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MALVERN, Pa. – AFTECH President Joe Antellocy isn’t one to beat around the bush or dodge questions. He doesn’t try to hide the fact that AFTECH’s customer relations historically hasn’t been the best. “Our focus was always product creation. This was an organization driven by programmers, run by programmers,” said Antellocy who joined AFTECH in February of 2002. During his short tenure he has tried to keep the focus on product quality and service quality because all the customer relations in the world won’t keep a credit union on an out of date system. He said with the system on solid footing, now it’s time to beef up the customer relationship aspect. AFTECH has increased its account managers from 5 to 7, which is considerable because it drops the number of clients per manager to under 30 “Reps now visit our clients once a quarter. In the past, if we were getting out there twice a year we were successful,” said Antellocy. Core processors often want to have the ears of IT professionals when visiting clients, but Antellocy says he wants his account reps also meeting with departmental people, such as the lending manger, who are the end users of the system. Those are the people that need to be comfortable with the system for the CU to be successful, he said. Under Antellocy’s leadership, AFTECH has turned the corner financially. Revenue is up 15% last year and it is building business by increasing penetration of its existing clients, rather than bringing in new business. “We haven’t had a new business transaction yet this year. We do well off our recurring revenue and servicing our existing clients. We want to make sure the clients are delighted with the product,” said Antellocy. He originally thought ensuring existing clients are satisfied with the product would lead to some word of mouth sales, but he’s finding AFTECH “still needs to have the feet in the street”, so it will double its sales force effective Feb. 1 So what’s hot for AFTECH credit unions? Antellocy said products like loan decisioning, e-statements, and e-notices are all being added on by AFTECH clients at a good clip. “The big emphasis we see is people are trying to sell loans now. We have to provide the technology for that.” An important product for AFTECH is its RD3 system, which includes a relationship data base, rapid access to data and report distributions, said Antellolcy. “It allows a client to mine data that’s both AFTECH and non-AFTECH. Department people can use any open tool to get at the data. It can change a way a credit union does business by allowing departmental people to become independent of IT.” Its cross-selling system is also hot, said Antellocy, as credit unions look to penetrate existing members with more products. Based on what it offers, Antellocy doesn’t think AFTECH is getting in the doors of enough credit unions looking for a new system – and it doesn’t seem to be on the radar screen of most consultants. “One of our strategies this year will be to expose our system to the consultant community.” He describes AFTECH’s strengths as having the best retail delivery system, best home banking platform and a low cost of ownership. “With the margin pressure credit unions are feeling, those three things should encourage them to take a look at us.” For credit unions moving more to the commercial side, AFTECH is rarely considered, said Antellocy, even though it has commercial functionality. AFTECH is an in-house system provider, but at the request of one of its clients it developed an ASP model. Though that client install has been going well, AFTECH was cautious to roll out the ASP system on a grand scale. Now it is getting more comfortable with the product and by July all its clients should have the opportunity to go ASP. One thing AFTECH won’t hesitate to do is help CUs solve business problems through technology, said Antellocy. For example it is right now working with credit unions to help them deal with non-member loans, and has a major lending initiative going that the company is keeping under wraps for now. And it was one CU’s difficulty in keeping IT talent in-house that led to the development of its ASP solution. AFTECH is one of seven Fiserv data processors (XP Systems, USERS, Galaxy, Summit, IntegraSys, and CUSA Technologies being the others). In Antellocy’s mind there can be good and bad to being part of such a large company that has so many different entry points into the credit union industry. “It’s helpful in many respects, especially as it relates to technology. Contrary to what people might believe we do share ideas. I think where it’s detrimental to our growth is that let’s say a credit union already has a Fiserv solution, they may not look at another Fiserv solution in their decision making process,” said Antellocy. He said although all Fiserv’s DP subsidiaries run different systems, some CUs equate them as being cut from the same cloth, and thus will look at non-Fiserv systems like those from Symitar, ULTRADATA or Open Solutions Inc. “It’s one of the challenges Fiserv corporate has, differentiating the business units in the credit union space.” -

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