System News
Ford Financial and Sun
Saves Money, Achieves Business Goals
February 25, 2002,
Volume 48, Issue 4

Ford Financial, the largest automotive financing company in the world, has saved $15.5 million based on Sun's e-business architecture design and coding reuse. Ford Financial has also improved its time to market pace and application availability. As a result of these achievements, Ford Financial was named this week as the "E-Comm Innovator of the Year" by technology-industry publication Network World.

"We chose Sun to help build our ground-breaking e-business infrastructure because we wanted to work with the company that not only had expertise in, but that had actually invented the technology serving as the foundation for our next-generation e-business initiatives," said Jeff Lemmer, E-Commerce Technology Director at Ford Financial. "We also looked to the Sun Professional ServicesSM Program as a thought leader and knew its consultants would give us strong guidance moving forward."

Ford Financial transformed its e-business platform in order to maintain its competitiveness in the financial services area. Ford Financial's goal was to leverage its existing IT and CRM infrastructure to respond more quickly to customers, better empower customer service representatives with access to real-time information and build an Internet-based data distribution system that was scalable and more decentralized.

Some of the dynamic benefits that Ford Financial is realizing from its e-business initiatives include:

  • International Account Access (CRM solution that gives single access point to customers to check account status, make changes to profiles, and more): 70 percent code and 95 percent architecture design reuse between Asia Pacific, Latin America, Europe and North America, resulting in lower development costs.

  • Used Vehicle Information System (B2B that enables interaction between external auctions and shipping companies for used vehicle sales): Significant annual savings by reducing time required to move leased vehicles to auction; hundreds of concurrent users, with transaction processing for 100,000 vehicles per month; gross sales of more than $13 billion annually.

  • Workflow (Business-to-enterprise (B2E) intranet service used by customer service representatives): Supports up to 4,000 end users, including 2,000 concurrent sessions generating an average of several thousand transactions per hour and one-second response times.

  • CreditWeb (B2B service that allows Ford Financial and PRIMUS dealers to enter and transmit credit applications and electronic fund transfers to branch offices): Reduction in IT costs by eliminating replacement of CD ROM updates for 6,000 dealers, almost 50 percent of total dealer customer base; processes 250,000 credit applications per month.

The infrastructure for Ford Financial's e-business initiatives consists of:

  • Over 30 Sun EnterpriseTM 6500 and 4500 Servers
  • ForteTM for JavaTM Software
  • The SunTM Open Net Environment (Sun ONE): Sun ONE includes the SolarisTM 8 Operating Environment (Solaris OE), the JavaTM 2 Platform, Enterprise Edition (J2EETM) and JavaTM 2 Platform, Micro Edition (J2METM) technologies, iPlanetTM Web Proxy Server and iPlanetTM Directory Server.

Helping to sustain high availability and reliability are ongoing skill assessments and training from Sun Educational Services and a SunSpectrum PlatinumSM support agreement. "

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