Participating in a business process (Intermediate)

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by B. M. Madhusudhan Rao | July 2013 | Oracle

In this article by B. M. Madhusudhan Rao, the author of Instant Oracle BPM for Financial Services How-to [Instant], we will have a look at the key business requirements for financial services from a business point of view. These are as follows:

  • Payment processing
  • Transaction management
  • Fraud detection
  • Ability to track and monitor business processes from start to end
  • Escalation
  • Risk and change management
  • Reduced total cost of ownership
  • Higher return on investment
  • Service-level agreements with partners and customers
  • Meeting compliance and regulatory requirements
  • Enterprise growth in terms of people and process volumes
  • Geographical expansion
  • New diversified businesses under a single enterprise

(For more resources related to this topic, see here.)

The hurdles and bottlenecks for financial services from an IT point of view are:

  • Silos of data
  • Outdated IT system and many applications running on legacy and non-standard based systems
  • Business process and reporting systems not in sync with each other
  • Lack of real-time data visibility
  • Automated decision making
  • Ability to change and manage business processes in accordance with changes in business dynamics
  • Partner management
  • Customer satisfaction

This is where BPM plays a key role in bridging the gap between key business requirements and technology or businesses hurdles.

In a real-life scenario, a typical home loan use case would be tied up with Know Your Customer (KYC) regulatory requirement. In India for example, the Reserve Bank of India ( RBI) had passed on guidelines that make it mandatory for banks to properly know their customers. RBI mandates that banks collect their customers' proof of identity, recent photographs, and Income Tax PAN. Proof of residence can be a voter card, a driving license, or a passport copy.

Getting ready

We start with the source code from the previous recipe. We will add a re-usable e-mail or SMS notification process. It is always a best practice to add a new process if it is called multiple times in the same process. This can be a subprocess within the main process itself, or it can be a part of the same composite outside the main process. We will add a new regulatory requirement that allows the customer to add KYC requirements such as photo, proof of address, and Income Tax PAN copy as attachments that will be checked into the WebCenter Content repository. These checks become a part of the customer verification stage before finance approval. We will make KYC as a subprocess with a scope of expansion under a different scenario. We will also save the process data into a filesystem or in a JMS messaging queue at the end of the loan process completion. In a banking scenario, it can also be the integration stage for other applications such as a CRM application or any other application.

How to do it…

Let's perform the following steps:

  1. Launch JDeveloper and open the composite.xml of LoanApplicationProcess in the Design view.
  2. Drag-and-drop a new BPMN Process component from the Component Palette.
  3. Create the Send Notifications process next to the existing LoanApplicationProcess, and edit the new process.
  4. The Send Notifications process will take input parameters as To e-mail ID, From e-mail ID, Subject, CC, and send e-mail to the given e-mail ID.
  5. Similarly, we will drag-and-drop a File Adapter component from the Component Palette that saves the customer data into a file. We place this component the end of the LoanApplication process, just before the End activity.

    We will use this notification service to notify Verification Officers about the arrival of a new eligible application that needs to be verified.

  6. In the Application Verification Officer stage, we will add a subprocess, KYC , that will be assigned to the loan initiator—James Cooper in our case.
  7. This will be preceded by sending an e-mail notification to the applicant asking for KYC details such as PAN number, scanned photograph, and voter ID as requested by the Verification Officers.
  8. Now, let us implement Save Loan Application by invoking the File Adapter service. The Email notification services are also available out of the box.

How it works…

The outputs of this recipe are re-usable services that can be used across multiple service calls such as notification services. This recipe also demonstrates how to use subprocesses and change the process to meet regulatory requirements.

Let's understand the output by taking our use case scenario:

  1. When the process is initiated, the e-mail notification gets triggered at appropriate stages of the process.
  2. Conan Doyle and John Steinbeck will get the e-mail, requesting them to process the application, with the required information of the applicant, along with the link to BPM Workspace.
  3. The KYC task also sends an e-mail to James Cooper, requesting him for the documents required for the KYC check.
  4. James Cooper logs in to the James Bank WebCenter Portal and sees there is a task assigned to him to upload his KYC details.
  5. James Cooper clicks on the task link and submits the required soft copy documents, and gets them checked into the content repository once the form is submitted.           

The start-to-end process flow now looks as follows:

Summary

BPM Process Spaces, which is an extension template of BPM, allows process and task views to be exposed to WebCenter Portal. The advantage of having Process Spaces made available within the Portal is that the users can collaborate with others using out of the box Portal features such as wikis, discussion forums, blogs, and content management. This improves productivity as the user need not log in to different applications for different purposes, as all the required data and information will be made available within the Portal environment. It is also possible to expose some of the WSRP supported application portlets (for example, HR Portlets from PeopleSoft) into a corporate portal environment. All of this sums up to provide higher visibility of the entire business process, and a nature of working and collaborating together in an enterprise business environment.

Resources for Article :


Further resources on this subject:


Instant Oracle BPM for Financial Services How-to [Instant] Discover how to leverage BPM in the financial sector with this book and ebook
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About the Author :


B. M. Madhusudhan Rao

B. M. Madhusudhan Rao, alias name James Smith (Author of James Smith's Technology Blogs), has more than 15 years of experience in the enterprise software industry. He has been a TOGAF 9 Enterprise Architecture certified solution specialist at Oracle's North America Technology Organization for more than 5 years. He works primarily around Service Oriented Architecture, Business Process Management, Webcenter Portal, Webcenter Content, and Enterprise Architecture Practice. He is a part of the Tech-Sales team that showcases various customer proof of concepts and demonstrations to meet the customers' business challenges and requirements.

Before joining Oracle, Madhu was a Technical Manager at HCL Technologies in India. He is known as James for his blog James Smith's Java and Oracle Blogs, which is very popular among techies. Last year, in 2012, his blog jamessmith73.wordpress.com had over 74,000, hits making it one of the top technology blogs.

Madhu lives in Bangalore,India with his parents, wife, and little daughter Aishwarya Rao, and loves nature photography.

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