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Center-out: Connecting up to channels

Customers today expect a consistent experience across all channels: not duplicate offers or messaging, or worse, having to repeat themselves to an agent. Center-out™ architecture uses cases to inform future processes, and to bring context and relevance that improves with use. Don Schuerman explains the power of Pega’s DX API in this short video.

This is part 4 of the "Building a business architecture" video series. Watch part 5: “Connecting down to systems."


When you approach your business architecture from the center out, it means that you're not starting top down embedding logic in your channels or bottom up embedding it in your systems, you're starting in the center with your customer, the outcomes that customer wants to try to achieve, the micro journey that's gonna connect the customer to that outcome. And you make that happen by adding a brain so that you can guide your agents and your customers through that process.

You can apply rules and regulations, you can figure out the next best action in real time to drive the right outcomes for your customers and your business. And then you use case management to actually drive and automate the processes that are involved and manage the customer context so you know exactly where the customer is at every step of the journey. You do that by capturing the stages that you want that process to flow through so you can both be transparent, but also automate the work that's gonna get the customer to the outcome they want. And once you have that logic defined centrally, you then need to connect it up to your channels.

Now, the fact that your brain is in the center means that you're gonna have a consistent experience across your channels. If you make an offer to the customer and the contact center and they say, "No, thank you," the brain can learn from that so you don't actually hit them with it again via email or on the web. And the case can maintain the state of a customer contact. So if a customer starts a process up on the website and then calls into the contact center, the case helps the agent pick up exactly where the customer was so they don't have to re-explain themselves to the poor agent on the other side of the phone.

So you get great value in your channels from having your logic defined centrally. But the way you connect that logic up to the channels matters. In some cases, that front end may just actually be Pega. We might use our user experience for front ends using what we call the Cosmos Design System where we're able to provide a rich design experience for end users, even for customers all built with low code. But in other cases, you may have user experiences that are built with other technologies. You may be using JavaScript technologies like Angular, or React to build your website, You may have a Salesforce CRM front end, you may have Adobe Experience Manager that's managing part of your digital experiences for clients.

And in for those cases, Pega provides what we call the DX API. And what's important about the DX API, or the digital experience API is that it's not static. You see, when you have a static API that connects the decisions and your process up to your channels, you ultimately have to recode the process in the channel. So for every step in the process, I have to have a step in the channel with a screen across each step of the process. And if I make a change in the process, I have to go up and make a change in the channel. If I add a field to the process, I have to go rebuild the screen. And if I'm doing that across multiple channels, that can be really hard and expensive. That's one of the reasons why making changes in the channels is so complicated and so slow.

What the DX API allows you to do is, it actually allows the process and the case to inform the channel to let it know exactly what fields are needed, exactly what step the process is on. And the way the DX API informs the channel if the case needs a new piece of information, if we change a step to add a field, or if we even add a new step or stage to the process, the case can inform the channel and the channel almost magically adjusts. My logic stays centrally, but you still get the power to use the front end you want to deliver that experience. That's how you maintain your center of business logic even across all of your channels.

A great example of a customer that did this is a Dutch bank called Rabobank. They use PEGA to manage all of their commercial lending and they do that both with users using PEGA inside of Rabobank, but also by providing front-end experiences on their digital channels, which are built using tools like Angular and React. Rabobank uses the DX API to expose the same processes that their internal users use out to their customers. And by engaging their customers in that process and applying a streamlined approach, they've actually been able to save $80 million a year in processing costs because their processes are more efficient and faster for the customer, a better customer experience, a more efficient process, and consistency across channels by using that center out architecture.

So once you've got your brain and your case connected up and into your channels, the next thing to do is connect that center out business logic back into your data.


Topic: Business Agility

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