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Cook reiterated an important lesson – choose your strategy first, your core banking system second – and prove that the system supports your strategy.

The more competitive your market, the more important this is.

Few markets are as intensely competitive as Blueshore’s corner of the world. Every business day, it competes with large and small credit unions in British Columbia, the ‘Big Five’ Canadian banks, internet-based banks such as Tangerine (formerly ING Direct), and a new wave of foreign banks, such as Bank of China and ICICI Bank, wading into Canada.

The Vancouver metropolitan area itself is quite

overbranched, Cook noted, with all five major Canadian banks having branches on the very block where Blueshore’s headquarters stand. In such a crowded field, a differentiating strategy is key.

‘You need to understand your strategy, where you are going, what your differentiator is. Then you have to keep at it. Do not take status quo as a strategy.’

The ‘arm’s-length’ arrangement with HP extends into the future.

‘It is the blueprint for the ultimate movement of our CRM system, ECM system and data warehouses to HP’s data centre,’ noted Cook. ‘HP will effectively become more and more of Blueshore’s own operations.’

Today, then, T24 – what Cook called the ‘product engine’ – runs at HP’s data centre; other back-end functions – credit card processing, mutual fund processing, insurance processing – are outsourced to service organisations that support all Canadian credit unions; and Blueshore retains the ‘process engines’ (CRM, ECM, business intelligence, data warehouses) with the related business process engineering, with an eye to eventually moving them to Montana at ‘arm’s length’.

And, back in North Vancouver, Cook said, ‘My people are becoming more analytical. They are becoming thought leaders and working on bringing new products to market.’

Blueshore retains management control over the part of its operations deemed most important strategically – the customer data analysis, or, as Cook said, knowing ‘what is really in our information and then managing it’, and then using it to differentiate the credit union from the crowd.

Other benefits seen by Blueshore were access to new treasury functionality; improved tracking of financial advisory activities because T24’s strong functionality around investment advisory, reflecting its roots in the private banking market; built-in internal workflows to create more back office efficiencies; multilingual capabilities; and direct access to international payments networks such as Swift.

‘We are excited about the results of this project,’ concluded Cook. ‘We have a new core system that will move us forward. And we finally have a core system that integrates into the other systems – CRM, ECM and business intelligence – that are key to our strategy.’

Further projects

In mid-2015, Blueshore was gearing up to implement Temenos Connect for digital and branch customer experience.

Whilst Temenos’ Insight BI, implemented earlier at Blueshore, enables the credit union to segment its customers and analyse their behaviour, Temenos Connect would provide ‘high quality experience’ to the customers, said Smith. ‘We are a small organisation, so client experience for us is key.’

Vendor partnership Cook described




– namely

Temenos, HP and Microsoft – as the credit union’s ‘twelfth man’ (using the American football analogy). ‘As the resources are limited, your vendor can be your twelfth man,’ he said.

Working collaboratively with the providers and ‘tapping into their expertise provides that extra support to take you to the next level’. The result is ‘a very strong solution brought to the Canadian market’, Cook stated.

Core Banking Systems Case Studies: North America 23

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