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described all three systems as ‘entry-level’, designed for small community banks. ‘None of these platforms could take us to our long-term goal of growing to between $5 billion and $15 billion in assets,’ said Moritz.


• Legacy platforms


Yes, the bank’s goals were ambitious. Even in the down US economy, Jeff Schmid, chairman and chief executive officer of Mutual of Omaha, was optimistic. He stated that within ten years, the bank’s assets should equal those of its parent insurance company, almost $20 billion. Its branch network would expand to 15 to 20 states. With this impetus, Mutual of Omaha embarked upon a technology modernisation project.


The project involved the selection and installation of a single, superior platform on which to consolidate the three banks’ operations.


This meant abandoning two legacy platforms, both


outsourced: a community bank system from Jack Henry & Associates and Premier from Fiserv. They were each a ‘bank-in-a-box’ for small community banks that required basic functionality. Using these two platforms, according to Moritz, the new bank ‘would not have the ability to customise’.


The bank wanted to bring the core in-house, as well, to gain more control.


Replacement of these platforms, though, meant a project of universal scope. Mutual of Omaha had to replace more than core deposits, loans, and general accounting.


The bank had a laundry list of essential features and functions – internet banking being the most important – that simply were not present in the legacy systems.


made sense to standardise its Central European operations on one system.


• Project scope


According to Moritz, the scope included: • internet banking, both retail and corporate; • electronic bill payment; • document imaging and management; • consumer and commercial loan origination; • branch automation; • interactive voice response; • cheque processing; • electronic funds transfer; • debit card processing


‘It was top to bottom,’ said Moritz, ‘and there would not be anything left that was old.’


For development of the technology strategy, Mutual of Omaha drew upon an invaluable resource – the information technology professionals already on staff at the parent insurance company. Though not wedded to any particular technology, these specialists wanted an in-house system with flexibility and customisability.


Selection


Equipped with the technology requirements, a selection team of bankers from Mutual of Omaha and IT experts from the insurance company began the search for a new core system in mid-summer 2007, according to Moritz.


The search involved a standard RFP process.


‘We were on an aggressive schedule, so we used Gartner to get a universe of vendors and their strong points,’ noted Moritz. Because they did not want to waste valuable time talking to a large number of vendors, they used that list to


Core Banking Systems Case Studies: North America www.ibsintelligence.com 33


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