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The 2007 Enterprise All-Star Issue


Sallie Mae knows instantly when trouble hits its student-loan sites

With complex event processing, finding and fixing online problems only takes seconds for this lender

By , Network World
November 26, 2007 12:10 AM ET

Network World - Finding out that Web visitors are getting error messages when they try to complete an online loan application is the kind of information a company wants to receive right away, not hours or days after the fact. Timing can mean all the difference when it comes to customer satisfaction.

With that in mind, financial-services provider Sallie Mae late last year embarked on a project aimed at letting IT pros and business leaders keep tabs on the level of service customers are experiencing across the Reston, Va.-based company's Web channel.

With a flexible, real-time platform, IT would be able to spot system events that cause Web bottlenecks, while customer-service groups identify troubled processes, fraud teams capture suspicious transactions or account activity, and marketing executives hone their campaigns.

The project went live in the first quarter.

"We had a system issue that was having an impact on customers, and management was asking what business processes, and how many customers, were impacted. They wanted this information in real time, not later that day or the next day. . . . We didn't have that ability," says Eric Bruner, senior manager of systems development at Sallie Mae. "That's what kicked the Eric Bruner, Sallie Maewhole project off. We needed real-time insight into the customer impact when we were having issues."

Sallie Mae earns a 2007 Enterprise All-Star Award for employing emerging complex event processing (CEP) software to provide real-time insight into its multisite Web infrastructure. For the project, Sallie Mae selected three products: Coral8's Engine 5.0 event-processing technology; Tealeaf Technology's CX 6.0 Web application-monitoring software; and Advanced Software Engineering's ChartDirector chart-generating software.

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