Melody and harmony in core processing

To better serve members, credit unions need to listen to and adjust the music their systems make.

If you are a musician or musically inclined, you may understand this comparison more than others: Core processing is the melody, while third-party products provide the harmony. The melody is the tune that is sung or played by the main instrument in a song; the harmony is the background tune created by other instruments.

Having hosted and run core systems most of my adult life, I don’t think of the core system as a commodity. To me, the core system is the melody, and just like every song is different, so are the different core data processing systems and the credit unions that use them. Credit unions have tailored their operations around their core systems, some of them for decades, and out comes a symphony of efficiency and understanding. I don’t think there is a bad core system and I don’t like when others tell credit unions they need to leave a system they know and understand well.

Core systems create a familiar melody. Credit union staffers can change the tables and parameters, run their own queries, and set up their own products and services. Having a system they know and understand is worth more to many of them than the next big thing everyone is saying is needed. There is much to be said about knowing a system inside and out and getting the most out of every keystroke.


continue reading »