I got an update from Zoot recently about their zDecision product (having last been briefed back in 2012). First, a quick update on Zoot: They are focused almost entirely in the financial services industry, especially on lenders. Their products are designed to be very flexible and so support the kind of out of the box things that larger, more demanding institutions want. They have been in operation 20+ years and are based in Bozeman, MT. Overwhelmingly their customers are cloud-based though a few are on-premise and they have data centers in US and in Europe (global expansion is pushing forward plans for Mexico City as well as South America and the Far East).
Zoot offers solutions in acquisition, origination, offer optimization and merchant services among other things. Underlying these solutions is their decisioning and data integration platform. 70+ data sources are integrated into their data network – everything from traditional credit sources to more esoteric and unusual ones – with more data providers approaching them all the time. Their tools and services layer handles the configuration of data, display and logic. It’s a multi-user environment allowing teams to work across consultants, Zoot and customers. Moving logic to deployment, permissions, release management etc are all central to the platform, especially since a growing number of customers are multi-line of business and multi-channel – real omnichannel, enterprise decisioning.
Changes since last time include reporting, better integration of predictive analytics and some deep partnerships.
Reporting has been upgraded to allow access to all the data in the Zoot system. Zoot can store a huge range of data about who did what, when things happened, what the results were of interim calculations etc. Because third party tools are widely used, their customers want to access all this data and Zoot has enabled this while also upgrading their online reporting.
Clients are also integrating more predictive analytic models developed in tools like SAS or R. Generally Zoot incorporates these models via executable code generated by these third party tools; though they are in the process of adding support for PMML. Their production environment generates production data and results that can be loaded into the simulation and testing environment that Zoot provides. This environment can be used to drive analytic efforts in the third party tools and then the resulting models can be imported back into Zoot’s realtime decisioning environment and deployed to production.
Zoot is working with analytic partners like Earnix and FICO to host their capabilities at Zoot data centers and integrate those capabilities into Zoot’s decisioning platform. For instance, customers can use Earnix’s analytic toolset to visualize data, simulate new decisioning strategies, and develop price optimization algorithms. Those decisioning strategies and optimization algorithms can then be automatically deployed into Zoot’s production environment and executed in realtime. Similarly they have a partnership with FICO allowing customers to easily integrate FICO’s analytic tools like Model Builder and Model Central into their Zoot decisioning solutions. Other smaller firms also do analytic development work using Zoot’s business logic tools to build and deploy analytic models in Zoot’s decisioning environment. These partner services can be fully integrated into the Zoot platform and wrapped with their data and process management environment.
In addition speed of decisioning has been a big focus especially as customers do more mobile applications and demand more real-time responses.
Zoot has some customers using their technology to build custom solutions and is one of the vendors listed in our Decision Management Systems platform technologies report.