If you’re shopping for a new core, you’ll want to avoid shortcuts. Asking core providers about their products, costs, and conversion timeline only skim the surface during the selection process. In fact, there are a few different layers to peel back to make sure you find the right core partner that fits your business’ needs.
Here are some helpful tips and discussion points to assist you in core vendor management:
Start by meeting the entire team. Oftentimes conversations with prospective core providers will only be between the bank and the vendor’s sales representative. Make sure your team meets the team working behind-the-scenes, from the leadership team to the support managers. These conversations can dictate the future of your partnership.
Consider if the vendor is the right “fit.” Generally, off-the-shelf core solutions won’t work for every bank. You need something that fits and adapts to your needs, and sets your business up for growth. Have a conversation early in the process on goals and ensure that the vendor’s new solution is going to help you achieve those goals and is able to scale as changes occur.
Ask the vendor for their business continuity plan. With cybersecurity on the rise and natural disasters being unpredictable, there’s always a chance that your core system can be impacted. Talk to your vendor about their business continuity plan, if they’ve had to use it, and what were the results. Additionally, ask if their tests have customer participation and how frequently they are conducted.
Inquire about the enhancements process. You like their product today, but will you like it tomorrow? More importantly, will your provider be able to deliver ongoing enhancements with your needs in mind? Ensure your provider is working to keep your products current with ongoing development and using your bank’s input to drive the enhancements process.
Review the vendor’s contract terms. Contracts can be complex and ambiguous. When deciding on a new provider, ask the critical questions before signing on the dotted line. Some questions to ask: 1.) What are the terms of an addendum? 2.) If I acquire a bank, what’s the cost to add them to my core system? 3.) If I add products and services, do the dates in the agreement remain coterminous?
Vendor Management in Action
At IBT Apps, we know what community bankers need to make the right core decision. That’s why we’re always prepared and responsive while you’re going through the vendor management process, and we can prove it!
Early last year, Gilmer National Bank put us through their due diligence process when they were searching for a core option. They met our entire team, called on customer references, and visited our headquarters and data center. Read the story here.
Our response to Gilmer’s process is a testament to our partnership with community banks. Even before you sign a contract, we work in your best interests to serve your bank. That’s just who we are.