Business Rule Management Systems and Financial Services: Equifax as a Case Study

April 1, 2005


San Francisco, CA, USA April 1, 2005

In a new report, , Celent looks at how one of the leading financial services vendors in the US leveraged the latest in business rule management technology to develop a more robust platform for its decisioning product suite.

Equifax has become a household name in America as a provider of credit reports and data. The company痴 services are used by many, including several major US financial institutions. Over the past few decades, Equifax has expanded its service offering across the credit acquisition life cycle, particularly to the decisioning process of extending credit. Equifax developed solutions such as Equifax Decision Power to help lenders and credit issuers match the appropriate product to their applicants based on the applicant痴 profile and lender痴 criteria. Decision Power has grown significantly since the early 1990s and is currently used by 700 companies across the US in the financial services, telecommunications, auto finance, and healthcare industries.

This case study walks readers through Equifax痴 process of choosing a business rule management system (BRMS) solution, its implementation of the product, and the lessons learned. It provides readers with a firm understanding of BRMS as well as insight into best practices should they choose to implement a BRMS at their own company.

Although business rules engines have been around for more than 25 years, they are increasingly drawing the attention of many lenders and similar companies as firms seek better solutions to address the complexities of their business at a time when regulatory and compliance issues continue to intensify. Today痴 enhanced business rules engines溶amely BRMS預re capable of managing the set of rules governed by such complexities in a way no human or simplistic set of algorithms could.

Equifax turned to ILOG for a BRMS. ILOG, a provider of business rules technologies, has grown substantially over the past eight years, serving more than 2,500 customers worldwide. For a little more than a year and a half, Equifax worked to develop a new decisioning platform, InterConnect, that leveraged ILOG痴 business rule management system (JRules). InterConnect combined Equifax痴 many decisioning products onto one platform, and it enables business users to change these decisioning rules as the needs of their company change.

The development of InterConnect makes an interesting case study for two reasons," comments Ariana-Michele Moore, senior analyst in Celent痴 banking group and author of the report. "First, it is a great example of how one firm in the financial services industry was able to use a BRMS to improve its internal processes and product offering. Second, it is an example of a trend we are beginning to see in the industry. An increasing number of vendors are starting to incorporate these robust rules engines into their solution suite to better serve the needs of financial institutions."

This 28-page report includes eight figures and four tables. A table of contents is available online.

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Celent is a research and advisory firm dedicated to helping financial institutions formulate comprehensive business and technology strategies. Celent publishes reports identifying trends and best practices in financial services technology and conducts consulting engagements for financial institutions looking to use technology to enhance existing business processes or launch new business strategies. With a team of internationally based analysts, Celent is uniquely positioned to offer strategic advice and market insights on a global basis. Celent is a member of the Oliver Wyman Group, which is a wholly-owned operating unit of Marsh & McLennan Companies [NYSE: MMC].

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Table of Contents


San Francisco, CA, USA April 1, 2005

Return to report Abstract


Executive Summary 3
Background 5
Company Overview 5
Equifax's Decisioning Solutions 5
Customer Trends and Challenges 7
Product Vision and Goals 8
Leveraging BRMS Technology 10
Background and Terminology 10
Understanding a BRMS 11
BRMS Fit With Equifax's Goal 15
Designing and Building the Engine 17
Build Versus Buy 17
Vendor Selection 17
Implementation 19
End Result 21
Interconnect 21
Conclusion 24
Achievements 24
Lessons Learned 24
Objectivity and Methodolgy 27

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