Open Solutions App Store Linked to ‘Disruptive’ Leadership
Open Solutions Inc. has opened an online store of its own for the financial services technology company and its customers alike to share applications they have developed.
Chairman/CEO Louis Hernandez said the opening of its DNAappstore and release of its accompanying DNAcreator tool set are another example of what makes his company a "disruptive leader."
Both solutions can be used by companies beyond the users of the Connecticut-based company’s DNA core solutions for credit unions and community banks, Hernandez said.
The app store and toolbox suite were announced May 2 at the company’s client conference in Washington, and Hernandez said about 70 applications have already been posted, and 30 more are in the process of being certified.
Examples include a research app from the $3 billion Redstone Federal Credit Union in Huntsville, Ala., which provides a real-time snapshot of transactions, to help resolve, for instance, a member’s question about why an overdraft charge was assessed.
"When a member does a debit transaction in real time, it can be hard for the member service rep to see a balance at that exact point if the member comes in days later and asks why they got hit with a fee," said Terri Bentley, assistant vice president of Redstone’s technology division. "We were able to build a tool to capture from our database the member’s balance at that point in time."
Harry Gunsallus, the credit union’s vice president of technology, said he sees value both in the credit union being able to develop its own applications rather than waiting for the core processor to come through on a special request, and in sharing its own knowledge with others.
"Credit unions are about people helping people, so from our perspective this is completely in tune with our own value system," he said. "Because we’re fortunate enough to have a development shop in-house, being a creator is absolutely within our wheelhouse."
Hernandez said the basic technology in the toolkit "can be used by anyone who can use Microsoft Visual Studio and the C# language that’s taught at every college in the country."
But, he said, the technological innovation among its client base and beyond can now be shared in "ways that are a mind-bending change for our industry." He added that applications can be downloaded for free for 60 days.
"This is the kind of thinking that makes us continue to be the disruptive leader in our industry," Hernandez said. "We’re doing what we’ve been told can’t be done, shouldn’t be done.
"Can you imagine a core processor letting you try any product you want for 60 days, while at the same time providing you access to a user community that is reviewing it?" he said. "We’re inviting vendors of every kind everywhere in the world to share with us in the community we’re creating here for collaboration and knowledge exchange."
Open Solutions partnered with e-commerce provider Magenta to create the collaboration and sales site. Late in 2009, the company launched a client community portal run by its bank and credit union clients using technology from Passageways LLC.
Open Solutions now has a total of 454 credit unions running on its DNA platforms, directly or through partners, and they are being offered new options for accessing the company’s solutions through its new global operations center.
The company just announced the creation of the center, which combines its existing data center in Cherry Hill, N.J., with outsourced infrastructure services from Colo-rado-based HEIT.
That firm will provide cloud-delivered server, desktop, printer and internal network performance monitoring and managing services to Open Solutions customers. The Open Solutions operation provides core processing and other ancillary solutions including item processing, loan origination, relationship management, accounting and Internet banking.
Open Solutions executives said the center was more than a rebranding of its existing call center. "This is an on-demand, pay-as-you-go service with DNA at the core," said Lizette Nigro, the company’s vice president of product marketing.
Hernandez said the app store, development tool kit and reconfigured operations center are the end of the latest phase of new product launches that followed the $80 million reinvestment after he took Open Solutions private in 2006, after three years as a public company.