Bank of Montreal Speaker

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Bank of Montreal

Speaker: Randy Oswald, Senior Vice President, Technology and Solutions

Bank of Montreal is one of the largest financial service providers in North America. BMO provides a comprehensive offering of retail banking, wealth management, and investment banking products and solutions.

The program is called BMO Connect and it is an umbrella program of a lot of initiatives which are really oriented around productivity and efficiency of our sales and service folks who understand who the client is, what our relationship with the client is, what’s the next best opportunity to conduct more business with this client.
Our first implementation of this was with our CSR application. You might better know that as the teller application. There aren’t too many more applications in the bank that are more important than this in terms of the availability and performance. We wanted that user application just to be focused on that user process and have nice easy standard ways of consuming the backend services that it needs, and that’s really what the Web services part does.
We chose WebSphere as being the mid-tier integrating technology because WebSphere on zSeries, we felt, has the right characteristics in terms of being capable of meeting our rigorous requirements in things like high performance, high availability, disaster recovery, and the ability to integrate with the complexities of our existing mainframe based products systems and legacy systems.
This has to be capable of doing hundreds of transactions per second and that’s what we tested for. We set a goal for response time. The mid-tier was to add no more than 100 milliseconds to the total path of the transaction. The experience we’ve had after having implemented the production is that the mid-tier was averaging 20 to 30 milliseconds.
The ability to have very, very high speed connectivity between our mid-tier and our backend products systems which we can do, they run on zSeries as well, so memory to memory transfer capability for example is something that is quite valuable to us.
What we’ve done with the CSR application by using the Web services integration is we’ve been able to integrate our tellers into the sales process in terms of understanding opportunities and making referrals based on those opportunities and collaborating electronically with our other channels on those opportunities. And that’s really a tremendous benefit for the organization.
Speaking with the President of the retail bank, their ecstatic about this part of the solution it did create for them a new business problem. Their referral bucket is overflowing, and that quite frankly is a business problem that he is very happy to have.
IBM supplied a lot of the knowledge and skill around building Web Services using Java on WebSphere. IBM also did a lot of the work. The interoperability area, the integration with the security solutions, and they were very effective in making sure the solution worked end-to-end and met the needs of the bank.
It’s performed flawlessly for us since we implemented it. I’m really very pleased with how they partnered with us. It’s much, much beyond a typical client/supplier kind of relationship, and IBM has been a really valued partner in making this whole thing work.

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