compromising on the solution architecture.Further, the solution should be scalable enoughto handle projected business volumes withoutcompromising on response times or consumingsubstantial resources.Does the vendor have a clear roadmap for ongoing research, development, upgrade andsupport?Does the vendor have the requisite quality andnumber of trained, experienced personnel towork on the technology platform to ensurebusiness continuity as well as businesstransformation?
s deployment capabilities
For a vendor, developing and marketing thesolution to banks is only part of the job. Thecritical aspect is ensuring a smooth transition tothe new system and empowering the bank toleverage its capabilities. The vendor should providea robust delivery and support platform to manageongoing business requirements and crisis, withinacceptable response times. The main areas thatrequire focus are:Does the vendor have a proven and properlydocumented implementation methodology?Is the implementation methodology designed toensure proper training, documentation anduser empowerment to enable the bank
spersonnel to deploy the solution across their businesses with minimal recourse to thevendor?Has the vendor implemented the solution inthe bank
s geography and for banks of asimilar profile? Also, what is theimplementation track record in terms of successrates, adherence to budgets, timelines anddelivery commitments?Does the vendor have a well-thought through,multi-layered support strategy (both person-based and interactive i.e. web-based with arich data bank and global best practices) toadhere to stipulated SLAs and ensure best-in-
class customer service standards?
Dependence on Legacy/Vendor Applications
Often, the biggest impediment to a smoothimplementation is the migration path from the oldto the new. This is further compounded in case of migration from a legacy third party application ascompared to that from a manual or proprietarysolution. This is because of the dependence on thelegacy solution provider to enable proper migrationof data. The process also exposes the interfacesdeployed and requires changing workflows andprocedures to best leverage the new solution
scapabilities. The key challenges to be understoodand overcome are:
This is an extremely critical and at times a painfulphase during the implementation process. It entailsa complete understanding of the data structures inthe existing system, a one-to-one mapping withthe relevant fields in the new system, identifyinggaps in the data, enriching the same (remember, acore banking solution can only process what is fedinto it
garbage in is garbage out!) and finally,migrating the complete data to the new system. Thishas considerable dependencies on the existing ITteams in the bank as well as the incumbent and newvendor to ensure a smooth cutover.
Understanding the prevalent systems andinterfaces deployed
Proper analysis is required to understand which of these would continue to exist in the revisedarchitecture and, if so, the linkages with the newcore banking system.
Understanding the functioning of the legacy environment
This is required to enable modification andstreamlining processes and workflows to achievedesired business objectives with greater operationalefficiencies.
Configuring the new architecture
The new architecture needs to be configured withthe objective of eliminating functionalredundancies and achieving STP. It should providebanks the flexibility to quickly devise new productsand services, ranging from plain vanilla to exotichigh-end structured products, tailored to individualmarkets and segments.