June - 2016 - issue > CXO INSIGHT


Mohan Sankararaman
SVP, Deputy CIO-First Horizon National Corporation
Friday, June 24, 2016
Mohan Sankararaman
"We knew if we achieved our goal, we could deliver solutions quickly, realize reuse of our assets, reduce expense, and decrease the delivery time"

Offering a different customer experience is becoming a challenge these days. Banks choose to buy and deploy off-the-shelf technical solutions to deliver banking products to customers—a model that is a common practice in small to mid-sized banks.
This strategy helps them optimize their technology spend and deliver new products quickly, but while this is a good financial strategy, it does not help the banks differentiate their products from their competition. In many cases the solution comes from the same known financial services vendors.
The result is that when deployed, these products look and behave the same way across banks. Now, the question is how to differentiate when using these procured products.
At First Tennessee we faced with this same challenge. We wanted to offer differentiated customer experiences with our products and at the same time to optimize our technology spend.
In other words, we want to spend less and be different.
In 2009, we started developing a roadmap to achieve this objective. We looked at all the options available and we quickly settled on a hybrid model. We understood that we had to develop our own unique solutions for our customer channels. These would be the solutions our customers touch and use on a daily basis and we would then deploy purchased solutions for our back-office needs.
This hybrid model strategies one that larger banks have been executing for years. But it brought a new challenge to the forefront called system integration. We needed to integrate disparate systems to offer a seamless experience for our customers.
I think every technologist would agree that system integration is not an easy problem to solve. The problem landscape ranges from different OS platforms to different run-time stacks to different API types to different programming languages to different skills. This is the most expensive phase of a project requiring countless hours to make two systems talk to each other.

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