Preferring to focus on serving its members efficiently rather than on maintaining the IT infrastructure that supports its core banking system, Valley First Credit Union of Penticton, British Columbia has signed a resource management agreement with Summit Information Systems, part of Fiserv Solutions of Canada, Inc. and a business unit of Fortune 500 company, Fiserv, Inc.
Under the agreement, Summit will use its next-generation data and operations centre in Burnaby to host, maintain and manage the servers, core applications and network infrastructure related to the Summit iSpectrum banking system for Valley First.
"A key benefit of the Summit resource management arrangement is that we will continue to own and control our banking system's IT infrastructure, letting us integrate with applications we develop, quickly respond to internal requirements or upgrade or change hardware whenever needed," said Harley Biddlecombe, president and CEO of Valley First, one of the 10 largest credit unions in British Columbia with CAD$1.4 billion in assets.
Valley First's vice-president of information technology, Tom Bijvoet, further added that freeing his staff from conducting routine banking system IT operations will let them focus on developing new applications and services to meet members' needs and provide a competitive advantage.
"We're a financial institution, not a technology company. Our goal is to focus on what we do best - develop and deliver the best financial products and services to our 45,000 members," Bijvoet said. "By leveraging the expertise at Summit to perform daily IT operations for our banking system, we minimize the risk of system failure and maximize our staff productivity."
"Resource management is an example of the dynamic approach Summit offers to help credit unions achieve greater operational efficiencies. The extensive knowledge and experience of our resource management staff would be nearly impossible to achieve at any credit union," said Kevin Sparks, president of Summit. "At Summit, we work closely with our clients to deliver the technology and solutions they need to enhance member services and profitably grow into new markets."
iSpectrum, the state-of-the-art banking system designed specifically for Canadian credit unions, is available as an in-house, resource management or service bureau solution. The iSpectrum platform encapsulates best-of-breed, Internet-based technology, offering capabilities and flexibility never before available. The browser-based architecture uses the newest Internet standards, making integration with third-party solutions easier than ever before. The open Oracle database provides the credit union with easy access to member data, while 128-bit SSL encryption and multilevel authentication keeps data secure from unauthorized users. iSpectrum, using blade server technology to provide total redundancy and complete scalability, is the only credit union platform offering real-time, continuous operations.