DNA Makes It Easy To Add Features

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HUNTSVILLE, Ala.-Solving a core-system problem may be as easy as downloading an app created by a fellow Open Solutions client, according to Redstone FCU here, one of the first credit unions to develop applications for the core provider's new DNAappstore.

One of Redstone's first applications automatically flags bad mailing addresses for paper statements in the DNA core system-and can assess a service fee, said Harry Gunsallus, VP-technology for the $3-billion CU, which is certified by Open Solutions to develop apps.

Previously, the CU manually checked hundreds of addresses from the statement vendor against core information, and then manually flagged the account and applied fees, said Brad Donham, Redstone's manager of software development. "It's safe to say we've gained significant savings in time and resources and an increase in accuracy," Donham said.

"If we can solve problems for Redstone, we figure we can solve problems for many," Gunsallus explained. "We'll put our apps on the DNAappstore and have other clients buy them from us. It's a wonderful way to share with credit unions and banks. Likewise, we'll use the DNAappstore to find out if someone else has already solved a pain point we'd rather not solve ourselves.There's never been this kind of opportunity."

A second app helps MSRs explain overdraft fees to members by providing a snapshot of an account's available balance at any point in time-a research task that has become increasingly common as debit authorizations are processed in real time, said Terri Bentley, Redstone's senior AVP, technology.

The overdraft research app shaves 15 minutes off of each query, allowing the call center to find the necessary information in five minutes, Bentley said.

Like all DNAapps, Redstone's apps are native to the DNA core, which makes them appear flawlessly integrated with existing functionality. Gunsallus estimated Redstone will charge fellow core clients between $5,000 to $15,000 to buy the address or overdraft app.

Open Solutions takes 30% of revenue from sales generated by DNAapps, said Chairman and CEO Louis Hernandez, Jr. Opened May 2, the DNAappstore represents a "global collaborative network sharing applications to help make DNA a better core platform," he said.

Organizations can build apps using the Open Solutions DNAcreator, software development tools that allow enhancements to core functionality. DNAcreator provides access to the core so that developers can use standard tools such as WinForms, C#, and Visual Studio to make customizations.

"Because you're changing DNA with the same tools that are used to modify the system," Hernandez added. "And you incur no additional staff training costs."

The DNAappstore is not a free-for-all, like some consumer app stores. Open Solutions "takes responsibility," Hernandez said. Each app is certified for quality and compliance, and "we directly handle all service issues for the community."

Though Redstone's address-change app was more than seven months in the making, the product was faster to market than waiting for Open Solutions to add the functionality, Gunsallus said. And if Redstone had bought a best-of-breed solution from a third-party, costs would have skyrocketed.

As press time, the DNAappstore had nearly 100 apps, ranging from $250 for a graphical relationship manager to $13,500 for a suspicious transaction reviewer.

All DNAapps are offered free for 60 days to all core users with an option to buy after trial.

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