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As 2007 came to a close, the six-month long process ended with the selection of Fiserv as the bank’s vendor partner, and Signature as its new core system.

The bank chose Fiserv, not just for its strong core system, but also for the complete package of software products and outsourced services that it brought to the table. These products and services could be deployed immediately, or deployment could be delayed until Mutual of Omaha was ready.

This ‘general flexibility’ was key to Fiserv’s win. ‘Fiserv had multiple systems that could be plugged together. Also, it offered additional systems that we would be looking at down the road. When we decide to use them, we will be able to add them relatively easily,’ said Moritz.

Fiserv’s 2007 acquisition of CheckFree further expanded the vendor’s portfolio into areas of great interest to Mutual of Omaha, particularly around electronic bill payment. Also, since the bank opted for a complete technology overhaul by a single vendor, it would not lose time writing interfaces to other systems.

Mutual of Omaha bought fourteen products and services from Fiserv, enough to duplicate pre-existing functionality and to add required new functionality. These products included:

• retail internet banking, • internet cash management, • electronic bill payment, • enterprise content management system, • loan origination systems, • data warehouse, • branch automation, • interactive voice response (IVR) system.

In addition, the bank signed up for item processing and for debit card and electronic funds transfer processing services.

Mutual of Omaha liked the IBM iSeries, DB2-based architecture of CBS, as well as the thin client front-ends. ‘Our IT team was very comfortable with the architecture behind CBS and with where Fiserv was taking the product. We felt that CBS was the system that it was going to work on and invest in,’ added Moritz.


While the RFP process went on in second half 2007, the bank’s team began planning the installation. Officially, the joint implementation project kicked off in early January, 2008, shortly after Signature was selected. The first few weeks were packed with contract signings, kick-off meetings, and further planning alongside the vendor.

The bank’s team knew one thing above all else – it was in a hurry. The first phase began with the kick-off in January and ended in late September 2008. This phase fulfilled the bank’s top priorities: consolidation of the data from the three systems onto the single core and replacement of all basic functionality found on the old platforms. Only after this first phase would extra functionality be added to meet Mutual of Omaha’s ambitious goals. Given how fast the bank wanted to go and grow, Moritz noted, ‘this was the only way to do it in this timeframe’.

During this first phase, very little customisation was required which, Moritz said, ‘was intentional’. ‘Since the original core systems of these three small banks were not customised at all, there were only a few gaps between the old systems’ functionality and the functionality of CBS.’ Moritz estimated that fewer than 30 customisations were required. ‘Otherwise, we just deployed the standard functionality.’

Instead, Moritz and his team concentrated on the consolidation of the three acquired banks’ data and the data migration to the new system, i.e., ‘hooking the banks together’. ‘We went through a mapping exercise with the people responsible for the old systems in the banks and the group from Fiserv. We worked through a mock conversion and data verification process, and then staged the final

Core Banking Systems Case Studies: North America 35

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