Thursday, June 26, 2008

FNC scores another bank

One of the challenges technology vendors often face is getting their high-profile customers to let them talk about their relationships. After covering these firms for many years, I suspect it's not so much that the big banks aren't pleased with the service, they do a great deal of due diligence and often demand rigorous service-level agreements to ensure that they are. There are just too many questions raised when a big bank decides to outsource a critical part of its business.

Why couldn't the bank do this on its own? Does it have an inferior IT department?

How much will it cost to get the new implementation up and running? And how long will it really take? Will this be another horror story?

Who else did the bank look at for this work? Did you really do your due diligence?

What's the expected ROI (beware forward-looking statements) and what will it mean to your bottom line/share price?

Big banks would rather just not play.

In a mortgage lending environment where home values are falling through the floor, it's difficult to think of an area more critical than collateral management (unless you think of fraud, or the inability to find money to lend). In this environment, even the biggest players are forced to release news using generalities.

Case in point: Oxford, Miss.-based FNC reported today that it's appraisal management software, Collateral Management System (CMS), has been chosen by the "the largest financial institution founded, owned, and headquartered in the Washington-Baltimore metropolitan area." The unnamed bank will use CMS to streamline its multi-channel appraisal process at the wholesale, retail, and servicing levels, the company said.

Generally, I don't advise companies to put out news they can't really talk about, but it seems like we're seeing it more often. I've put in a call to the company for more information.

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