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Commonwealth Bank CIO lets Pegasystems do the 'grunt work'

Commonwealth Bank CIO lets Pegasystems do the 'grunt work'

Michael Harte: "Let's go have some fun and let the machines do the work"

Software provider, Pegasystems, has opened its new Sydney office after another year of solid growth and revenues of $500 million.

On hand for the opening was Commonwealth Bank of Australia, chief information officer, Michael Harte, who was Pegasystems’ first customer in Australia in 2007. Since then, Pegasystems had picked up large clients including Telstra, NSW Transport and the ANZ Bank, to name a few.

Harte told ARN the company had a model driven approach to creating software which reduced friction and time to market, so that customers were not frustrated and driven to alternatives.

“It improves the ways business engages with IT,” he said.

“Pegasystems is able to reduce the burden on the legacy systems and rather than having to redesign, they can engage more readily and bring content to market faster and have a richer engagement with the customer and shorten that cycle.”

The result is that programmers are not needed for basic manual programming.

According to a company statement, Pegasystems revolutionises how leading organisations optimise customer experience and automate operations.

“Our patented Build for Change technology empowers business people to create and evolve their critical business systems,” it said.

Harte said it was like moving out of the garage into the office building.

“It’s a nicer environment,” he said. “There will always be cases where human design will be required. Let’s move people to the higher order things and let’s allow machines to do the grunt work.”

Harte said staff were being trained all the time.

“Our job is to give all of our staff the exposure and bring back the best capabilities and accelerate their human capabilities so they are doing higher order work rather than stapling paper,” he said.

“Let’s go and have some fun and let the machines do the boring stuff.”

Pegasystems was spawned from founder and chief executive Alan Trefler’s realisation that business and chess, a game in which he was once co-world champion, shared some key similarities.

He felt that if a computer could be taught to play chess (to absorb data, recognise patterns, analyse and develop a strategy and continually revise this strategy) then why could it not be used to simplify business processes in the same way?

Trefler said it was it was a better way to think about software.

“If you look at the way software is manufactured at the moment, it is archaic," he said.

"Not by abandoning software but by adopting a new business approach to software, they can make their businesses better.”

He said he wanted to create a world where business and IT could collaborate.

“This is what it’s going to take for organisations to digitise and steal the march on competitors,” he said.

“There’s a new way to do it which flies in the face of all this handcrafting (manual programming). Let organisations build for change.”

The company’s solution enabled Telstra to reduce the cycle time for order-to-activation of IP services for enterprise customers by 70 per cent, helping to meet the heightened expectations of its most demanding sector and helping to reduce working capital requirements.

Pegasystems' APAC vice-president, Luke McCormack, said the company had gone from 12 staff in 2007 to 70 today, and expected number to grow to 100 by the end of the year.

"We are heavily dependent on our SI partners like Accenture and Cognizant," he said.

"This (office opening) is an important part of our evolution. It’s really important we continue to invest in the local market."

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Tags Commonwealth Bank chief information officer Michael HartePegasystems' APAC vice presidentANZPegasystem chief exectuive Alan TreflerLuke McCormackTelstra

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