African Bank Automates Customer Interaction with Talend

The new process and results confirm that Talend was the optimum choice and in terms of the cost-to-value equation, the benefit we gain for the investment we have made would not be achievable with any other solution investigated.
Ivan MccLean, Head Solution Delivery and Arnold Lyons, Business Sponsor

Through its subsidiaries African Bank and retail furniture group, Ellerine Holdings, ABIL’s purpose is to enhance ordinary South Africans’ lives through the provision and access to responsible credit. With two decades of experience in the origination of unsecured personal loans, the bank’s level of understanding of the target market, a customer base in excess of 2.6 million and total advances in excess of R53 billion, the group has positioned itself as the largest provider of personal loans to a credit and retail customer base.

In 2011, African Bank identified an opportunity to improve the generation and delivery of customer correspondence. Not all aspects of the process were automated, and execution of the process was distributed among a number of functional areas, which hindered the ability to manage the customer correspondence process from a single vantage point.

African Bank commenced a redesign of the process to improve governance, error management and mitigation, process automation and consolidate activities into a single functional area. The improved process will grow the reach and ability to embrace the emerging digital channels, while continuing to support traditional delivery channels from the same technology platform. A need arose in the new architecture plan for an ETL tool that could extract and transform customer correspondence data.

After analysing and comparing a number of technology candidates, the prime candidate in terms of a generation and delivery process proved to be the Thunderhead system. Through Thunderhead’s recommendation of Talend as a credible and proven ETL technology, both for business decisioning and extraction purposes, and for integrating with the Thunderhead application, Talend was placed onto the list of ETL candidates. Along with Talend were three custom-developed propositions, which required a larger investment and proved to offer very little features in comparison to Talend.

African Bank needed a fast way to incorporate dynamic business rules into its process and manually coding an ETL tool would not provide this benefit. Talend, however, provided this advantage, allowing for fast development and deploying of any required changes to the process.


Talend’s functionality to complement the Thunderhead system, as well as its development speed, governance and management tools, gave Talend the winning edge.

Through Talend’s Enterprise Administrator functionality, African Bank gained the advantage of having full control and monitoring capability without having to access any code or in-depth workflow. This enabled fast and precise resolution of errors, which relieved pressure on deployments. Talend implements the process without human interaction, where it can be exclusively managed by exception.

Talend’s partnership with technologies such as JasperSoft granted daily automated reporting to be done on workflow results. This allows for the ETL workflow to be interpreted into a business perspective, giving the business side a great advantage of understanding the process and to be able to make future decisions based on the actual workflow results, without having to depend entirely on IT personnels' interpretations. Talend’s ease of use allows for less time spent on resolving technical issues and more time focused on the business aspect.

“The new process and results confirm that Talend was the optimum choice and in terms of the cost-to-value equation, the benefit we gain for the investment we have made would not be achievable with any other solution investigated. Talend has and will continue to prove an exceptionally economical solution that has delivered against all functional expectations, and will continue to grow with the business and support future requirements around data integration and quality,” said Ivan MccLean, Head: Solution Delivery, and Arnold Lyons, Business Sponsor.

Following Talend’s success in the customer correspondence process, the solution will be extending its reach as the process is positioned as a key enabler in the non-voice interaction architecture.

As key systems integrator to Talend and JasperSoft, CherryOlive’s design, execution and delivery of the Talend integration solution proved once again the no-hype result-driven instant unified data management provides tangible return on investment.