Accenture (NYSE: ACN) has introduced an enhanced version of Alnova Financial Solutions, its core banking platform, which can be implemented faster and more cost-effectively and upgraded more easily through the broader use of standard software components.
The new version can help banks more easily support their changing product and pricing requirements and can be more readily integrated with legacy systems using service-oriented architecture (SOA) and third-party business process management tools.
"Banks are currently at a crossroads, pressured to aggressively cut costs while positioning for advantage when the cycle shifts to growth," said Matthew Edwards, managing director of banking software-backed solutions in Accenture's Financial Services group. "The high cost of maintaining and enhancing legacy systems stand squarely in the way of the kinds of product and service innovations needed in an increasingly competitive environment."
To help streamline implementations and future upgrades, Accenture has expanded the use of common software components and expanded its ability to support Alnova deployments through its global delivery network. Other enhancements include:
- a standardized delivery and implementation methodology, which can help reduce implementation costs and risks;
- faster, more effective software-testing and data-migration capabilities;
- a new tool for more accurate estimation of time and efforts required for implementation; and
- an electronic repository of Alnova design data to help banks more easily establish design requirements and customize the solution.
"With the increasing focus on customer acquisition and retention, banks are looking for better customization capabilities and improved flexibility in product management," said Rajesh MR, a core systems analyst in Celent's banking group. "By reusing services and components, SOA architecture helps banks adapt quickly to changing customer needs. Alnova leverages business processes from Accenture's High Performance Bank framework and provides a complete but open SOA layer for its core banking implementations."
"Our development approach with Alnova is to balance the benefits of both standardized packages and tailored solutions," said Teresa Alvarez, senior executive and head of core banking transformation services in Accenture's Banking industry practice. "This upgrade can provide a full range of capabilities and reusable components for easier upgrading, while helping to enable customization without all of the high costs of adapting external systems to core platforms."
Alnova has one of the largest customer bases in the core banking software marketplace, with more than 100 clients in over 20 countries. In 2008, Accenture completed three large Alnova implementations in Europe and Latin America, which together involved nearly 20 million bank accounts.