The following articles were authored by The Axway Blog Team
The value that operational intelligence brings to banking and payments

This is a transcript of the Axway video blog post of the same name.

LAURENT VAN HUFFEL: Hi. My name is Laurent Van Huffel. I am responsible for the Axway business unit of operational intelligence in North America. Today I wanted to talk to you about the value that operational intelligence can bring into the banking world and, more specifically, in the world of payment.

What we hear from many of our customers is they often find out issues after the fact, when it’s too late. When they have either missed an SLA or missed their cut-off payment. Whether you’re looking at the high-value payment, SEPA, SCH, check image, or any other form of payment, specifically with the faster payment trends, or what people call the immediate payment — things are moving in a more complex world. And so, because customers are often organized from a business operations standpoint in silos, they only view a partial view of the execution of the business process. Because they often get information when it’s too late, sometimes when their own customers call them to tell them they have a problem that they’re not even aware of. This is obviously not good for the business.

In a nutshell, operational intelligence helps business operations to proactively identify and resolve process issues prior to impacting their business and their customers. Why “proactive” is so critical is because if you take a high-value payment, for instance, that’s an itinerant type of payment — you need to have enough time to act upon information so that you can mitigate your risk and at least make sure you’re going to meet your cut-off all the time.

Our customers are telling us that their concern, for instance, is not being able to identify when a payment is stuck in a business step for too long. Or not being able to identify that they are processing an abnormally high volume of payment at that time of the day. And why this is a concern is because they may run out of capacity.

Or if you have an abnormally high number of payments failing the STP route, going into a non-STP route, this would mean that they will go for manual repair. Maybe you don’t have enough people on the bench to repair those payments fast enough, which means that you may be taking the risk of missing a cut-off.

For multiple reasons, customers want the capability of end-to-end visibility. They want to be able to track their business transactions — their payments — end-to-end, and identify any potential issues during the execution of these payments against the business commitment they have made to their customers. If something is abnormal, they want an exception-driven, actionable-intelligence dashboard or alert that tells them that something is not normal and therefore they should do something about it.

Operational intelligence — the way it works, it collects in real time critical data from multiple sources in order to map out the end-to-end view of the business process — would call out this information using real-time analytics and publish actionable intelligence to each stakeholder that (has) a role in the well-being of their business processes. What is important to understand is that each stakeholder may have a different objective, and therefore, they will have different concerns. The content of this dashboard can be easily customized and tailored to each stakeholder.

If you are an executive, you don’t want to see the same information (that you would see) if you (were) a supervisor in a control room for payment. The Axway Decision Insight operational intelligence solution is a non-development platform. You can configure dashboards very easily, very quickly. You can configure your set of dashboards in less than three days. Then, of course, you would need to move into production and go for the UAT phase and so on.

The way that the solution works is it’s a very iterative and incremental process. We want you to have the ability to easily configure a dashboard, easily modify a dashboard, easily increment the value of the dashboard. Think of it more as a journey as opposed to a destination where you will want to use a dashboard today. As business conditions change, you will have the ability to very easily modify that dashboard to these changing conditions. At the end, the typical business drivers for which banks decide to use operational intelligence are better risk mitigation, better customer experience improvement, and increasing the operation efficiencies which result in less cost.

To learn more about Axway Decision Insight, please click here.

To view the video blog on YouTube, please click here.

The DQSA traceability law: Is a cloud global traceability and compliance service right for your business?

This is a transcript of The Axway Podcast, “The DQSA traceability law: Is a cloud global traceability and compliance service right for your business?

ANNOUNCER: Hello everyone and welcome to The Axway Podcast. Today we’re talking about the DQSA, the Drug Quality and Security Act, which was signed into law by President Obama on November 27th, 2013. Title II of the DQSA outlines critical steps to build an electronic, interoperable system to identify and trace certain prescription drugs as they’re distributed in the United States. 

ATIF: Specifically when you talk about pharmaceutical and counterfeits — these are drugs that people are ingesting, and there could be adverse reactions or effects. Or, in most cases, there are placebo effects, where they are not doing the job that they are supposed to be doing. It ranges from different things. So when you talk about the issues, it could range from a variety of spectrums. 

ANNOUNCER: That’s Atif Chaughtai, Axway’s director of solution marketing for the Healthcare industry. We asked him to tell us a little about the issues created by counterfeit drugs in the global pharmaceutical supply chain.

ATIF: Let’s take the example of somebody taking drugs to treat some kind of minor flu, for example. And since they’re taking a drug that they had gotten from a reputable pharmacy that somehow was supplied counterfeit drugs, that flu itself can get more aggressive and, in some cases, cause death or severe side effects in terms of other diseases that people might have. So, all that ends up is… Those people end up either in an emergency room, or urgent care facilities, driving up the cost of healthcare. The whole idea beside the Affordable Care Act — that you do chronic disease management, that you have a better dialog with your patients, and providers providing continuous care to the patients through different means — goes sideways when it comes to counterfeit drugs.

ANNOUNCER: So this is a big, important issue, not just on a regulatory level, but a humanitarian one, too. We asked Atif to tell us about some of the issues the Drug Supply Chain Security Act, which is Title II of the DQSA, creates for businesses, and some of the issues it solves for consumers.

ATIF: Some of the issues that Drug Supply Chain Security Act solves for our customers relates to things that are happening in the supply chain, when you have so many different actors involved — good and bad, oftentimes. One thing it does is it monitors … to eliminate diversion, parallel trade, and forward buying. Now, these are all things that somebody might use to take advantage and undercut pricing to compete better, which, at the end of the day, the pharmaceutical manufacturer is losing business on, regardless.

ANNOUNCER: Atif says that another challenge it addresses is product authentication, and the need for visibility into the supply chain, so that any time a business has a recall, identifying the products in question won’t require a great deal of effort. The business will be able to conduct the recall with a 99 percent certainty that these are, in fact, the units they need to withdraw from the market.

ATIF: Your good batch will essentially still go to the shelves and be sold, and bad batch will be effectively taken off the shelves. Also, another thing is it can help you detect product diversion. So if you sold your product to an organization that was supposed to ship to a country like Brazil, for example, and Brazil government has negotiated a certain price for that product, which is cheaper than what you’re selling in the U.S. … It is the person who’s shipping, the company that is shipping ends up diverting that product to the U.S. market, and sells it for more profit because the prices here are higher than he, or she, or the company had bought it for — prices that were for Brazil.

ANNOUNCER: In that scenario, drugs become available to the market for a much lower price, and that ruins the manufacturers’ profit margins. It’s challenges like this, Atif says, that the DQSA actually helps businesses identify and address, to say nothing of the counterfeit products it helps to isolate and keep out of the supply chain. So we asked Atif, what are the challenges that businesses are having with implementing the Drug Supply Chain Security Act itself?

ATIF: One of the biggest challenges is the law does not call out for what kind of solution to use to communicate between all these various bodies in the supply chain. The big three wholesalers — McKesson, ABC, and H.D. Smith — they currently do exchange data electronically with their trading partners using EDI, so their preference is to use EDI. Now, Electronic Data Interchange is a mechanism to exchange data. It does not allow you to meet the DQSA requirements, which requires specific capabilities.

ANNOUNCER: Still, low-tech and no-tech companies and 3PL providers often need totally different capabilities, and those capabilities are currently provided by EPCIS, the Electronic Product Code Information Services. EPCIS allows businesses to store data, carry data, respond to the FDA’s information requests, and enter data in different ways to meet DQSA requirements.

ATIF: The last challenge I will mention is organizations that do not have IT systems in place, or IT to support their business. They’re looking at how do they implement this law, right? And they’re looking upstream for people who are supplying the drugs to them for either distributing or, if it’s a mom-and-pop’s pharmacy shop, they’re looking at their 3PL providers to hold the DQSA data for them. So, those are some of the challenges that businesses are facing right now.

ANNOUNCER: But businesses can effectively address these challenges with a cloud global traceability and compliance service. So we asked Atif to explore that idea a bit, and tell us about the capabilities businesses need that they might not yet realize they need.

ATIF: Let’s first talk about what the word “cloud” means, right? So, from an IT perspective, cloud is something that is elastic that provides certain additional functionality that meets the cloud checklist. When we’re talking about the cloud global traceability and compliance service, the best way for me to describe what it is, is, for example, if you watch Netflix, right? Netflix is a service that is offered through a cloud, but for the end user, it doesn’t matter. They just go to a website, or they go to their smart TV, or their smart device to play the Netflix movie.

ANNOUNCER: And that’s what a cloud global traceability and compliance service is. It takes care of all those things behind the scenes so that a business just gets, in the end, an application that’s hosted and maintained for them, one that allows them to run their business instead of becoming an IT guru. What a cloud global traceability and compliance service does, quite simply, is this: it provides the specific capabilities every healthcare company needs in order to satisfy the DQSA.

ATIF: One of them has to be that it should be able to communicate with the big three distributors — McKesson … and H.D. Smith, and ABC — and they use specifically EDI ASN for their communication. And they have customized their ASN specifically… Or customized their EDI. So you need to be able to communicate with them, first of all. Second capability that you need is being able to communicate with internal systems, ERP systems, whatever system that you are using to maintain information about your supply chain. It should be able to communicate with those systems as well. And typically the de-facto standard has become EPCIS to communicate through. So, they need to be certified. An EPCIS implementation provider. And they should be looking to implement the new EPCIS format that is coming up. Additionally, even though this standard is being deprecated, and being sunset — but DPMS is an important standard to also consider because there are systems out there that have built interfaces for DPMS when California and Florida pedigree was in play. Your service should be able to provide that as well. Third thing it needs to be able to provide is a portal, because your low-tech and no-tech organizations will need to rely on you to provide these capabilities for them to do business. So, you need to provide a portal where these companies can come in and upload and verify the information that relates to the supply chain movement of the drugs.

To learn more about the DQSA and whether a cloud global traceability and compliance service is right for your business, please click here.

To listen to the podcast on YouTube (audio only), please click here.

To view the SlideShare presentation, “How to achieve simple, affordable enterprise traceability in the cloud,” please click here.