‘No Such Thing’ as an Easy Core Conversion

If you let things slide, you risk ‘having a wave come over your head.’

January 03, 2011
KEYWORDS conversion , core , cu
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CU Mag: What other advice do you offer CUs?

Casagrand: Before the conversion, clean up your processes and do an inventory of your forms. Eliminate everything you won’t be using anymore. Purge your system—get rid of the junk.

Also, get accustomed to the system before making changes. Don’t do too much customization until you’re used to the system.

Bilke: I tell credit unions, “don’t assume your vendor will convert you without your help. I can drag you through a pretty good conversion, but it will never be a great conversion unless you’re fully engaged.”

Doing a conversion without the credit union’s help would be a monumental task. The credit union knows its members, business processes, and quirky accounts. If it’s not engaged in the process, that creates tremendous risk to the conversion.

Also, the little things do matter, especially interfaces. Consider that the typical $1 billion asset credit union has 30 to 40 interfaces that must work flawlessly from day one, whether it’s pulling a credit report, ordering checks or plastics—the list goes on.

You have to identify, test, and ensure you have all of those interfaces in place and working when you go live. When you do cut over, it’s fast-moving because you have all of the ATM, share drafts, payroll, and other transactions coming in.

It’s a huge financial responsibility for us and the credit union. There’s a lot of money moving around—much more so than in the past. I did conversions 25 years ago and it’s much more complex today.

With good planning and execution, a core conversion can be a great experience for the credit union and its employees.

Compare and contrast the credit union movement's top core processors and their systems' features and functions using Credit Union Magazine's 2011 Information Systems Guide.

One source for a conversion story?

mike lawson
January 13, 2011 12:18 pm
Hey Bill:
This was a very informative story, thank you. If there's a similar article coming up, can there be more sources than experts from one company? It would be interesting to see the differences in their responses.

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Bonus coverage

Bill Merrick
January 14, 2011 10:37 am

This is one of a few "online extra" articles we published in addition to our annual Information Systems Guide and the main core conversion feature from the December Credit Union Magazine, "Building a better core."

Thus the one source.

Here are a couple more online extras that address core processing:
* "It's more than the core" and
* "Don't get dust in the server and other core conversion lessons."


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