Foreign Systems in the US Market

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18 August 2011
Bart Narter
Core banking migration is hard, and even harder if you don't know the local market. Oracle learned that lesson at People's Bank and Infosys/Finacle learned that at Union Bank. In both cases we had foreign systems being implemented by largely foreign teams into the complex US banking market. I was at an Infosys event where I heard that 99% of all Infosys implementations are on time and on budget. The one I was most familiar with, Infosys deploying Finacle at Union Bank, was not. Union Bank and Infosys crafted an official statement: Over the past several years, Union Bank has sought to drive strategic growth by upgrading and streamlining its enterprise-wide technology platform. Infosys and Union Bank have been working together on an integrated banking platform for the last two years. While the parties have made good progress, Union Bank's changed business priorities have led the Bank to discontinue the program. Union Bank and Infosys have parted on amicable terms, and Union Bank wishes Infosys all the best in the US market. In both cases, management pulled the plug on the projects for reasons that are not in the public domain, but clearly not because the projects were on time and on budget. Banks don't like to spend tens of millions of dollars to start projects they can't finish. I do respect the solutions coming from overseas. As a rule they are far more modern that what the domestic suppliers offer. Yes, there are exceptions, but the vast majority of core banking solutions in the US market today were originally built thirty or forty years ago. Banks face a conundrum: modern systems from overseas or older systems from the US. There are a few exceptions to this and you can read about them in the Celent reports on core banking. Core Banking Solutions for Small Banks: A North American PerspectiveCore Banking Solutions for Midsize and Large Banks: A North American PerspectiveCore Banking Solutions for Small Banks: A Global PerspectiveCore Banking Solutions for Midsize Banks: A Global PerspectiveCore Banking Solutions for Large Banks: A Global Perspective An interesting upcoming migration is BBVA Compass going to Accenture's Alnova. We have a modern foreign system, but the SI and owner of the system is Accenture, which has a huge US footprint. I am very hopeful that this will be a successful implementation. I take no joy in calling out core migrations that haven't succeeded. It is far more pleasant and interesting to write about successful implementations. I wish Accenture and BBVA Compass a smooth and successful migration. It would open the doors to a wave of deferred demand.

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