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Synergent white paper discusses picking service providers
PORTLAND, Maine (5/4/12)--The decision to outsource core processing is a value proposition, one that involves piece of mind as much as it does price, according to a new white paper from Synergent, a service provider owned by credit unions serving only credit unions.

Synergent is a subsidiary of the Maine Credit Union League.

"Partnership and Value: Choosing the Best Service Provider for Your Credit Union" explores the partnership and value inherent in an outsourcing relationship, including when outsourcing makes sense, the value of partnership, the difference between running a credit union and running an information technology (IT) department, comparing value to price, and outsourcing as sound fiscal policy in an uncertain economy.

"A growing number of credit unions are opting to outsource technology services to a qualified service provider or vendor," writes Mark Arnold, author of the paper and president of On the Mark Strategies, a strategic planning and branding consulting firm. "By investing these dollars in technology for member service, credit unions of all sizes are now realizing the ease and value of outsourcing. With the highly trained and dedicated support team of a service provider helping operate the behind-the-scenes side of IT, credit unions can then focus more freely on what they have always done best: superior member service," he writes.

An executive responsible for IT who answers "no" to two or more of the following questions, might consider outsourcing as a member service option, according to the paper:

  • Do we need to do this ourselves?
  • Do we have the trained staff and available hours to handle technology issues?
  • Are we prepared to immediately handle any contingency, day or night?
  • Can we shoulder the weight of the additional staff (salary, benefits, training) to keep these functions in-house?
  • Can we improve overall member service by trying to be all things to all people?
When searching for the right service provider partnership, price should not be allowed to dominate the process, according to the paper. Credit unions do best when allied with a service provider that sees them as more than another account or incoming call on the tech support line.

The paper also includes interviews with credit union executives who are Synergent users, telling why they decided to outsource their core processing platform.  "We see a very clear value proposition in any sized credit union in turning these duties over to trained IT professionals rather than trying to handle it internally,"  Debbie Guiney, CEO at AllCom CU in Worcester, Mass., said.

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