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Leveraging Oracle Policy Automation integration architecture, will it make a paradigm shift?

Decision making is one of the key aspect embedded within any business process workflow cutting across all domains. Increasingly in today's world, there is a definite need for performing what-if analysis in driving right business decisions/outcomes in a shorter time aligned towards the organization revenue growth and high performance. To promote it consistently one must not only focus on reducing operational costs but also make a differentiation in the way business is executed by adopting innovative methods to perform the what-if analysis in an intelligent way to build quick, smart decision making capabilities within each of the key business process in the organization.

In this blog one such technology product Oracle Policy Automation (OPA), designed as a specialized decision making technology platform, an offering from Oracle Corporation will be looked at to see if this product makes a significant difference to the cause explained. Imagine a product which can nicely sit in your desktop and allows you to write your business rules specs using plain English (supports other languages such as German, Danish, Spanish etc.) in a Microsoft office word or excel spreadsheet, compile them together logically, construct a model to deploy them as a stand-alone or as a package in your application server where business logic evaluation is expected to happen. Sounds really interesting, right? This is Oracle Policy Automation solution framework. The cherry on the cake is that the package can act as a web service that can be well consumed for meeting integration needs in an enterprise architecture.

Flowchart: Connector: CONNECTOR 
(Cloud as well On Premise)


Fig. Oracle Policy Automation - High Level Architecture

With the same interest, let's take a look at OPA technology architecture depicted above. As evidenced from the architecture shown above, at high level OPA has below

  • Policy Modeler - simple eligibility rules can be written in native languages using Office products available in one's desktop.
  • Determinations Engine - a library performing all the business logic evaluation against the user input data received to make clear determinants.
  • Web Determinations -   runs the web surveys and interacts with Determinations Engine for making decisions.
  • Determinations Server - Used for exposing Determinations Engine in the form of a web service.

OPA architecture can be integrated with any on premise as well cloud applications, there is a cloud connector is readily available for cloud based integrations. This architecture if implemented will reap the below direct benefits

  • Business team will own the rules creation, authorization and maintenance leading to significant reduction in cost of support staff, significant improvement in accuracy and establishes consistency in evaluation of policies.
  • Enhances competitive edge in the market as this directly enhances the end customer experience and business team experience.
  • Manage the core business rules centrally establishing more control to business team
  • Brings agility, promotes reusability and reduces redundancy across the organization
  • Plug and play architecture enables easy integration with all major applications

With the understanding of OPA architecture, its components and benefits. Let's go through list of common problem statements which when exists within an organization warrants OPA or a similar policy automation solution to remain agile.

  • The experience and skill set of service personnel in the delivery organization front ending the customers towards probing, data collection for evaluation against defined policies is not sufficient. The turnaround time could be improved.
  • The organization expects customer to fill a questionnaire at front desk or during an interactive call/chat every time to seek some information to understand and process their queries.
  • The frequency towards policy evaluation for new as well existing customers, which the organization performs is quite high.
  • The organization believes that agility and transparency across the board towards customer policy compliance, evaluation and adherence can be boosted.
  • The organization process to track and audit the decisions made by customer service team is manually done and not consistent.
  • Organization is spending significant time & cost on interactions with customers
  • Organization is looking for a common automated solution across all channels to make fruitful interactions with customers
  • The policy framework and related decisions making process is complex with due factoring done towards the relevance of legislations & compliance regulations, which the organization expects to follow.
  • Lack of business support for formulating & promoting new policies exists because of managing too many pain points experienced in the current processes.
  • Business team dislikes the idea of business corporate policies or rules being owned by programmers towards implementation.

With its dual capability, OPA offering stands out as a go to product for quick deployment as well for greater yield on return on investments in the longer run.  OPA offering with its plug and play architecture allows it be used for What if analysis on policy making & amendment decisions to assess logical gaps, operational and financial impacts by testing applicable scenarios using OPA architecture modeling the rules and feeding them to get the results for verification.

OPA scores over other products or alternatives easily, a short illustration on prime factors is given below for better understanding. The key capability of OPA is that it offers an optimized, easy to use solution to build and maintain complex policies to derive critical business decisions.





Fig. Oracle Policy Automation vs. Alternatives - Comparison

In spite of all its compelling features OPA is not the best solution for all rule based business problems cutting across domains in public and private sector. Also OPA doesn't come for free, it has a license cost associated hence every organization should evaluate if the there is a real need for policy modeling and automation. OPA against its initial cost and time cannot be justified truly for business cases involving modeling rules unless a fitment exercise is undertaken and cost benefit analysis is made in detail and presented to stakeholders for a decision on the shift this product offers towards revenue growth or reduction in operations costs.

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