Topic 3: The Process
The end result of any core conversion depends on proper planning, team participation and close coordination with its vendors. Vendors play a key role in any conversion and fostering a close partnership with them is important to the overall success of the project. Regardless, if the conversion is considered “hosted” or “in-house”, large or small, the vendor needs to be brought into the project planning process as early as possible. The vendor knows how their systems are supposed to work and in many instances have interfaces already established with other 3rd party and core applications.
Vendors normally have well-defined systems implementation processes. They are generally proven since selling systems software and installing it is their business. Most have dedicated implementation teams of experienced staff and therefore do conversions very well. It’s always in the best interest of the bank and success of the conversion to seek vendor advice on the technical aspects of implementation and guidance in any conversion regardless of the vendors overall role and involvement in the project. They have to become a part of the overall team.
It’s important however that the bank does not abdicate its responsibility and wait for any vendor to take charge and lead them thru the process. There are gaps in what vendors provide.
Vendors will not:
- Define the bank’s business objectives or your business strategy
- Establish the bank’s conversion strategy and goals.
- Reengineer the bank’s business processes and workflows.
- Retrain and / or manage the bank’s staff
- Communicate changes in processes and products to the bank’s employees and customers.
- Rewrite the bank’s procedures or define new ones.
These are processes and responsibilities of the bank.
In a well-planned conversion the bank and bank’s vendors work together to determine what is the best for the bank. Timelines need to be defined. Roles and responsibilities need to be clearly allocated, documented and understood. Establish a decision tree for approving changes and making key project decisions. A managed process for tracking and resolving vendor issues needs to be formed.
The bank and its vendors need to work together to configure systems to meet the banks business objectives and requirements. Systems must be tested to ensure interfaces will function as intended and potential points of failure eliminated. At all times the bank’s customer experience and the impact of conversion will have on the bank’s customers must be taken into consideration. It is important to identify customer touch points and mitigate customer risk resulting from the conversion. Failing to do so puts the project and banks reputation at risk. The bank may find itself midstream making decisions not in its best interest or its customers just to keep the project on track. Timelines may be missed causing delays. Ultimately the bank may lose out on a tremendous opportunity to redefine its products and business processes and why it converted in the first place. Therefore, it is the banks ultimate responsibility to pro-actively own and manage every aspect of the conversion. It’s the banks responsibility to determine how all of the data available will be used by management and staff to service existing customers and attract new ones.
A Core conversion is a transformation of the way the bank does business. The decisions made prior to and during the conversion must always benefit the bank and its customers. Those decisions need to be based on well-defined end state objectives and implemented by a focused bank team managed to achieve success. If successful the bank will begin to realize its return on investment on day 1. In the end it’s the bank’s conversion, and should be planned and managed that way.
It’s Not Just a Conversion previous topics:
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