Image credits: Brooke Cagle on Unsplash
Agos, a leading consumer credit provider in Italy and a part of the Crédit Agricole Group, has a corporate history spanning 30 years. Today, Agos serves approximately 9 million customers, sells 6 lines of credit, and has 230 branches throughout Italy.
Customers and partners form the basis of Agos’s corporate vision. The company wants to offer new cross-channel experiences to its customers and build relations based on trust. Agos also wants to enable its partners to integrate with the company’s system more efficiently and create new business models for their collective success. Based on this vision, Agos decided that it was high time to start its digital transformation initiative.
Agos’s digital transformation strategy is built upon four interconnected pillars: culture and organizational process, new technologies and infrastructure, operating model, and business transformation. WSO2 and Profesia - a WSO2 Premier Certified Integration Partner and Value Added Reseller in Italy - play a fundamental role in the new technologies and infrastructure pillar.
Five Principles for a Flexible and Open Digital Platform
Agos decided that the starting point of the technological and infrastructure pillar is a new architecture that is digital, open, and flexible. This new digital platform has to fulfill five principles:
- Enable simple integration between all layers of the application
- It is modular and based on standards
- Possesses the agility to develop and change architecture if needed
- It can be automated and scaled according to business needs
- It is secure across layers and based on open protocols
One of the significant challenges faced was the integration of the new products - WSO2 API Manager (a hybrid API management platform for full API lifecycle management, API development, and integration) and WSO2 Identity Server (an identity and access management solution used for identity federation and to provide secure access to web/mobile applications and endpoints) - to their existing ecosystem. Hence, they decided to use the new technology in two layers. The first is an API management layer, as Agos believes APIs are a crucial aspect of technology at this moment of time for their architecture and the security layer. The latter is OAuth2 security based, consists of Correlation ID, identity integration, and allows for federation with third parties.
Moreover, this was a complex project. Agos had to manage 9 IT suppliers, over 20 open technologies, over 200 automation code lines, and they had a timeframe of 12 months to go live. Profesia led the implementation of this project.
To describe the new architecture briefly, when a user logs in via Agos’s web application, WSO2 API Manager is used to consume services and the single page application is sent directly to WSO2 API Manager securely as it is configured directly with WSO2 Identity Server. In instances where Agos consumes services internally and do not use the web application, they use their ESB, which is also connected to WSO2 Identity Server. The new architecture is designed to accelerate authentication for services integration with third parties easily and securely. It is flexible making it adaptable to future integration needs, has increased interoperability based on standards, and has a reduced impact on change in security services (decoupling between application and enterprise user account management).
Initial Benefits and Long-Term Plans
Some of the initial benefits include the ease of starting new business initiatives, better integration with other solutions and suppliers in the Agos ecosystem, and reliable updates and fixing of bugs in the architecture. Most notably, Agos was able to go-live with its new customer information card interface within a month.
This is only the beginning for Agos. Future plans are in the pipeline to add more capabilities to the company’s architecture - continuous integration and cloud integration, the inclusion of an event and data streaming engine, and business process management. Designs are already being strategized, with the inclusion of WSO2 technology.
To learn more about this platform, watch this joint presentation by Agos and Profesia.
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