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conversion.’ • Hiccups


A few hiccups were encountered with the data from Midlands Financial Services, where a great deal of it had to be cleaned. Clean-up continued until some weeks after the conversion. The dirty data resulted from bank routines that, according to Moritz, simply should not have been done in that manner on the system, rather than from any inherent weakness of the incumbent technology.


• Cutovers The three cutovers were completed as scheduled.


Cutovers proceeded with Security Federal Savings in July, Midlands Financial Services in August, and Peak National Bank in late September.


The three conversions focused on replacement of pre- existing functionality, though Moritz admitted that some new functionality was added simply with the move to a new core system.


Only after the third conversion was the customer information from all three banks consolidated onto the new core.


Nebraska-based Security Federal Savings was done first because it was a ‘standard thrift’ with a very basic product set. ‘It did not offer internet banking. It did not even have chequing accounts, just money market certificates of deposit and mortgages,’ said Moritz. ‘We converted it first because it was the easiest conversion’ and also provided essential practice.


Since Mutual of Omaha converted three independent banks into a single organisation, Moritz noted, ‘part of the conversion process was people realignment and reallocation’. For instance, each bank employed its own item processing group. Bank management shaped a new item processing group, combining staff from all three banks, and then trained them on the new process as defined by Fiserv’s item processing service.


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For it was important to the conversion that Mutual of Omaha completely reengineered the three banks’ business processes, shaping these processes to fit the model inherent in the new Signature core system and the ancillary systems from Fiserv. As Moritz said, ‘the new business process was going to be the system process’.


• Processes


One reason was that the bank was starting from scratch. It was an opportunity to improve bank business processes by basing them on the brand new technology processes.


Another key reason was that the system processes became unifying standards for the merged banks.


everyone on the same solution drives common processes between the three banks. Before, each bank had its own process. The system helped normalise the processes.


enabled the implementation of controls and the collection of knowledge across the merged entity and across the geographies.’


Business analysts and bank managers performed post- conversion system testing and data verification, usually on a departmental basis, with each department responsible for its area of the bank’s technology infrastructure.


The last quarter of 2008, Moritz said, was to see the next phase, ‘turning on newer functionality’, particularly internet banking and debit card acceptance. This continued into 2009, as more new functionality was installed. ‘We have enhancements that we need to define and then turn on, such as workflow,’ explained Moritz. ‘The data warehouse also needs to be turned on. We will build the reports and roll it out to relevant personnel. In addition, there will be some clean-up.’


Results and further developments


Further conversions loomed as Mutual of Omaha’s acquisitive ways continued with the purchase of two failed banks, First National Bank of Nevada and California-based First Heritage Bank, in July 2008. Both banks were FIS


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


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