Prolifics Delivers Rapid Cloud-based Digital Transformation for Close Brothers


Prolifics helped Close Brothers Group, a British specialist financial services organization, overhaul its business model to bring it up to speed in the digital era. Close Brothers implemented a first-class online experience that is on track to deliver 7 million pounds of financial benefit in the first year alone. Prolifics’ cloud-based solution, powered by IBM Bluemix and IBM BPM, allows the customer to digitally access and sign documentation, while also allowing Close Brothers to transform its backend systems, increasing efficiency, driving down costs, and paving the way for future benefits.


When we started out, our aspiration for the gateway project was to give our customers a much better experience and give them some new capability to sign some of their documentation online and to get access to their documents online to drive the take-up for those services up from the relatively low percentages they are the moment up to being the prevalent channel of choice for people to get access to our service.

As a very high-level brief, I think where we’re now going with it is actually a much more strategic solution than that. We will deliver all of those benefits, absolutely, we will give a first-class customer experience online and we’ll drive our digital take-up services up to a much, much higher proportion of our customers. But what we’re also going to do is give us the capability to transform our backend systems so that the underwriting process, the operations processes, the account management processes are all hung together in a BPM platform that enables us to make changes easily, to optimize the size of the teams that support that, to drive cost out, to drive sales benefits up, to get more MI. Actually, the platform’s given us far more than what we originally asked for. I think that’s down to the cloud development in Bluemix and the speed of deployment of new applications, and the structured way of articulating your requirements and hanging your processes together in the Blueworks platform.

But when we did start the gateway project, I think it became very clear that we’d had great success in the integration platform. I think the platform had delivered everything we expected it to. The Prolifics delivery partner had delivered far better than all of our existing delivery partners. We’d worked with a number of outsource partners already. The relationship at Prolifics was going really well, the projects were on time, on budget, the account management was really good. So it became a much easier choice to choose them for a subsequent piece of work.

I think we’ll deliver somewhere in the region of 7 million pounds of financial benefit in the first year from that project. We’ll be able to sell more to new customers, and we’ve already won customers off the demonstrations we’ve done. So we took the demo that IBM and Prolifics put together for us and we took that out into some of our pitches with some large clients, and we’ve won business off the back of that, on the commitment that we deliver to our time scales. We’ve also managed to retain business that we wouldn’t have otherwise retained because of the functionality we’re delivering. And it’s going to drive operational savings through the take-up of the digital channel. It’s going to drive down the amount of paper and the amount of phone calls we have to deal with, which drives cost-downs of our business.

If you think about the roadmap we’ve got, we start with integration. That’s us putting in place the backbone that enables us to hook components together. We now layer on top of that a presentation layer that’s going to give us an immediate benefit to our customers and a BPM layer that’s going to give us immediate benefit to operational processes.

The next thing is to start looking at data analytics. We want to expose some of our existing reporting through the platforms we’ve got for our customers in a way that’s much more understandable and much more compelling and will help them drive business value. So, again, thinking about what’s the immediate benefit we can get, and how can we use that to deploy a platform that’s going to give us more benefits down the line.