Headquarters: Glastonbury, Conn.

Technology: Core banking and ancillary software

Why it's one to watch: Its DNAappstore is the first online marketplace to enable collaboration and innovation among financial services firms.

Open Solutions' new app store has been up and running for about half a year, but is already made an impact on how new tech is developed and distributed among bank.

"It's the culmination of a $100 million investment to create a single global platform for community banks and credit unions to share innovation," says Louis Hernandez, CEO of Open Solutions, who says the new marketplace has already helped boost his firm's business - the company had an 18 percent increase in core sales in the last quarter, and operating income is up close to 35 percent. "The reason is the excitement over the app store."

In May, the company debuted DNAcreator and DNAappstore. DNAcreator is a suite of tools for creating custom applications, or DNAapps.

DNAappstore is an online marketplace for such apps that banks and credit unions can contribute to and buy from. Institutions develop their own DNAapps and share these enhancements with a network of banks and credit unions, for free or for a fee that's shared with Open Solutions on a 70/30 split.

Open Solutions, which says it vets the newly developed apps and handles maintenance for apps that are posted to the store, has a network of international resellers that manage local compliance. Hernandez says the cost of the typical app is a couple of thousand dollars. "It's hard to get anything from a vendor for less than $20,000."

Open Solutions' internal development team also uses DNAcreator to build DNAapps, as well as native applications that are available through traditional channels, such as DNAweb, the tech firm's new online banking platform. Since March, there have been more than 100 different DNAapps developed, with 220 downloads and visits from more than three dozen countries. More than 40 institutions are registered as certified developers.

For Redstone, DNAcreator has proven to be source of new business - its new apps also include a product that's designed to reduce the amount of time required to research overdraft questions from 30 minutes to 5 minutes. The Huntsville, Al.-based, $3 billion credit union has sold 140 DNAapps.

In the next year, DNAcreator will be expanded to let users build more complex DNAapps. The DNAappstore is being extended with a Developer's Portal to encourage greater collaboration. "Much like Facebook has made its development application toolset available for free, we want as many people to have access to this as possible," says Hernandez.