WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. – Consolidation among technology vendors is an annual event – 2005 was a moderate year. By far the biggest deal was Fidelity National Information Services' acquisition of Certegy. FIS has stormed on the credit union scene in recent years, and became a major player when it acquired credit union data processor Aurum Technology a few years back. The acquisition of Certegy gives it a strong presence in the credit union credit card processing arena. FIS has said it would like to become a one-stop shop for both data processing and credit card processing. Another major merger was Harland's acquisition of Liberty. While both firms are known for their check products, both have diversified over the years to become major technology providers to credit unions. Harland paid $160 million in cash to Liberty. Liberty was structured as a Subchapter S with an employee stock ownership plan at the time of the deal, so its 700 employees profited. Liberty founder Dave Copham was in favor of the deal. Copham's family was the majority owner of Liberty. Open Solutions Inc.'s purchase of BISYS' Information Services Group for $470 million was one of the year's biggest core processing deals. It marked the exit of BISYS from the core processing business. While the deal mainly involves banks, OSI said it is important to credit unions because BISYS will give OSI $200 million in additional annual revenue, which it can use to reinvest in products. That wasn't OSI's only acquisition of the year. It also acquired COWWW Software, a provider of Web-based archiving, retrieval and document distribution solutions. The acquisition cost OSI $8 million in cash. OSI completed yet another deal in 2005, the acquisition of credit union data processor SOSystems for $11 million in cash. SOS had approximately 120 CU clients at the time of the deal. OSI touted its "acquire and convert" approach throughout the year. Some firms, like Fiserv, acquire companies and leave just about everything in place. OSI likes to acquire firms and migrate the clients over to the OSI platform. OSI's 2005 deals cemented its place as one of the big five core processors serving credit unions. The others are Fiserv, FIS, Harland and Jack Henry & Associates. Speaking of Jack Henry, it acquired Profitstar toward the end of the year. Profitstar is a provider of ALM and profitability management solutions, as well as budget and reporting solutions. It brought Jack Henry, parent company of Symitar, 700 more credit union clients. It also continued Symitar's approach of acquiring firms that can bring add-on products that it can sell across platforms. Another interesting merger was Corillan's acquisition of qbt. Corillian provides online services for many of the largest credit unions in the country, but it had added interest to the industry because qbt had just a few months prior purchased a number of tech products from U.S. Central's Corporate Network eCom subsidiary. qbt was also just starting to make significant in-roads in the industry with its MultiPoint Integrator product. qbt's former president and now senior vice president with Corillian, Brian Bodell, said qbt needed the scale Corillian brings to the table. [email protected]

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