Community Chair

API Lead Approach

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Nowadays, the demand for data-driven business decisions is high. With more data being stored “in the cloud” by CRM systems like Salesforce, Sage CRM, etc., a solution is required to access the data in a short time and at one place. This is where APIs come into the picture. API short for Application Programming Interface allows applications to access data and co-operate with external software components. It is useful for delivering the user response to the system and the system’s response back to the user.

To help in understanding it better, Jordan Lehrman VP of IT at Solarity Credit Union shared his version on API Lead Approach at Transformation Challenge for 2020 summit organized by CULytics. Solarity Credit Union is a leading name operating from Washington State with 60k + members.

Here are key highlights from the session:

  • Problem Definition

    At Solarity Credit Union, there were three big problems to deal with.

    • Integrate Disparate Systems into a single data model – To avert confusion and for the ease of work.
    • Create a 360 Degree view of our Members – To better know the members and related things.
    • Expedite Development Time from months to days – For improving efficiency.
  • Architecture – Old vs New

    Solarity Credit Union had an architecture having point to point connections. Very messy and hard to maintain and took much time to make changes. So the organization moved to 3 layer API architecture. Everything is around experience API. Salesforce Experience API is the platform that is used to provide a 360-degree view of the members. 75% of the staff spends 90% of their day in activities in which they interact with members. It is one system that the staff used to focus on what matters the most. So, this new architecture that Solarity Credit Union cooked up has about thirty systems integrated to create a dynamic API architecture. Through these different service APIs, it has become easy to go across all over different core systems and to create a single data model to get a single view of our members. And ability to take action for all these systems from one single place has been a game-changer for the organization as it allowed to focus on member interactions instead of the system that is needed to be in.

  • API based Architecture – The Benefits

    This API lead approach in this platform helped in saving hundreds of hours required for manual tasks, Solarity Credit Union successfully made 45 million API calls and performed 35000 transactions directly. The benefits of using API are Key Actions, Core Transactions, Contact Info Updates, Card Payments, Card Edits, ACH Setup, Loan Extensions, Pay-Off Quotes, Scheduling via O365, Email/Text/Phone, and View of info from all key systems. Moreover, APIs allow a specific user to use data more quickly, easily and efficiently when they are looking to do something specific. API is like a door or window in to the software program that empower others to interact with it without requiring the developer to share the code.

So, understand the needs of your organization and make suitable decisions to improve the work experience and member engagement.

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