CMI turns to real-time business analysis

A Gartner Group analyst predicts business activity monitoring is the next big trend, but CIBC Mortgages Inc. is

ahead of the curve.

“”Today, business activity monitoring is at the stage where some people say, ‘What is it? I don’t really know what it is?’ or ‘It’ll never work,'”” says Roy Schulte, vice-president and research fellow, Gartner. “”In five years it’s going to be at the stage where (people say), ‘Of course it’s here. We always knew it was coming, everybody has it, now let’s go on to the next trend.'””

CIBC Mortgages Inc. (CMI) signed deal with Systar and Fujitsu Consulting(formerly DMR Consulting) to implement BusinessBridge. The software measures and compares performance metrics instead of IT metrics to provide real-time business analysis.

Harry Hallworth, CMI’s chief information officer, says the roll out wasn’t without challenges. He says his is a mixed shop (AS 400s, Windows, Unix, local data centres, remote data centres and remote offices) spread out across the country, but the process took three-and-a-half months from planning to implementation. Despite the scope of the project, it caused minimal upheaval.

“”We did not require a lot of technology resources or business resources, and we did not have to build sophisticated capability within our applications nor run agents on all of our application servers,”” Hallworth says.

Real-time information can be an advantage for any business, but Hallworth wanted was looking for something closer to clairvoyance.

“”We needed the ability to proactively resolve incidents before they impact CMI customers, and we needed to communicate early warnings to the business with an assessment of potential business impact,”” Hallworth says. “”This was so that if there was problem, or if we saw a problem coming, they could take corrective measures as well to ensure there is no impact to our customers.””

It seems he got what he wanted. Hallworth says hundreds of electronic fund transfers were scheduled to go out a few months ago. The process, however, failed internally but was caught by the monitoring tools, something that would have happened in the past, he says. The glitch was identified, an alert was sent out and the problem was fixed in time.

“”If we had not had this in place we would have either missed (the deadline) or had to manually scramble to get 700 mortgage advances into solicitors’ accounts,”” Hallworth says. “”This is one real-life example of where these tools saved our hides with 700 customers who would not have been happy with us.””

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