The final piece of Teachers Mutual Bank's IT puzzle

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The final piece of Teachers Mutual Bank's IT puzzle

Integration connects all the dots.

Teachers Mutual Bank has spent the past few years overhauling its core IT environment to ready itself for the digital age, and has now laid the final piece of the puzzle.

Its efforts since 2012 have included upgrading its core banking platform to Ultradata's latest .NET Ultracs solution, and becoming one of the first authorised deposit-taking institutions to implement a mandated single-view of the customer, underpinned by a new enterprise data warehouse.

"It was clear that mobile platforms were going to be the prominent platform of choice for member interaction with the bank," CIO Dave Chapman said.

"We also anticipated, correctly, that best of breed applications to deliver omni-channel experiences on these platforms would be sleek, smart apps developed by third parties."

But until earlier this year the puzzle wasn't complete.

Several years ago the bank considered migrating off its ASP-based Ultradata core banking platform to an entirely new solution. However it decided instead to upgrade versions and spend a small amount on integration services to save a big pile of cash.

Enter Dell Boomi.

Dell Boomi is the on-demand, multi-tenant cloud integration platform TMB deployed earlier this year. It connects cloud and locally hosted applications and data, and its integration processes - dubbed Atoms - are designed by customers, who decide what the integration requires.

The integration piece not only connects all the major foundational elements of TMB's IT envrionment. It also allows the bank to quickly tap into any new fintech capabilities as they arise - which it has already done with two new players in the space, Spriggy and MoneyBrilliant.

But the journey to completion wasn't an easy one: the technical nature of the project made it challenging to explain and sell to non-technical stakeholders.

"Dell Boomi’s fundamental capability is very technical and was intrinsically tied to multiple long-term strategic objectives," Chapman said.

"I had to stitch that story together well to sell the overall benefits and vision of what we were trying to achieve to our board and executive team with a five-year strategic roadmap."

Another hurdle was convincing TMB's core banking provider Ultradata to to publish APIs and extensible services for the platform, without which the Boomi project would not have been possible.

Chapman rallied three of his peers from other large mututals - who similarly saw the value of APIs for future technology capability - to bring Ultradata around to their thinking, an effort which ultimately proved to be a success.

Internally, presentations, case studies, hands-on workshops, project champions, and open days brought staff on board to the project.

"Our CEO is today one of Dell Boomi’s greatest supporters," Chapman said.

Chapman also dipped into his IT budget to deliver "simple but high-value" pilots to prove the value of the technology.

In one case, his team built links to third-party data stores from the likes of LinkedIn and Google Analytics, via Boomi, to show people what it was capable of.

This project has been named a finalist in the finance category of the iTnews Benchmark Awards 2017. View the full list of finalists here.

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