Irish Life & Permanent in major SOA rollout

23 Mar 2007

Irish life Investment Managers (ILIM), the investment management subsidiary of Irish Life & Permanent plc that manages in excess of €29bn in funds, has signed a major deal with Nasdaq software player BEA Systems to deploy a strategic services-oriented architecture (SOA) platform.

The finance company is rolling out BEA’s AquaLogic business process management (BPM) software to enable it to support new product innovation and integrate better with partners’ systems.

“We see this infrastructure as being an enabler for ILIM to automate and optimise key day-to-day business processes, to reduce integration effort, minimise complexity and to put some of the change back in the hands of the business,” explained David Jones, SOA architect lead at ILIM.

“This will enable ILIM’s IT and the business functions to maximise their automation options and reduce the time to delivery. ILIM’s aim is to maximise its ability to innovate and quickly respond to market and client demands while always operating in a cost-efficient, controlled and tightly regulated environment.”

The BEA AquaLogic implementation builds on an existing BEA WebLogic Server deployment, which until now has been the backbone of the company’s strategic application development.

ILIM is implementing the BEA AquaLogic BPM Suite to create, execute and optimise its business processes.

This provides ILIM with collaboration between business and IT through specialised modelling and design tools that shall ensure efficient iterations by each participant in the development process lifecycle.

It also helps align ILIM’s business analysts and IT in their goal to design, connect and deploy the processes and services that underpin the company’s performance.

The overall SOA environment in which the BEA product set is being adopted is also being designed to enable ILIM to react faster to certain types of change, reducing the cycle time for delivery.

“Rapid IT response is a necessity where there is short lead times (product, client, partner or regulatory related, for example) and you operate your business in a service operational excellence environment,”said Jones.

“We can’t afford to wait three to six months for a project or release to happen. The businesses want new requirements or optimisations implemented in weeks rather than months.

“We have to recognise there are development lifecycles for different types of changes and solutions. Our existing approach of one size fits all is no longer a luxury IT can enjoy,” Jones said.

By John Kennedy