On Friday last week I travelled to the UK to meet with one of our insurance customers. They have deployed JRules v71 for a variety of underwriting related tasks and are looking to expand their usage of rules over the next 2 years to cover core underwriting as well as fraud detection. They clearly have a strong architecture team and have made tactical use of IBM services to accelerate project start up and reduce risk. I was impressed by the maturity of their rules practice, with clearly defined processes for business controlled changes into production (what they call L1 changes) as well as IT controlled changes, such as changes to the XOM/BOM/B2X (called L2). All deployment to test/staging and production is fully automated with jobs polling Rule Team Server and deploying L1 validated rulesets on the hour with no IT intervention.
They have invested in a robust governance process that incorporates 2 levels of business review (6 eyes!) , strict permission control and well defined interactions between IT and businesses. The customer architecture and services teams have clearly done an outstanding job to ensure the product is being used sustainably and to its potential. We reviewed their existing product usage, as well as their plans for implementing underwriting and fraud detection rules.
In summary it is always fascinating to see the product being used in the real-world. As ever we came back with a head full of ideas for enhancements, and it was a pleasure to hear about the customer's success. In particular, reducing the need for traditional IT changes: empowering business changes within 1 day, versus several weeks (minimum) for IT changes.
I hope we can convince the customer to travel out to IBM Impact next year to present their experiences to a wider audience.