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quickly pinpoint five major candidates. Among these five were:


• Fiserv, offering Signature (known as the Comprehensive Banking System at the time);


• the partnership of Metavante and Temenos, behind Temenos Corebanking (this partnership is no longer active and Metavante is now part of FIS);


• Open Solutions with DNA (Open Solutions is now part of Fiserv).


However, while the IT team understood insurance applications inside-and-out, it


felt less confident about


banking software. To get the staff up to speed, the five shortlisted vendors were asked to present what Moritz termed ‘sales demos’. ‘We wanted our team to get a feeling for the banking applications,’ said Moritz, ‘and the demos helped them understand their features and functionality’.


Using the knowledge gained from the presentations, the team composed the RFPs. These were sent to the five vendors.


• RFP evaluation


The team divided the RFPs into four major categories with equal weights, according to Moritz.


The IT staff designed the first category, technology infrastructure. The team subdivided the category into finer specifications, such as software framework, coding language, servers, and other hardware specs. Each subdivision was assigned its own weight. Mutual of Omaha’s IT division closely examined the architecture of all the systems, noted Moritz, conducting ‘detailed conversations’ with the vendors.


In the second category, the team evaluated each system’s flexibility and ability to grow with Mutual of Omaha Bank. ‘If the bank is going to grow to $20 billion in assets, many things will change, so flexibility was a big piece,’ said Moritz.


The third category was the quality and types implementation and conversion


34 of services provided by


vendor. The


fourth


category


included


banking


functionality.


This category was subdivided into functionality around deposits, loans, retail and corporate internet banking, and other operations, each with its own weight.


Pricing was a component of the RFP, though it was not granted a weight, said Moritz. The selection team used the RFPs to understand banking system pricing and obtain what Moritz terms a ‘level set’ for the inevitable contract negotiations that would follow the final decision.


Using the pricing information, the team members began to understand the functionality they could buy for a particular price. They downgraded any vendors with pricing that was markedly higher than the ‘level set’. They ensured that, if they chose to pay more, they would in fact obtain more functionality. The pricing information was used to compare vendors, and to prepare for negotiations with the winning vendor.


The entire selection team scored the completed RFPs using a matrix. Using the scores plus pricing information, two vendors were chosen from the original five. One was Fiserv. As for the other three, ‘based on the RFP responses and our needs, they just did not fit’, observed Moritz.


The final two were invited back to make ‘very detailed’ presentations and participate in question-and-answer sessions.


• Rejections and selections


Some vendors were rejected because of concerns about the technology behind the systems. Their system architectures could not be, in the bank’s view,


‘taken forward’. The


selection team wanted an architecture that was viable for the future; was the unquestioned focus of the vendor’s development efforts and investment; and could support ambitious growth.


It did not want an architecture that the vendor seemed to be pitching half-heartedly. ‘We looked at a few systems where we wondered whether, in two or three years, the system would still be the vendor’s main platform,’ recalled


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


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