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Alabama State Employees CU ($211 million in assets, 27,440 members). Where are the top 20 US banks in all of this? They often


have CSC’s Hogan, FIS’s Systematics, other old packages (typically heavily customised) or home-grown solutions, and do not currently appear focused on replacing them. Driven by Dodd-Frank and GAAP2 IFRS standards in particular, there has been more emphasis on compliance. In general, there is investment in the channels, with one example being US Bank, which has been going through a major branch overhaul with Argo Data. Nevertheless, lower down the scale, the momentum in the US market has been in contrast to elsewhere. The main beneficiaries of the US activity remain the domestic players, albeit with a few new ones moving onto the stage and with TCS seeking to make a success of the project at Zions Bancorporation.


2014


Despite the odd incursion by outside vendors, the market is still divided and ruled by the same group: FIS, Fiserv, Jack Henry, and D+H . Behind them remain the likes of CSI and, with a smaller share still, the newer and/or more local players such as COCC, IBT, Shazam Core Services, Corelation, Smiley Technology and Vsoft. Vsoft’s flagship customer, Texas-based Pointbank, was set to go live with the new platform in spring 2015, ousting Fiserv’s Precision. At the end of 2014, Vsoft was known to be closing another core transformation deal, at a $500 million Midwest SME and commercial lender, ahead of Fiserv and FIS. Texas-based IBT onboarded Alabama-based Peoples


Independent Bank for its i2Core solution. The $300 million community bank was on the lookout for a fully integrated, real-time and flexible solution that delivered ‘quality and affordability’, according to Royce Ogle, president at the bank. Among the evaluated suppliers was Jack Henry. Having visited IBT’s reference sites, Ogle noted: ‘they weren’t shuffling paper like we were and that is exactly what I wanted to get away from’. Meanwhile, for the heavyweights, the year was


reasonably abundant in new projects and signings. Fiserv embarked on the replacement of FIS’s Bankware


at Bank of the Ozarks, a $6.8 billion regional bank with roots in Arkansas. The bank had grown significantly via acquisitions over the previous few years and needed to unify its operations on a common solution, in this case Fiserv’s Premier. The bank described the venture as a ‘monumental initiative’ and its ‘biggest technology advancement’ over the last 30 years. In the credit union space, Fiserv fought off competition


from Symitar with Episys and D+H with PhoenixEFE to keep its existing client, Neighbors Federal Credit Union. The credit union is replacing Fiserv’s Cube, that has been in place since 1997, with DNA. Kathie Gill, president and CEO at Neighbors


FCU, told IBS that in-depth reference checks, site visits and meetings with key Fiserv staff were carried out before the decision was made. However, D+H did snatch a customer of Fiserv, Nebraska-


based Four Points Federal Credit Union, which signed for the Ultradata core system to replace Spectrum. Spectrum was in place for 15 years at the credit union, and Donnie Price, president and CEO of Four Points FCU, told IBS that it ‘has not kept up with the times’. Five vendors were evaluated (Fiserv and Symitar among them). ‘We were searching for a partner who we believed would have our best interests in mind,’ Price commented. American Savings Bank, a community bank in Ohio, took


D+H’s PhoenixEFE core system to replace Insight, the white- labelled version of Fiserv’s DNA, supplied by COCC. The bank’s CEO, Jack Kuntz, cited the ‘quality and integrity’ of the staff and senior management at D+H as one of the key factors in their decision. Fiserv, CSI and Smiley Technology were also evaluated as well as the incumbent provider. For Jack Henry, 2014 brought a contract with Christian


Community Credit Union in California, for Episys. This credit union was once set to be the pioneer of Fiserv’s now defunct Acumen core system. There were more than just disgruntled noises about this, with one customer, Wildfire Credit Union, taking Fiserv to court over the alleged unfulfilled claims and promises made by the vendor. Wildfire was originally interested in replacing its legacy Symitar core system with Acumen, but had to settle for DNA as a processing engine, with Acumen’s front- end (as Fiserv promised to keep the development of this part of the system). In its court filing, Wildfire stressed the importance of having the latter component: ‘Acumen UI was very clean and elegant looking, while from the beginning DNA UI looked convoluted and confusing’, adding that it would not have been interested in DNA otherwise. However, the Acumen front-end did not materialise and neither did a promised referral feature in DNA that was supposed to be ‘better than Symitar’, according to Wildfire. The credit union was also dissatisfied with the project team that the vendor supplied, and having reached the end of its tether, it terminated the contract and asked Fiserv for a refund. Fiserv refused and Wildfire went to court in late 2014. Meanwhile, Merchants Bank, a community bank in


Vermont with $1.7 billion in assets, migrated to Jack Henry’s Silverlake, ousting Fiserv’s Signature that it had been using for 23 years. Zoe Erdman, SVP and senior operations officer at Merchants Bank, said that the bank needed an ‘easy to use’ system and a set-up that had ‘as many applications as possible belonging to the same supplier’, plus a vendor that could offer a ‘robust data centre and disaster recovery’. The bank’s shortlist was conventional: FIS, D+H, Fiserv and Jack Henry. For FIS, there was Yadkin Bank, a $4 billion regional bank in North and South Carolina, that went through a technology


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