Oracle Announces a New Core System
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19 September 2012Bart Narter
Oracle today announced its new core system, Oracle Banking Platform. Why on earth would Oracle develop a new core system apart from its very successful FLEXCUBE? The answer is one size does not fit all. FLEXCUBE is the original bank-in-a-box solution, developed for Citi as an international branch solution, and later known as FLEXCUBE Universal. It has grown from that platform to a second code base FLEXCUBE Retail for mass retail markets. Oracle has been merging the retail and universal banking code bases to a single FLEXCUBE solution. While the solution is a very good fit for international branches and small and midsize banks it doesn't really have the right architecture for a large bank in its home market. What Oracle has been working with National Australia Bank to develop is the Oracle banking platform, designed for a very large bank in its home market. What specific architectural features are required for such implementation? First and foremost the product needs to be exceptionally modular. A large bank will want to move stepwise with a major core project. That could mean that the bank only once replace a portion of their core system, perhaps customer information file or core deposits. This system will need to harmoniously coexist with the remaining infrastructure at the bank. Alternatively the bank may want to replace the entire core system, but not undertake the risk involved in migrating all in a single fell swoop. This also requires a very modular architecture. Large banks will not settle for best-of-suite solutions, so each module of the Oracle banking platform needs to be able to compete (or integrate) with a best-of-breed solution. Oracle also built this solution from the ground up to optimize implementation on the Oracle stack: Exadata storage, Exalogic processing, Fusion Middleware, and the Oracle database. Surprise! The Oracle Banking Platform is designed with SOA and integration in mind from the start. FLEXCUBE was not. This is clearly a play for the largest few hundred banks in the world in home markets, and was designed with that target in mind.