Monday, January 07, 2008

Rules as a strategic advantage

Well, thats a pretty boring business-ey title. But bear with me.

Recently I returned from a holiday to my home town of Sydney, Australia (it was a road trip, which I always like). The weather was soggier then I would have liked, had approximately 2 hours at the beach, in total, but I digress.

The part that is relevant to this blog? Well the highway (pacific highway) is increasingly turning into one big long freeway, and like all freeways, it has lots of oversize billboards.

One interesting billboard was for ANZ - a very large regional (and Australian) bank (I think ANZ standards for Australia and New Zealand - New Zealand being the wonderful place where they filmed lord of the rings). It was advertising the fact that they have a system called "Falcon" to protect against credit card fraud.

(I actually tried to find a YouTube video of the commercial showing them "unleash the falcon" - it is quite funny, but not to be found. Also, I think this is perhaps the first and only time I will use you tube in something actually work related !).

This "Falcon" is actually a product from Fair Isaac - a fraud detection system built with rules (ie a specific vertical application). That is about all I know about Falcon - but congratulations due to Fair Isaac for having a product so successful that their customers feel it is significant enough to have a major marketing campaign advertising the fact that they use this product to protect their customers.

I thought this was a great case of rule systems (or indeed any software at all) actually being a strategic advantage, not just a boring back office sub system.

And happy new year !