On reading a recent story on 'Relationship based pricing' in Financial Services. This concept basically talks about offering special prices based on the relationship that a customer has with a Bank across various business units like Insurance, credit card, etc. Traditionally, the prices/discounts are extended to the client only based on a specific product relationship. For example, a Bank will not typically offer special prices when the customer makes a product purchase across a line-of-business. This is due to the hard fact that the Bank does not have 360 degree view of the customer. Hard hitting indeed!.
Every bank is trying to get this full view of the customer. There are lots of point-to-point integrations are implemented in a Bank's IT system to realize this sceanario. The point is that it exists. But, it is also complex and erroneous. So, the banks have so far not realized the complete potential of having 360 degree of customers. New products/services on top of a 360 degree view have always remained as dreams.
Now, I see this scenario as the real business case for having an SOA based infrastructure and integration. Had the Banks had an agile infrastructure today, they would have been in a position to offer new services like Relationship based pricing. Now, since the fact that their infrastructure is not agile, its going to increase their time-to-market. And thats where the competitor wins!.
So, the future lies with the people who are really acting TODAY.