Core Conversions: They are Not Impossible!

Andrew Johnson of American Banker recently published an article which set our minds in motion here at EDGE.  His discussion centered around the massive conversion by State Bank of India of it’s branch network to a new core processing system.  Johnson’s premise is that conversion “should give even the largest American players a taste of the obstacles — and rewards — of moving to a new core.”

Over the years, we have heard it all regarding how difficult, impossible and not to mention how costly a core change would be.  We don’t disagree that it is a massive undertaking, but it is not impossible. 

Setting Project Objectives

Why are you switching? What do you hope to achieve by switching core systems? What do you have to accomplish? Are the needs centered around improving businesses processes? Cost efficiencies? Enhanced flexibility/productivity?

This is the time to talk through, extensively, the goals of the project, the pros and cons of switching, and what you want and need the end result to look like.

A core banking system conversion provides the perfect opportunity to implement key changes. However, goals and objectives need to be established and prioritized up front. Failing to do so will increase the risk of spending large amounts of time and money on areas that are not important to the organization as a whole.

Strategic Project Resourcing

After the objectives have been identified, you must begin to identify and allocate the right resources to the project. Putting together a strong transition team will determine the timeliness, efficiency, and overall success of the conversion.

Are you going to use internal resources? Do you want to bring in outside consultants? Who is going to lead the project and what skill sets do they need?

We at EDGE, of course, advocates bringing in a team of knowledgeable consultants with direct experience managing conversion projects. The experience and perspective of these professionals and teams can mean the difference between success and spending months putting out fires. Consultants with conversion experience know the areas of opportunity and how to confront the pitfalls involved in a large scale core conversion. They have been there, many times, in many different banks.

For more information review a case study on the State Bank of India’s conversion written by Bob Hunt of the TowerGroup, - follow this link.

For more information about our approach to core conversions and what we can bring to your organization, please contact one of our client relations team members. They will be happy to talk through your needs and work with you to develop the solutions.

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