The new core processing solution, expected to be available early next year, was developed by a team led by John Landis, CEO of the San Diego-based Corelation. Landis is the designer of the original Galaxy platform who went on to co-found and architect core platforms for Symitar.
Joining him in the venture is the company's new president, Theresa Benavidez, an original employee of Symitar who went on to senior technology and customer management positions with Fiserv Inc.'s XP Systems and USERS operations.
The company's name reflects its intent, its leaders said.
"We were sitting around trying to think of names and started writing on the board what we wanted to be known for and how we would differentiate ourselves from the competition as we set out to become the best core provider in the industry," Benavidez said.
"What sets you aside is the ability to build and sustain relationships," she said. "It's about the core and it's about the relationships, so we came up with 'Corelation.'
"Everybody processes share transactions and loans, some better than others, but it's really about taking care of the people who are taking care of you," the new company's president said.
Landis said he spent about four years working on the new platform before readying it for sale. "Today's technology is exciting, and I wanted to use this technology to craft a brand-new product for this industry that we deeply care about," he said. "It was an irresistible challenge."
At its core, the new Corelation platform uses such approaches as combining basic transaction technology and file maintenance on a DB2 system to provide what Benavidez maintains is a uniquely holistic view of a credit union's members.
"You only have to create that member name once, and from then on, you have a 360-degree view of every single relationship that member has with you from the moment they walk into the credit union," she said. "IDs and passport information, every loan payment or deposit, it's all right there."
"We also have taken full advantage of the DB2 database and IBM functionality to provide the ability for the system to, for instance, resume processing in the middle of the night without any human intervention after a power failure. It's the kind of high availability in systems that everybody wants now," Benavidez said.
The Corelation system also is designed to take advantage of today's multicore computers while handling any kind of share or loan type and providing simultaneous access to multiple work areas, along with a single back-end transaction posting engine for consistency in teller, online and batch activity, the company said.
Allowing credit unions to easily connect with their own choice of best-of-breed, third-party suppliers of bill pay, card and other services also was a key, as was the development of a browser-based interface intended to be intuitively user friendly.
"The main thing we're bringing to the table this time is today's new technology. The last two systems I've written have certainly evolved over the last 20-odd years but are still based on the technology that came out of those decades," Landis said.
"This time we found it possible to start from ground zero without any legacy software," he said. "We're using industry-standard, up-to-date tools in a development environment that is significantly different this time."
That includes using connecting tools such as XML and a foundation in Web services to create an application interface that doesn't tie a credit union to any specific third-party vendors.
The company itself (www.corelationinc.com) is starting small. The other three staffers are sales executive Michael Kremer and user interface development director Jeff Dent, both credit union space veterans. Meanwhile, Robert Landis, son of John Landis, is serving as director of educational services.
Although the Corelation platform is scalable to any size credit union, Benavidez said, her team is focusing on smaller credit unions first.
"We want to walk before we run," she said. "We know this is a system that still has to be proven, even though as individuals we all have a ton of experience."
"And because we don't have stockholders to answer to, we have more control over our own growth and profit margins and things like that," she added.