PegaWORLD 2012 Financial Services Special Interest Group

I thought I was going to spend the afternoon here in Dallas at the pool before the opening reception at PegaWORLD this evening, but there is a pretty active pre-conference program and I sat in on the financial services special interest group. In my role as a consultant to enterprises implementing BPM (which is usually a majority of my work), my focus is on financial services and insurance, so I wanted to hear what Pega is saying about what’s new for financial services. There were a number of presenters from Pega, including Tony Young and Rich Jefferson, both of whom are part of Pega’s financial services vertical.

Pega’s had financial services customers from the start, but they’re building out more customer service offerings so that they can do more than just transactional processes in the back office. From a past focus on improving operational efficiency, they’re also targeting both improving customer experience and driving revenue growth for their customers. To manage this in the financial services space, they have frameworks specifically for building financial services solutions. They are updating their frameworks to keep up with the underlying PegaBPM platform – mobile, integrated decisioning, federated case management – while modernizing and simplifying the product porfolio, bringing everything in to baseline on their financial services industry foundation (FSIF). There are also some new solutions that Pega has developed including capital markets onboarding, and partner solutions such as lending automation.

We also heard about some of the initiatives for creating community within companies for learning about and collaborating on Pega projects: at Wells Fargo, for example, they set up a closed LinkedIn group with information on educational webinars, regular meetings and other information. A closed group on LinkedIn (or other social networks) is a great way to get started when you’re a bit too small to support an internal center of excellence (COE) or community site, and also want to include external collaborators (assuming, of course, that your company network doesn’t block these sites). Pega has also set up private microsites for other customers, such as TD Bank, to act as a knowledge base. My only concern with having the vendor setting up these community spaces is that they tend to result in the client organization developing a vendor-specific COE rather than a broader-based BPM COE, which is usually not a good thing for supporting more general BPM initiatives within the organization, although it’s better than having no COE at all.

There are five booths at the conference just for financial services solutions, plus their customer centricity center and core PegaBPM booths; lots of things for financial services customers to see. There are also a lot of presentations to be delivered by financial services customers this week: American Express, Asya Bank, JPMC, Schwab, Wells Fargo and more.

Pega is claiming that there are 2,000 attendees registered (likely including their own people), which probably makes them a contender for the biggest BPM conference around; I know that my flight down this morning from Toronto was jammed with people talking about Pega, if that’s any indicator of the interest.

On a logistical note, if you’re trying to reach me here, don’t call or SMS my Canadian mobile number, because I swap in a US SIM chip when I travel to the US. Best way to reach me is by email or Twitter.

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