Branch Automation Solutions Part II: Solutions For Small Banks

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5 May 2005


San Francisco, CA, USA May 5, 2005

Branch Automation Solutions: The Convergence of Teller, Platform, and CRM Reports Published by Celent

Branch automation vendors are offering their own scaled-down CRM today. Yet there have been many failed CRM deployments in the past 10 years. Can these new vendors do a better job? Can a branch be turned into a selling machine? Is technology all it takes? Celent Communications discusses vendor visions and banker realities in this two-part study.

In a new two-part series, Branch Automation Solutions, Celent discusses the trends in the industry on both the business and technical sides. It examines the technical environment choices that make the most sense for a bank when choosing a vendor. Finally the report analyzes the vendors using Celent痴 ABCD framework for analysis.

In the past few decades, retail bankers were focused on ATMs, call centers, and Internet banking. Branch automation foundered. Now, as banks see that branches are an effective vehicle to grow bank assets and cross-sell, there is renewed interest in branch automation. In spite of the increased interest, the main reason for replacing branch automation solutions remains obsolescence of the previous system.

The branch automation space self-segments into banks with assets of less than US$1 billion and banks with assets of more than US$5 billion, with a gray area between the two. Branch automation vendors to the smaller banks are typically the vendors of the core system, where that vendor is the predominant vendor across all areas of that bank. The vendor is pitching best total solution, and the key skill in the field is the migration of core data to the new system.

Vendors to the larger banks are in a multi-vendor environment where the branch automation vendor is integrating across back-end systems. These vendors are introducing their own middleware layers with prebuilt business logic that can be customized to fit the bank痴 needs. These vendors, pitching the integration of best-of-breed, are shown in the chart below.

Vendors targeting the small and large banks are offering their own CRM software, which Celent calls CRM Lite. It integrates with the teller and platform solutions out of the box, and in the case of vendors that are also providing the core software, integrates to the core as well.

According to Bart Narter, author of the report and senior analyst in the banking group at Celent, "CRM Lite solutions from the branch automation vendors are less risky to deploy since a great deal of the integration work has already been completed. Banks are having real success with this CRM Lite, which can be measured at the top and bottom lines."

The vendors analyzed are ARGO, Fidelity Information Services, Fiserv, Getronics, Harland, Jack Henry, Open Solutions, PRODUCT4, S1, and Unisys.

A table of contents for both reports is available online. Click here for the Part I edition, here for the Part II edition.

of Celent Communications' Retail Banking research service can download the report electronically by clicking on the icon to the left. Non-members should contact for more information.

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