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United States

Integrating Multiple Systems for a Large U.S. Bank

Financial Services | Application Management, Managed Services



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The client’s acquisition of two companies required an integration of applications into its existing environment.

The client, a large U.S. financial institution, serves individuals, businesses and large corporations by providing banking, investment and asset management services. Over the years, our client has increased revenue and market capitalization through process improvement, attention to customer service and satisfaction, product innovation and strategic acquisition.

Websphere, WebLogic and other middleware; SQL Server 2008, Oracle, DB2; Unix (multiple types); Technical analysis and capacity planning

Mergers and acquisitions enable financial services firms to expand their service offerings to customers while increasing market share and geographic coverage. The credit crisis of the late 2000s, tied to the collapse of the U.S. housing bubble, left many banks vulnerable to change in control.  Decreased home values, rising interest rates and high home foreclosure and mortgage default rates hit the mortgage and credit markets in 2008, causing mortgage-backed securities and other financial instruments to lose value.  

The complexity and instability of these securities led to a lack of buyers or sellers, and the decline in value of the securities decreased the capital available for banks to run their operations. Hundreds of commercial banks, investment banks and insurance companies became candidates for government bailout or were forced into acquisition by a larger firm or insolvency. More than 400 banks failed since 2007 and merger activity is expected to continue throughout the economic recovery as the largest and strongest firms seek to increase diversification in service offerings, grow their balance sheets and increase earnings by buying at low valuations. Customer retention, always a focus during a merger, has greater importance during periods of market skepticism and solvency concerns.

Our client engaged in several mergers and acquisitions over the years, including two transactions with large companies in the late 2000s.  These acquisitions required our client to integrate IT applications and systems while also minimizing risk and impact to their customers.  The client’s enterprise technology group was tasked with analyzing all existing systems, prioritizing needs, building an integration plan and delivering a merged set of environments and systems. In addition, the client faced internal and external pressures to complete the integration in a timely and efficient manner. Internal stakeholders, concerned about customer satisfaction and retention, needed the client to present a unified, cohesive plan to complete the acquisition transactions. Externally, the client had to meet regulatory guidelines established by the Federal Trade Commission’s Office of the General Counsel and the Department of Justice.

TEKsystems, a trusted partner of more than 10 years, proposed a deliverable-based, cost-effective, fully outsourced solution to help our client merge and map its systems.  We recommended a custom managed service offering to revise the work order request process, onboarding program, team lead structure and delivery management. TEKsystems could also deliver and manage the up to 200 additional team members needed to perform the applications analysis. Given the size and scope of the acquired companies, the integration project evolved into a large-scale, long-term strategic initiative to improve operational efficiency. 

TEKsystems was selected because of our thorough knowledge of the skill sets and team member profiles required for the work, based on our long-standing relationship with the client. Our deep understanding of the client’s business climate was also a differentiator, as TEKsystems appreciated the corporate culture and the significance of retaining that culture through an acquisition. The client also valued the the guidance we provided and the collaboration involved in developing a mutually-acceptable program.  

We implemented two full-time delivery managers on-site at the project’s largest location to interact with both the client and the project staff and ensure day-to-day operations ran smoothly and on schedule. The delivery managers also led status meetings and capacity planning meetings and prepared reporting on the project. A delivery director participated in monthly operational calls and quarterly business reviews to ensure the project remained on track. TEKsystems also established a project coordinator at the largest location to help with reporting and other project coordination. Finally, TEKsystems introduced a requirement fulfillment manager to supplement the recruiting process and serve as a liaison between the delivery team on location and TEKsystems’ local office recruiters.

The TEKsystems program resulted in positive feedback from our client.  Client managers valued TEKsystems’ speed in engaging resources, management of the program and responsibility for onboarding. As part of our managed service offering, we addressed workforce utilization and increased customer savings by measuring the following metrics:

Effective capacity and work order completion
TEKsystems managed training and onboarding, meaning that our client was only billed for work applied towards approved work orders. This delivery model yielded savings of 5 percent over the first six months after introduction. We measured the utilization of each team member and helped our client achieve 100 percent utilization, well above the industry average utilization rate of 80 percent.

Team demographics and attrition rate
Our operational scorecard also monitored tenure, program mix by role, manager and location. TEKsystems provided tracking of voluntary attrition and terminations, in order to maximize the retention of institutional knowledge. We looked for trends in attrition, migration, performance and productivity.

TEKsystems also added value through the implementation of the following contributions:

Madcat application
This application automated work orders for data center integration efforts. It created work orders by going out on the network, collecting specific data, organizing the data and then presenting electronic work orders. A task that used to take a week now took only minutes, resulting in a 90-97 percent reduction in time spent on creating work orders.

Work order storage, archival and reporting system
TEKsystems created a system that allowed the design team leads to store work requests and compare requests to previous versions. The comparison feature was helpful when many changes are requested by various stakeholders, and ownership and responsibility becomes clouded over time. The new system improved accuracy among nine design team leads by 30 percent and led to nearly $450,000 in savings per year.  

SQL Server standardization
TEKsystems reviewed and approved new materials and processes associated with SQL Server 2008. These new materials were adopted by the client to use as an installation guide for all standard SQL implementations. As a result, implementations were faster, more accurate and more reliable.

A successful integration is reliant on the following factors:

  • Flexibility. TEKsystems worked with the client to develop a proposal that suited the client’s existing technological base and comfort level. The stakes were very high for the client, given the instability in the markets, and the client appreciated that TEKsystems was adaptive and worked with the client to come to a solution instead of forcing a standard one-size-fits-all approach.
  • Documented procedures and protocol. TEKsystems implemented a custom managed service solution that restructured many of the department’s processes. We presented a detailed 80-point checklist of tasks and reviewed each one with the client. The time spent reviewing all of the tasks and responsibilities involved in the integration helped the project team set guidelines and expectations. TEKsystems was able to provide value but allow the client to retain the tasks they wanted responsibility for.
  • Strong, collaborative relationships. The TEKsystems/client relationship dynamic was based on a strong foundation after years of providing services for the client. The client trusted TEKsystems and had confidence in our ability to assist with the integration. Interpersonal dynamics and communication between the client and TEKsystems facilitated the success of the project team.