KCB Skyline

Kuwait Credit Bank

Empowers mobile inspector engineers with the ability to perform on-site construction inspections easily and effectively. Also, implements Application Lifecycle Management in the bank using Sharper Software ALM Services.

Industry

Government Administration

Country of Origin

Kuwait

In Business Since

+

Employees

+

Branches

Kuwait Credit Bank

Background

Kuwait Credit Bank (KCB) is a public institution with an independent legal presence under the supervision of the Minister of State for Housing Affairs, established per decree No. (81) for year 2007. The Bank has a Board of Directors with decision-making power and is responsible for the policies, strategies and direction of the bank, as well as supervising the execution of these policies.

The Bank provides the following services for citizens:

  • Individual Loans against guaranteed mortgages for the purpose of building, repairing or increased utilization of private residence.
  • Loans to beneficiaries of government housing for the purpose of reconstruction or expansion of those houses, and to establish privately-owned floors or to increase utilization of space.
  • Easy Marriage Loans
  • Ownership or manipulation of personal property.
  • Establishment of companies that do business related to the purposes of the bank or to participate in the foundation.
  • Invest surplus funds in all aspects of guaranteed investments.
  • The Bank may borrow from the government amounts that may not exceed twice the paid-up capital.
  • The Bank may also issue Loan Bonds and decide its terms and the method of consumption via a decree.

Business Needs & Challenges: On-Site Inspection

Citizens apply for a plethora of construction-related loans at Kuwait Credit Bank (KCB). For example, a citizen may apply for a loan to renovate a house, extend an existing house or to construct a new house. In turn, KCB evaluates the loan request and either approves or rejects the loan request. For approved loan requests, KCB will only release part of the loan amounts, based on whether the construction work is progressing according to plan or not. To determine the level of progress, KCB utilizes its engineering resources to perform on-site inspections.

During an inspection, an engineer visits the site, evaluates the progress, estimates the invested amounts on renovations and/or construction and writes a report. If the progress is considered acceptable, KCB releases the amount stated in an engineer’s report.

The on-site inspection works completely offline and uses mostly manual procedures. The only time an engineer is in contact with the Line-of-Business application at KCB is when he takes a new list of inspection tasks, or when he needs to write the report. This approach has several challenges:

  1. The timespan between the actual inspection and system update is long. This occasionally forces the need for additional inspections.
  2. The absence of pictures taken from an on-site visit does not help when there are any claims or disputes.
  3. Engineers do not get any updates from the Line-of-Business application until they visit the office and connect to the system. If there were any last minute updates, engineers will not be informed in a timely manner.
  4. The manager of the engineers schedules does not have any proof that an engineer has already visited the site. Due to the belated system updates, the manager has no insight into the progress of daily tasks.

Characteristics of a viable solution

A viable solution that would address the above challenges should be capable of the following:

  1. Provide the engineers with a mobile application that they can use while on-site.
  2. Collect inspection tasks from the Line-of-Business application in a timely manner.
  3. Allow the engineer to capture pictures of the on-site visit, enter a report of the progress and save the results while online and/or offline.
  4. Helps reduce the amount of work, data entry errors and time required to perform the actual site visit.
  5. Provides management with insight on the progress of inspection tasks, location of inspections and the ability to re-assign the tasks to other resources as necessary.

Solution

KCB teamed with Sharper Software to develop a Mobile, On-Site Inspection Application. KCB selected a ragged, heat and water resistant Windows Tablet, the Panasonic FZ-G1 device. Sharper Software developed the Windows Store application that connects to KCB's Core Banking solution and provides the following capabilities to the inspection engineers:

  • While Online, synchronizes inspection data with the bank's Core Banking Solution. The device need not be at the Bank's premises, as this operation may happen on the road using mobile Internet.
  • Allows the Inspection Manager to assign inspection tasks to engineers. An Engineer may accept the assignment or request reassignment of the task.
  • If an Engineer accepts an inspection task, the details of the citizen are shown, in addition to the details of the loan and a map to the location. This helps the Engineer reach the citizen and the site more effectively. The solution is also location-aware using GPS technology, allowing tracking of the process.
  • One on-site, the Engineer will get a list of items to inspect. For every item inspected, the Engineer may attach one or more pictures taken using the device's built-in camera. Using GPS, the location and timestamp of the operation is stored automatically, providing further proof of the inspection results.
  • The Engineer may write any additional notes about the inspection and specify the amount s/he estimates would be adequate for the progress of the project.
  • Inspection data gets synchronized back with the Core Banking solution whenever the device is online. If the device is offline for any reason, data is stored securely on the device, awaiting the next available online state.

Business Needs & Challenges: Application Lifecycle Management

KCB has a team of IT resources between analysts, developers and testers who work together to deliver custom applications for the use of KCB. Currently, whenever KCB is tasked with delivering a custom application, this task is handled by a single resource, who is responsible for analysis, design, development, testing, implementation and support of this application. This hinders the development of custom applications and prevents KCB from releasing mission-critical solutions to its business problems.

KCB needs a solution that would help streamline its application lifecycle management challenges. The platform of choice at KCB is Sybase PowerBuilder. The solution needs to keep this choice intact.

Characteristics of a viable solution

A viable solution should be at least capable of:

  1. Streamline the process of Application Lifecycle Management and allow KCB to release mission-critical software solutions in a shorter timeframe.
  2. Provide tools for analysts to gather the requirements efficiently and effectively.
  3. Provide a platform for development team members to collaborate, communicate and share source code, analysis documents and test results.
  4. Provide manual and automated testing tools that would increase the reliability of software and reduce risks of bugs and errors.
  5. Provide Project Managers and key sponsors with updated information about the progress of the project.
  6. Train KCB resources on how to best utilize technology in order to improve their ALM Processes.

Solution

Using Sharper Software's Application Lifecycle Management Services, Sharper Software helped KCB profile its development team members' skills to understand their readiness for taking the responsibilities of certain roles. This helped KCB plan the way roles and responsibilities are managed among its team members.

Sharper Software also installed and configured Microsoft Visual Studio Team Foundation Server on-premise in KCB's Datacenter. Visual Studio Enterprise was also installed on every member's computer and configured to connect to and utilize the capabilities of TFS. This prepared the required infrastructure. Although the platform of choice at KCB is Sybase PowerBuilder, Sharper Software managed to connect PowerBuilder to TFS for Source Code Control operations, while Visual Studio Team Explorer is used for other purposes.

Sharper Software then worked with KCB resources to identify and document the most suitable ALM Process that meets the needs of KCB. Once approved, a new ALM Process was developed by Sharper Software and TFS was configured to use this new ALM Process as the default template for new projects.

KCB development team members attended the SharperSkills TFS Hands-On Training, which allowed the team to understand the features and capabilities of TFS and how to make the most out of it. Now, the KCB Development Team is ready to apply the knowledge in everyday development operations.

Benefits

Shorter Wait Times

Your customers, patients and/or employees will spend less time waiting for you to process their data.

Data Accuracy

Information is guaranteed to be correct and authoritative, as it's provided by the Public Authority for Civil Information.

Data Consistency

Data is consistent across your systems. If a centralized Master Data is used, it is possible to feed it via this solution.