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Live from InterACT: Making EDM Real

InterACT BlogI am attending InterACT San Francisco 2007 this week and blogging live (or nearly live) from the sessions. This session is "Making EDM Real" and was a presentation on Fair Isaac's work on EDM in terms of product roadmaps etc.

Mike Campbell, COO, kicked off discussing Fair Isaac's general approach to EDM (You can get some information on EDM in general from a Fair Isaac official perspective) and what it is Fair Isaac hopes to help clients get from adopting the approach and the products that implement it. His focus was very much on the business problems customers have like share of wallet, fighting commoditization, defending against new kinds of fraud and managing constantly changing regulation. EDM can, sometimes, be regarded as too theoretical and Mike spent some time showing how the approach is general and can be widely applied but is nevertheless a way to tackle real business problems. In particular EDM responds to the increasing pace of change (regulatory change, market change, customer change, competitor change), growing uncertainty and complexity and the ongoing need for speed (straight through processing, real-time decisions) in operations. He went on to talk about the continuum of adoption:

The EDM continuumThis continuum shows how starting with business rules (FAQ) to automate decisions, enhancing them with predictive analytics (FAQ) and ultimately to connected decisions. Different decisions, and different companies, can be at different levels in this continuum but it is always worthwhile focusing on moving up the continuum.

Connected decisions is a new area for the blog and I will blog some more about it after InterACT. For now, consider an example like an existing customer applying for a new product. While the origination process (or underwriting process) uses a decision, that decision should be connected to decisions already made about managing that customer (and their claims, for instance). Today too many customers have disconnected decisions that fail to make these decisions optimal.

Next up was Bernard Nann, CTO, talking about the evolving architecture for delivering service-oriented decisioning applications. The objectives are to deliver:

  • Greater flexibility
  • Higher analytic performance
  • Better fraud and risk management
  • Better decisions across the lifecycle

The approach revolves, as you would expect, around Decision Services and how they are built and delivered in an increasingly service-oriented world. The new platform is designed in a very component or service-oriented way with all the various pieces you need to deliver decision service loosely coupled. At the same time the architecture will help you use the same rules and analytic tools and allow better connectivity of decisions and analytics across decisions. Increased support for adaptive control as well as stronger decision orchestration will also come.The new architecture is much more focused on connectivity with enterprise service buses and enterprise applications/core processing suites. This is partly an outcome of a more ruthless focus on being service-oriented but is also a reflection of the change in Fair Isaac clients toward both more SOA and more core processing systems. You can find some information on the EDM Architecture on the Fair Isaac website.

Mark Layden came next and went through detailed discussions of each major product and its roadmap. The details don't belong here but some common themes came out:

  • The "E" in EDM is about taking enterprise control of decisions and connecting decisions across the enterprise, not about a massive big-bang Enterprise deployment.
    One of the nicest aspects of EDM is how additive it is.
  • Several product areas are current supported by multiple products and these will be combined into new products as part of the release plan
    Both an Enterprise Originations platform and an Enterprise Collections and Recovery platform are planned for instance
  • Over time the common components will become part of the major products
    They will gradually use the same rules capability (Blaze Advisor), the same modeling capability (Model Builder) as well as such things as common reporting, case management and analytic data marts
  • Connectivity will be offered without forcing upgrades
    As connected decisions are identified and developed they will be supported for as many versions of the products at either end as possible, not just the most recent ones
  • There is a ton of work going on in scores and pooled/industry analytics
    As well as in the underlying analytic technologies
  • Fair Isaac applications increasingly become composite applications
    That share components and are connected through connected decisions

Lastly Dick Stewart gave a quick presentation on professional services and its new focus on being product-centric and partner-friendly. The new focus on partners, and on working closely with partners in delivering Fair Isaac applications, is key to enabling EDM in customers.

You can find the full set of posts from InterACT in this category.

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