A manufacturer deploys business rules in an hour rather than a week

IBM Operational Decision Management software helps speed new business rules to market

Published on 03-Jul-2013

"For a change to go into production, even in an emergency situation, it would have taken anywhere from 24 hours to one week. But with the business having control of these rules, they can go into deployment mode within an hour." - Enterprise architect, vehicle manufacturer

Customer:
A vehicle manufacturer

Industry:
Automotive

Solution:
Business Process Management (BPM)

Overview

This company manufactures commercial trucks, buses, recreational vehicles (RVs), defense vehicles and engines, and it provides after-market support and financing services. It has operations worldwide.

Business need:
This vehicle manufacturer had numerous COBOL-based applications as part of its ERP solution, and making changes to them was challenging and time-consuming.

Solution:
The company engaged IBM to perform a Quick Win Pilot using IBM® Operational Decision Management software; IBM helped implement the software and train staff.

Benefits:
Users can push business rule changes to production systems in an hour versus a week, and the solution integrates with the company’s service-oriented architecture (SOA), facilitating rule reuse.

Case Study

This company manufactures commercial trucks, buses, recreational vehicles (RVs), defense vehicles and engines, and it provides after-market support and financing services. It has operations worldwide.

Challenge
The organization wanted to make fundamental changes to its IT strategy. It sought to replace silos with enterprisewide applications and create greater alignment between business requirements and the IT department. As part of this transformation, the company needed to change the way it handled business rules. Its core ERP system relied on numerous COBOL-based applications for processing. Making changes to these applications could be tricky; they were poorly documented and the company had a shrinking pool of resources available to manage them. The organization began looking for a more flexible, responsive business rules solution that would enable it to get new and updated business rules to production quickly.

Solution
The business considered solutions from multiple vendors before deciding to engage IBM to perform a Quick Win Pilot using IBM® Operational Decision Management software. “IBM laid out a Quick Win program for us, which is like an eight to 12 week program,” says an enterprise architect at the company. “IBM did codevelopment with us and then helped us size our environment because it’s a centralized decision-making environment where all the manufacturing applications—not only financial applications but warranty applications, engineering applications or sales applications—can coexist in one central location so that we can leverage the environment itself. And IBM laid out the training plan for us.”

With Operational Decision Management software, users can divide business rules into services, which then integrate with the organization’s service-oriented architecture (SOA), facilitating reuse. Users can search for rules, modify them and reuse them. Further, if necessary, users can revert to previous versions of the rule and access a complete history of the changes other users have made to it.

At the end of the pilot, the business was able to successfully use the solution. “Within 10 months of starting this program, we have three applications in production. Our team is fully enabled,” says the architect. “IBM has basically helped us fast-track this process.”

Benefits
§ Helps users implement business rule changes to production systems in an hour versus the week required previously
§ Empowers users to alter business rules without IT aid and helps them see the potential impact of changes before making them
§ Integrates with the company’s existing SOA, facilitating reuse

For more information
To learn more about IBM Operational Decision Management software, please contact your IBM marketing representative or IBM Business Partner, or visit the following website: ibm.com/software/decision-management.

Products and services used

IBM products and services that were used in this case study.

Software:
IBM Operational Decision Manager

Legal Information

© Copyright IBM Corporation 2013 IBM Corporation Software Group Route 100 Somers, NY 10589 Produced in the United States of America June 2013 IBM, the IBM logo and ibm.com are trademarks of International Business Machines Corp., registered in many jurisdictions worldwide. Other product and service names might be trademarks of IBM or other companies. A current list of IBM trademarks is available on the Web at “Copyright and trademark information” at www.ibm.com/legal/copytrade.shtml. This document is current as of the initial date of publication and may be changed by IBM at any time. Not all offerings are available in every country in which IBM operates. The performance data and client examples cited are presented for illustrative purposes only. Actual performance results may vary depending on specific configurations and operating conditions. THE INFORMATION IN THIS DOCUMENT IS PROVIDED “AS IS” WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, INCLUDING WITHOUT ANY WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY, FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE AND ANY WARRANTY OR CONDITION OF NON-INFRINGEMENT. IBM products are warranted according to the terms and conditions of the agreements under which they are provided.