AWD 2015 Product Strategy

Roy Brackett and Mike Lovell from DST’s BPS (Business Process Solutions) product management gave us a review of what happened in 2014 and an update on their 2015 product strategy, following on from the bits that we heard from John Vaughn in the opening session.

DST has a ton of experience with the back office, since they run a huge outsourcing operation, but their current push is to also improve front office and customer-facing functionality. They are accelerating their release cycles, and providing detailed information via web conferences and technical briefings with customers. They’ve also mapped out a value journey for their customers for complex implementations: from defining outcomes and performance metrics to a solution design, proof of concept and production implementation.

With a large portfolio of products, including quite a bit of legacy still running at client locations, they have some product management challenges both in refactoring and modernizing platforms, and implementing newer technologies to keep up with the competition. Over three releases from June 2014 to January 2015, they added a number of capabilities:

  • UI widgets that use their RESTful services, including messaging between the widgets and with other applications
  • Advanced comments that allow threading and an activity feed view, bringing a more collaborative, social feel to authenticated comments within AWD
  • Variable timers that can be set at runtime
  • Multiple recipients on outbound letters, such as sending a broker or advisor a copy of a letter sent to a client
  • RESTful authentication
  • Security upgrades, including enforcing trusted sources for server data, and prohibiting JavaScript in comments
  • Separating out batch actions to improve performance

With their next releases, scheduled for April and beyond, they are adding or enhancing the following functionality:

  • Consume SAML-based web services
  • Communications editor for creating outbound correspondence
  • Updated platform support for WebSphere, Jbox, WebLogic, Oracle, WinSQL and IE 11
  • Updates to case management functionality including date functions, such as basing a date on the completion of dependencies, and adding case end dates
  • Early release of their Processing Workspace, which will mark the beginning of the end of their current portal UI; this improves real estate and navigation, and adds personalization for the primary workspace, worklists, search and attachment handling
  • Process analytics
  • Advanced workgroup management, rather than just a simple supervisor-worker hierarchy
  • Quality metrics and related analytics
  • Enhanced data transfer from AWD to the BI warehouse — there will be a session following this on the entire BI roadmap

There’s also some work being done on creating robust data centers under their Project Rainforest, which will be covered in sessions later today.

We pulled back from the details to look at the business problems that are front of mind for organizations: enhanced customer experience, process efficiency, targeted marketing (via analytics) and cost reduction top the list. Broken down by industry, DST’s big three customer verticals of banking/investments, insurance and healthcare are definitely focused on enhanced customer experience, but also concerned with risk and compliance more than the overall average. To address this, DST is doing significant product development in the vertical application solutions and accelerators that can help their target customers achieve value sooner.

DST has never been seen as an innovator in the BPMS market in terms of features, and their current roadmap isn’t going to change that view. However, what they do provide is a deep pool of domain expertise in their core markets, and solid products that solve the real business problems for those customers. This has allowed them to create extremely strong relationships with their customers, who rely on them to support existing practices while modernizing their technology.

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