Westpac picks Oracle to underpin new tech foundation

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Westpac picks Oracle to underpin new tech foundation

Exclusive: Customer service hub deal sewn up.

Westpac will implement Oracle's Customer Hub data integration solution as the basis for its new technology architecture, in an effort to create a single view of the customer across its vast portfolio of systems.

The bank, under CIO Dave Curran, first signalled its intention to restructure its IT architecture around a so-called customer service hub, sitting in the middle of its operations, in 2014.

The platform is intended to centralise all the business logic sitting in separate product and customer-facing systems to give Westpac staff a holistic view of the customer.

At the time Curran hinted that the Oracle customer master database implemented prior to his arrival at Westpac would serve as a foundational element of the new hub.

Westpac introduced the Oracle customer master database under former CIO Bob McKinnon, primarily to support its Fiserv-based front-end for online banking.

The bank today confirmed that after several years assessing options in the market, it would extend its existing Oracle Customer Hub to become its new central customer identifier across the group.

A standard set of APIs will allow the hub to interact with any application, and the new Celeriti core banking platform (which has just gone live in St George) will serve as the system of record for accounts. Celeriti will be extended to Westpac's own operations down the track.

The bank started preliminary build work on the customer service hub around six months ago, and has already linked it to the St George Celeriti platform to "prove we can do it", Curran told iTnews.

Implementing the customer service hub first means the bank can isolate its product systems and choose what to do with them on a case by case basis.

"It's got three big advantages: it puts the customer at the centre of what you're doing in an application sense; it isolates the other systems so I can choose strategically when to address them; and third, the data is all kept around the customer, not around the product," Curran told iTnews.

"Everyting we know about you is linked to you, rather than products or channels."

The implementation of the customer service hub will begin with Westpac's home ownership channels. The project is expected to take three years in total.

The hub is one of four streams of work responsible for a 20 percent boost in Westpac's annual investment spend to $1.3 billion. The program includes a long-term technology standardisation and simplification drive.

More to come

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