead of improving our inabilities. I don’t know how many agree with me but this my perspective.

Please do not misunderstand me, as I am not at all against any of the traditional means to increase employee productivity, but I am attempting to suggest methods to synergize the ability of employees. Based on the above argument, IO believe that every organization  must have automated business process for the tasks which are repetitive in nature or require fixed or closed ended operations, such as approval of a loan for a certain value on fixed parameter, or classification of customers for insurance approval, or calculation of perks, incentive, targets etc based on fixed calculations, or taking any kind of business decision based on business rules,  or physical activity like retrieving a physical document from the record room etc.

These repeated activities generally do not involve creativity and decision making, but can result in employee dissatisfaction or monotony in job or wastage of human intelligence for the jobs which can be performed through automation. Automation will help employees in performing their jobs with accuracy (through automated tools) and allow them to devote more time in improving processes to increase operational efficiency and reduce turn around time.

Identifying this need of business organizations across industry verticals, Newgen has developed software products like Document Management System and Business Process Management System to take care of all possible process automation needs of organizations and help these organizations in synergizing employee productivity; just like what calculators did to enhance the productivity of individuals with weak calculation skills.

Name: Hemant

Web Site: http://www.newgensoft.com

Bio: Hemant is Senior Manager - Processing Services with Newgen Software Technologies Limited


Is BPM Synonymous to Kaizen

Masaaki Imai introduced the Kaizen method for continuous incremental improvements to the corporate world, through his book, ‘Kaizen: The key to Japan’s success’, in 1986. The concept spread across industries like fire and became a fad the world over. The Japanese philosophy of Kaizen is about constant continual improvement at low cost, involving everyone at all levels in the organizational structure, and applying much common sense.

Assuming that every aspect of our life should be driven by constant improvement, Kaizen aims at elimination of waste (activities for which the input – output ratio is extremely low). It often refers to rearranging processes in a better and less complex workflow. The next step is standardization of this better process. The cycle of Kaizen activity also known as Shewhart cycle or Deming cycle has the following four steps that are repeated ad infinitum:

  1. Standardize operations
  2. Measure the standardized operation
  3. Gauge measurements against requirements
  4. Innovate to meet requirements

Manual coordination of activities in organizations leads to inefficiency and errors in the operational process and often obstructs process improvement itself. Business Process Management (BPM) was recognized by the academic world in the fifties and sixties as an effective tool for managing quality. Later, Hammer & Champy (1993) defined a process (business process) as “a collection of activities that takes one or more kinds of input and creates an output that is of value to the customer.” With their definition they highlighed the benefits of process management, process (re-) engineering, and workflow management to business managers. They established the importance of BPM to the success of modern enterprises. BPM leads to a continuous cycle of process improvement. Ideally it aims at saving money, saving time, improving compliance and adding value to an organizations workflow. The BPM lifecycle involves the following major steps:

  • Model - preparing a flowchart of the various steps in the process
  • Develop - defining the process and integrating the existing technology
  • Deploy and monitor - put to action and collect statistics to quantify improvements
  • Analyze and improve - identify bottlenecks and make changes to do away with them

Today, BPM in its capacity as a continually evolving set of technologies, to establish goals and strategies for the improvement of operational processes that affect an organization’s performance, to some extent is Kaizen.


Electronic document management – A key technology underpinning e-Governance

In an information-intensive society, efficient information management is especially critical for e-governance and implementation of better services for the citizens. Good governance demands reduced duplication of work, reduced communication costs, increased transparency in functioning of various departments, and faster government services. With a large portion of information management in the public sector comprising of document management, implementation of an efficient document management solution has become a strategic imperative for government organizations. Effective e-governance requires implementation of a robust document  management solution which can help governments streamline operations to deliver value through improved productivity, and empower Government Staff to respond rapidly and collaboratively to meet the needs of constituents.

 Key Drivers for DMS in e-governance

  • A very large number of stakeholders, and the need to maintain and make accessible the documents that form the evidence for every single transaction
  • Need to maintain transparent processes
  • Anytime, anywhere accessibility and availability of information, to enable delivery of Government services to a large base of people across different segments and geographical locations
  • Need to streamline operations to deliver value through cost-effectiveness and improved productivity
  • Facilitate user experience and ensure timely release of documents and information in response to citizen requests
  • Security of information resources and adherence to regulations and security policies

With advanced file approval, management, tracking and intelligent search capabilities, DMS allows government agencies to expand the reach of their services, improve and facilitate user experience and convenience and improve transparency while at the same time reduce costs. Also, the automation of manual and paper-based processes in government administration will generate electronic records which may later serve as evidence in policy-making, casework and service delivery areas.


The Need for Dynamic Case Management for Unstructured and Ad-hoc Processes

The advent of Dynamic Case Management (DCM) in today’s business is not surprising at all. The thing that got us in surprise is the paradigm shift from process to people. In mid 80s, the business world came to a conclusion that they needed a strong robust standardized process framework with minimal people intervention so that the quality of the process outcome did not deviate largely for one from the other.

We all know the stories of Toyota and Motorola and their “Total Quality Management”. The world agreed that – process is the key and defect happens because of process failure and not for the people. This was the ideology that created the platform for workflow management solutions which evolved in time into Business Process Management (BPM) and Enterprise Content Management (ECM) solutions. The Business Analytic tools were built along with BPM and ECM tools to monitor the process performance and the quality of process outcomes. During the last 20 years BPM and content management solutions have gone through various changes in pursuit of achieving highest level of performance excellence with consistent quality standards. However, now we have started realizing that skilled workers with excellent decision making ability are required to choose the right process at right time.

The paradigm shift did not happen in one day. BPM and ECM solutions tend to focus on repeatable and structured processes with focused business goals.  Single process template is applied for every business scenario.  This model worked fine for straight-through processing (STP) workflows with minimal human intervention. However, a single and merely flexible process template could not serve the purpose of driving the customer experiences for service requests, adhering to mandatory compliances and litigant activities.  Customer service requests like Loan Processing, Customer On-boarding, Claims Management, Underwriting, Change Requests and adhering to mandatory compliances like IT Governance, right based e-Discovery, fraud handling & auditing are some of the areas where requirement for dynamic case management has become prominent, more than ever. The usual business model did not succeed much in handling uncertain events and incidents associated with any business process. Other than for defined events, the process does not know what to do with the events. Dispute Resolution, Complaint Management, Exception Handling are some of the areas which can be managed my DCM solutions. With a wide variety of customer needs and situational complexities, organizations have started thinking of the automation of dynamic, unstructured and ad-hoc processes.


Automating Branch Governance and Monitoring Branch Health

The BFSI industry is faced with a troika of challenges – Increase reach to respond to the larger challenge of financial inclusion, consolidate costs and control revenue leakages,  each pulling its own weight and posing a constant management challenge.

The Audit department is the entity that ensures that the pull & push of operations are evenly balanced and the organizational objectives are not compromised and unilaterally pulled in one direction.

The target of increasing the customer base puts pressure on the prudential and KYC norms. Instances of mis-selling and addressing varied demographics has put extra emphasis on better and frequent audit coverage of the branches coupled with larger sample size array. The cost consolidation exercises have seen reduction in audit teams but greater demand on their time, skill and thorough inspection to proactively contain frauds and revenue leakages.

This is a situation where Branch Governance automation holds significant promise as it helps to build assurance for the Management Team and  streamlines the audit processes to:

a) Facilitate efficient management of internal resources – the internal audit & risk team,

b) Facilitate their working to make them more efficient and accountable,

c) Provide timely inputs to the audit team; and

d) Most importantly the tool enables the top management to get a real time view of all open issues, audit response and to keep track of the impact (materiality) of the open issues

Key features of such a solution would be:

a) Risk based Audit Planning to direct resources to high priority / impact areas

b) Scheduling of audit resources for optimum utilization of time

c) Centralized checklist management and aggregation of knowledge which can be used to revise and update the audit points. Eg. The ORM team may maintain a checklist separate from the Branch Governance team which would be quite different from the IT Governance team’s checklist

d) Dashboard view of audit progress, open issues and audit response,

The audit ratings when combined  with the empirical data of the branch viz Total Premium, Number of accounts serviced, renewals etc. would give a true and fair assessment of the health and criticality of the “branch” and material impact of the associated “risks”.

Newgen Benefit

Newgen offers an out of the box solution that could be implemented in less than 10 calendar weeks and the organization can start accruing the benefits within a business quarter. While being amenable to the current practices, it still allows standardization of processes and organization specific customization.

Bio: Gautam (CISA) is Head - GRC Automation at Newgen Software Technologies Ltd.


Newgen Positioned in Gartner’s Magic Quadrant Report for Business Process Management Suite (BPMS)

Each year, the Gartner Magic Quadrant report provides a trusted and valuable report for the industry, for vendors and for prospective customers evaluating technology solutions. To appear in this Magic Quadrant, a vendor must meet Gartner’s criteria for ability to execute, and completeness of vision in the BPM market space.

Newgen has been positioned by Gartner, Inc. in the 2010 Magic Quadrant for BPMS¹.

Business Process Management is a management discipline that provides for governance of a business’s process environment towards the goal of improving agility and operational performance. BPM helps to improve process efficiency, ensure optimum utilization of resources, boost productivity, ensure process standardization, achieve compliance and enables continuous process improvement.

Two of the major usage scenarios of BPM include

  • Using BPM to implement an Industry-specific or company-specific solution
  • Here, the key focus of the organization is on achieving direct business results, typically improving business performance in a key area –example, improving compliance by adhering to SLA’s in a regulated industry like Healthcare Payers, achieving faster Turn-around time for customer on-boarding process in a Bank or Insurance Firm, or Improving agent productivity in a SSC/BPO.

    Using our BPM and ECM product suite, our breakthrough Implementation methodology and industry-specific soft templates and best practices, we have helped enterprises implement BPM rapidly and achieve business results in 1 business quarter.

  • Using BPM as a platform for Continuous Process Improvement
  • Here, the key focus of the enterprise is to achieve Business Agility by using BPM as a platform for continuous process improvement, encompassing an ever-increasing set of organizational processes across various Lines of Business. The ability to rollout new processes quickly and change processes frequently is crucial.

    For example in a Bank, the Business and IT may collaborate through a BPM center of Excellence for rolling out an ever-increasing set of organizational processes across Lines of Business. Similarly, a BPO may create a BPMS-enabled platform to offer its customers a spectrum of continuous process improvement for a wider set of business processes.

Newgen has helped organizations setup a BPMS-Platform and a Center of Excellence for BPM for running Continuous Process Improvement programs and rollout multiple processes rapidly.

¹ Gartner “Magic Quadrant for Business Process Management Suites” by Jim Sinur and Janelle Hill, October 18th, 2010.

About the Magic Quadrant

The Magic Quadrant is copyrighted 2010 by Gartner, Inc. and is reused with permission. The Magic Quadrant is a graphical representation of a marketplace at and for a specific time period. It depicts Gartner’s analysis of how certain vendors measure against criteria for that marketplace, as defined by Gartner. Gartner does not endorse any vendor, product or service depicted in the Magic Quadrant, and does not advise technology users to select only those vendors placed in the “Leaders” quadrant. The Magic Quadrant is intended solely as a research tool, and is not meant to be a specific guide to action. Gartner disclaims all warranties, express or implied, with respect to this research, including any warranties of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose.

Bio: Anand Raman is Vice President – Marketing at Newgen Software Technologies. He has been closely associated with the complete development lifecycle of ECM/BPM products at Newgen, and has been a visionary in defining product solutions that help organizations in achieving operational excellence.


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19th Feb 14 Posted a comment on Facilitating Financial Inclusion through Digital Transformation
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