You will be redirected in 30 seconds or close now.

ColdFusion Authors: Yakov Fain, Jeremy Geelan, Maureen O'Gara, Nancy Y. Nee, Tad Anderson

Related Topics: ColdFusion

ColdFusion: Article

ColdFusion Can Save You Big Bucks

What happens when you discover that automation can cost so much

How does a bank justify using over $200 million in shareholder funds to its shareholders? That's the million-dollar question that CEOs of banks in Nigeria were trying to answer in the aftermath of the forced capitalization imposed on them by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).

In July 2004, the new CBN governor, Professor Charles Soludo, handed down a directive that every bank in Nigeria should increase its capital from about $16 million to $200 million in 18 months or risk losing its license. The options weren't any too pretty: merger and recapitalization. At the end of the intense bloodbath that followed, only 25 banks survived out of 89. But the reality that confronted the CEOs was that it was easier surviving the first recapitalization hurdle than justifying to shareholders the $200 million booty with bottom-line profits.

From a simple perspective, it should have been relatively easy. Since every bank is awash with cash, it's just a matter of creating a retail strategy, opening more branches, loaning money to multinationals, etc. But there was no simple perspective; it was way more difficult especially when every one of the 25 banks was targeting almost the same set of customers.

Just like its counterparts in every country of the world, each Nigerian bank runs a main banking application such as FlexCube, Finacle, Bankmaster, and Phoenix. The survival of these banks was (whether they liked it or not) directly linked to the capabilities of these applications, in addition to other things. The new mega-bank status of these banks exposed the relative weaknesses of some of these applications. Weaknesses that were relatively harmless when these banks were like mom-and-pop organizations were now threats to their very existence.

First City Monument Bank Plc (FCMB) was in this situation when it merged with three other banks. The application it used then, Equation, was slowing down its move to implement one of the best retail banking strategies the country had ever seen. Without skipping a beat, however, the management went for a new core banking application, Finacle, which has been judged to be one of the best in the world. Unfortunately, Finacle is pretty expensive to implement. For a newly minted mega-bank like FCMB, the implementation cost would carve massive hole in its the bottom-line profits.

Apart from the retail strategy and new banking application, FCMB was also trying for the Holy Grail of banking efficiency in Nigeria; the automation of all its processes. It didn't take a seer to see what they were trying to achieve. Lashing together a good strategy with a world-class application supported by a fully automated processes then justifying to shareholders at the next annual meeting the use of their $200 million equity should be a piece of cake.

Or so it seems until you discover that automation can cost so much. While considering the technologies that could be used to automate its processes, the bank discovered Infopool. Infopool is a Web-based ColdFusion integration-and-automation platform that had been successfully deployed in another Nigerian bank. Based on the efficacy of the application, FCMB realized that the cost of implementing Finacle could be significantly reduced by deploying Infopool.

Aside from the cost of the heavy-duty IBM minicomputers needed to run the massive database and Finacle applications, the bulk of the cost of implementing the Finacle application is the license. Every user license runs into four digits. Multiply that by over a thousand user licenses and the total cost of acquiring the end-user licenses stops looking attractive. Meanwhile, most users would be using the application only for enquiries while the rest, the operations staff, would use it to post financial transactions.

Consequently it was decided that the automation process should also integrate the Finacle database so that all non-operation staff could make enquiries on Infopool. The integration team swung into action and was able to complete the enquiry modules on Infopool the day before Finacle was officially launched. The total cost of implementing the automation, which included the enquiry modules and other workflow portions, was less than the cost of the 10-user Finacle licenses. Using ColdFusion, Infopool was able to achieve a single sign-on with the Microsoft Active Directory running the bank's network. As a result, the user only needs to log in once to access different applications based on the profile configured by the systems control department.

Of all the recent technology implementations in the industry, Infopool has the best return on investment (ROI) and the lowest total cost of ownership (TCO). It also lets management, using the management information dashboard, make intelligent decisions, quickly and accurately.

None of the things done with ColdFusion is a novelty or a ground-breaking technique. But as far as the management of FCMB is concerned, ColdFusion saved the day. For the bank, over a million dollars was saved in direct cost. It's not the technology that's important, but the fact that ColdFusion has been immensely instrumental in rapidly deploying a user-friendly platform with rapid access to customer information and automated processes. The bank has been able to live up to its promise to customers of superior customer care. It's been able to provide cutting-edge services to its old and new customers, which is actually the crux of its retail strategy. Happy customers mean more revenue. More revenue, all things being equal, translates to bottom-line profit.

This is exactly what First City Monument Bank Plc needed to show its shareholders. All made possible by the power of ColdFusion.

More Stories By Adédèjì Olówè

Adedeji Olowe, a business intelligence expert, has been using ColdFusion for several years. He has experience developing and extending enterprise applications for companies in the financial industry as well as systems integration.

Comments (0)

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.

IoT & Smart Cities Stories
In an era of historic innovation fueled by unprecedented access to data and technology, the low cost and risk of entering new markets has leveled the playing field for business. Today, any ambitious innovator can easily introduce a new application or product that can reinvent business models and transform the client experience. In their Day 2 Keynote at 19th Cloud Expo, Mercer Rowe, IBM Vice President of Strategic Alliances, and Raejeanne Skillern, Intel Vice President of Data Center Group and G...
Discussions of cloud computing have evolved in recent years from a focus on specific types of cloud, to a world of hybrid cloud, and to a world dominated by the APIs that make today's multi-cloud environments and hybrid clouds possible. In this Power Panel at 17th Cloud Expo, moderated by Conference Chair Roger Strukhoff, panelists addressed the importance of customers being able to use the specific technologies they need, through environments and ecosystems that expose their APIs to make true ...
The current age of digital transformation means that IT organizations must adapt their toolset to cover all digital experiences, beyond just the end users’. Today’s businesses can no longer focus solely on the digital interactions they manage with employees or customers; they must now contend with non-traditional factors. Whether it's the power of brand to make or break a company, the need to monitor across all locations 24/7, or the ability to proactively resolve issues, companies must adapt to...
We are seeing a major migration of enterprises applications to the cloud. As cloud and business use of real time applications accelerate, legacy networks are no longer able to architecturally support cloud adoption and deliver the performance and security required by highly distributed enterprises. These outdated solutions have become more costly and complicated to implement, install, manage, and maintain.SD-WAN offers unlimited capabilities for accessing the benefits of the cloud and Internet. ...
Business professionals no longer wonder if they'll migrate to the cloud; it's now a matter of when. The cloud environment has proved to be a major force in transitioning to an agile business model that enables quick decisions and fast implementation that solidify customer relationships. And when the cloud is combined with the power of cognitive computing, it drives innovation and transformation that achieves astounding competitive advantage.
DXWorldEXPO LLC announced today that "IoT Now" was named media sponsor of CloudEXPO | DXWorldEXPO 2018 New York, which will take place on November 11-13, 2018 in New York City, NY. IoT Now explores the evolving opportunities and challenges facing CSPs, and it passes on some lessons learned from those who have taken the first steps in next-gen IoT services.
Founded in 2000, Chetu Inc. is a global provider of customized software development solutions and IT staff augmentation services for software technology providers. By providing clients with unparalleled niche technology expertise and industry experience, Chetu has become the premiere long-term, back-end software development partner for start-ups, SMBs, and Fortune 500 companies. Chetu is headquartered in Plantation, Florida, with thirteen offices throughout the U.S. and abroad.
DXWorldEXPO LLC announced today that ICC-USA, a computer systems integrator and server manufacturing company focused on developing products and product appliances, will exhibit at the 22nd International CloudEXPO | DXWorldEXPO. DXWordEXPO New York 2018, colocated with CloudEXPO New York 2018 will be held November 11-13, 2018, in New York City. ICC is a computer systems integrator and server manufacturing company focused on developing products and product appliances to meet a wide range of ...
René Bostic is the Technical VP of the IBM Cloud Unit in North America. Enjoying her career with IBM during the modern millennial technological era, she is an expert in cloud computing, DevOps and emerging cloud technologies such as Blockchain. Her strengths and core competencies include a proven record of accomplishments in consensus building at all levels to assess, plan, and implement enterprise and cloud computing solutions. René is a member of the Society of Women Engineers (SWE) and a m...
SYS-CON Events announced today that DatacenterDynamics has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 7–9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. DatacenterDynamics is a brand of DCD Group, a global B2B media and publishing company that develops products to help senior professionals in the world's most ICT dependent organizations make risk-based infrastructure and capacity decisions.