December 07, 2006 08:38 ET

IBM Helps EBS Building Society to Enhance Its Business Flexibility, and Speed to Market via Service Orientated Architecture (SOA)

IBM to Ensure Smooth IT Installation of SOA for EBS Building Society

DUBLIN, IRELAND -- (MARKET WIRE) -- December 7, 2006 -- IBM (NYSE: IBM) has released details of a significant project with EBS Building Society, one of Ireland's largest building societies. The agreement, part of EBS' IT upgrade strategy, is to enhance its business flexibility by implementing a Service Orientated Architecture (SOA) which will enable the company to connect seamlessly online with thousands of mortgage brokers in Ireland.

EBS is a building society which operates on cooperative mutual principles. It has been providing home loans to its members since 1935 and today commands in excess of a 10 percent share of the EUR 26 billion Irish home loan market.

Historically, EBS has traditionally only operated through its proprietary network of branches and franchise agents. However, having seen the recent trends in the market for customers to source mortgages through mortgage brokers, EBS knew that it needed to become a front runner in communicating seamlessly with these brokers to secure new mortgage customers. For this, EBS needed an on demand IT channel to reach the broker community. After speaking with IBM's Global Business Services consultants, EBS Building Society chose an SOA for its scalability and flexibility to integrate disparate IT systems.

The new SOA solution, built on IBM's WebSphere software will allow EBS to encourage new business with the broker community by transforming the loan approval process, saving administration costs for brokers and reduce the amount of time required by brokers and end-customers to obtain loan approval.

The system will connect EBS directly to the brokers' in-house systems, by laying the groundwork for SOA using IBM WebSphere process server and IBM Rational Application Developer for WebSphere. IBM business consultants will also provide project management and SOA guidance which will ensure that EBS Building Society's tailored SOA application will have the maximum positive impact on its profitability, by increasing the organization's ability to reach new customers.

EBS' online mortgage processing system provides a comprehensive solution that includes loan application, deeds, maintenance and other back-end functions needed to issue a mortgage. This SOA solution will now enable EBS and the brokers who use its system to easily exchange XML-formatted information in simple transactions that replace time-consuming faxes, e-mails and phone calls.

SOA is a means to seamlessly integrate complex and disparate IT operations, e.g. Credit checking in EBS. SOA manages and packages that process so that the business can more easily consume it into any number of similar IT processes which required that same service.

SOA allows a company's existing technology to more closely align with business goals and helps to result in greater efficiencies, cost savings and productivity by removing the need to recreate IT services from scratch each and every time they are needed.

For EBS, its SOA installation will enable the organization to become extremely flexible in its ability to change business goals and priorities.

David Yeates, Senior Manager IT Architecture, EBS said, "SOA provides a flexible IT foundation that enables us to adapt quickly to changing business requirements. We can now compete with competition regardless of size because this flexibility enables us to bring new innovative services to market faster. This will ensure EBS will become a 'provider of choice' for mortgage brokers and thus presents EBS the opportunity to offer our services to a new range of members."

Mick Ryder, IBM Ireland Client Executive said, "The successful implementation of this project has demonstrated IBM's goal to support a diverse client base in their application of innovative customer facing solutions. IBM's aim is to accelerate the value which IT can offer a company when they make the decision to optimize their business using technology."

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Contact Information

  • Press Contacts
    Aidan Power
    EBS Communications
    +353 1 6659326

    Jenny Galitz
    IBM Media Relations