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new core to its CRM and ECM, and its business intelligence data warehouses. These criteria emerged from Blueshore’s business strategy.


A lesson, then: ‘Understand what you want before you send out your RFPs. Understand your strategy before you listen to salespeople, because you will hear many buzzwords. Be sure how you differentiate your bank or credit union at the street level. When selecting that new core system, know whether you are choosing based on your strategic vision for the future, or are making just a tactical change for the lowest cost possible,’ observed Cook.


Selection The credit union kicked off its search in early 2006.


Blueshore’s team invited HP Canada to advise on technical infrastructure design and hardware specifications.


Key selection criteria were that the system be localised to the Canadian market and that it provide a strategic banking platform with rich functionality and open technology.


RFPs were mailed to a long list of five vendors: •


Temenos (T24) • Oracle FSS (Flexcube)


• Summit Financial Technologies Canada, a division of Fiserv (iSpectrum)


• Open Solutions (The Complete Credit Union Solution, now known as Fiserv’s DNA)





Fincentric (later acquired by Open Solutions, in 2007), offering Wealthview.


‘We considered Fincentric because of its strong local


connection. The same was true of Open Solutions which had “Canadianised” its US-based system,’ recalled Cook.


During the evaluation, Cook demonstrated the CRM system that front-ends Blueshore’s core to each of the five vendors, stepping through the customer account opening process that was based on the CRM system and that would not be replaced by any new core system.


As Cook and his team learned, vendors did not welcome the separation of the front-end from the back-end engine that uniquely marked Blueshore’s decision criteria.


‘We wanted to ensure that the account opening process could be integrated with their banking systems,’ said Cook, ‘but only one vendor assured us that it could be done easily. The other vendors all wondered, “Why would you do that?”’


As Cook observed, many vendors used their front-ends as 18 Core Banking Systems Case Studies: North America www.ibsintelligence.com


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