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with valuable input from the street-level experience of Blueshore.

‘We believe in the Japanese philosophy of continuous improvement. When we come up with something new, we ask Temenos to put that into the Canadian version of T24. This is an interesting relationship with Temenos. We are thinking beyond the typical supplier/user relationship. We are working together on this Canadian platform,’ outlined Cook.

He added that Temenos has followed a strategy for Canada that differs from its other country strategies.

‘Temenos usually waits until it has a number of clients in the same country [before creating a country-specific version of T24]. It can then learn the functionality and other aspects to be incorporated into a country-specific system.

‘Canada is different to other markets. Our banking environment is homogenised. There are no great secrets here – if one institution has something, six months later everybody else will have it.

‘There are many commonalities among financial institutions and many common suppliers. For example, in British Columbia, almost all credit unions use the same internet banking services; all share the same Canadian payments back-end.’

When the project began in 2006, Temenos did not even have a Canadian address. Its only North American offices were in the United States; it did not have a strong Canadian customer base.

Cook could see the risk. He pointed out, though, that T24 had a single Canadian pioneer, National Bank of Greece (Canada), based in Montreal, which ran T24 Model Bank in- house.

‘We visited the bank and were able to see T24 live,’ he recalled.

Fortuitously, after that bank was snapped up by Canada’s Scotiabank, much of the personnel there who worked hands-on with T24 – those whom Cook had consulted –


were hired by Temenos for its North American development team, with its vice-president named the country manager for Temenos Canada.

‘He was a great guy who understood the Canadian banking business and its challenges,’ observed Cook.

Temenos also established a Canadian office.

‘That team worked on the project, as did teams out of Temenos’ offices in New York and Orlando.’

Results and reflections

For Temenos, the work started to pay off and later in 2009, Coast Capital Savings took the system. A number of other credit unions followed.

At that time, Greg Green, new president of Temenos Americas, was quoted in the IBS Journal as saying of the T24 Model Bank for Canada Credit Union solution: ‘We see no challenges in crossing over to the banking sector’.

But back at Blueshore, communication could still be challenging.

While Datawest Solutions had operated only in Canada, Temenos was a global player. Specifically, many Temenos personnel used terminology unfamiliar to Cook and his team. Again, the transfer of the National Bank of Greece (Canada) personnel to Temenos’ Canadian office caused much confusion.

On balance, though, Blueshore gained a new perspective from working alongside a vendor exposed to banking developments around the world.

‘We want to learn from a global perspective. We face intense competition, but because of our size, we are limited as to how much we can spend on new product R&D,’ observed Cook.

‘Now that we are part of a large global customer base, we can discover what financial institutions are doing in other parts of a world.’

Core Banking Systems Case Studies: North America

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