Butterfield Bank’s the very definition of sprawl. A largely autonomous network of local banks, it stretches from the Caymans to the U.K to Hong Kong. That’s great for serving a multinational client base, but not so good for achieving a lean IT operation in a rough economy.
So the institution is forgoing its traditional infrastructure that resembled an IT articles of confederation in favor of a new tech constitution dominated by cross-institutional efficiencies and centralized control. “We’re going to put all of these countries on one set of tech platforms and use all of these platforms in a consistent way for all internal processes and controls,” says Wilton Dolloff, COO of Butterfield Bank in Bermuda.
To accomplish this, the bank—which has operations in Bermuda, Barbados, the Cayman Islands, Guernsey, Hong Kong, Malta, Switzerland, and the U.K.—is in the midst of a major project that will standardize and manage large swaths of its IT operations through headquarter offices in Bermuda and Europe, as well as the deployment of cross-border platforms. One example is the current rollout of the Frontier Securities product from Fiserv, which will integrate the bank’s reconciliation operations across all of its jurisdictions. The product will replace multiple legacy systems and manual processes, and will be initially deployed in Bermuda, Barbados, Cayman Islands and Guernsey with other locales rolled out in future phases.
“We had some of our locations that were reconciling manually, and some had no system at all,” Dolloff says, adding the institution is also plotting a group-wide centralized core upgrade, but the reconciliations project took precedent because of the perceived need for a fast upgrade.
The reconciliation product grew out of functionality developed by CheckFree, which has since been absorbed into Fiserv as part of a rebranding following Fiserv’s 2007 acquisition of CheckFree. That rebranding was undertaken in part to address an anticipated demand among banks for enterprisewide integration projects similar to Butterfield’s.
“Our customers no longer have to deal with CheckFree in one place and Fiserv in another, it’s just one brand at the point of contact,” says Jill Clare, a director of marketing for Fiserv in London.