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All City Credit Union

Choosing a new core data processing system is one of the most important and difficult decisions that a credit union can ever make. Everett, Washington-based All City Credit Union is one credit union that was in this unenvious position a few years ago as their incumbent vendor was bought out by a larger player and service levels deteriorated. All City knew that if they were going to make a major change in core processors that the new vendor had to meet two critical criteria: they had to provide stellar support and they had to have a modern Windows-based system. Their choice was the Windows-based FORZA³™ system from Enhanced Software Products (ESP). Scott Prior, Vice President of Marketing and IT at All City, recalls the due diligence that the credit union undertook: "we spent over a year reviewing at least ten different vendors. We went through in-house demonstrations and visited numerous credit unions. At the end of this process, we were convinced that ESP was the right vendor for us." Prior was impressed not only by ESP’s hands-on demonstration, but also by the fact that their FORZA³™ platform was built from the ground up as a Windows suite. "Many of the systems that we saw were nothing more than legacy DOS-based systems with a Windows front-end on top of it," says Prior, "and we actually wanted a modern Windows system." In addition to making a trip to ESP’s Spokane headquarters, Prior and his team took time to interview some of ESP’s clients and find out how the system worked in the real world. He explains that "we looked at in-house systems, but we really didn’t have the internal resources for that. So we chose ESP’s service bureau option because we were very impressed with their operations and the system had virtually everything that we needed." Once the contract was signed, Prior was pleased that "the rollout went smoothly and our employees really liked the new system with its easy to use, point and click interface." While features and functionality are one thing, customer service and technical support are another. Linda Soikowski, CEO of All City Credit Union and a thirty year veteran in the financial services arena, confirms that "the team at Enhanced Software Products provides absolute cooperation and immediate responses to our requests. I can’t speak highly enough about their levels of service." Soikowski also appreciates that she has direct access to ESP’s senior management team and that "they communicate with us in laymen’s terms and make it easy to quickly resolve any issues." Prior agrees with Soikowski’s comments, adding that "they are a small company that can deliver personalized service to us when we need it. Plus they bundle many modules such as telephone banking and online banking into their core system which significantly reduces our costs of delivering these valuable services to our members." In terms of product enhancements, All City Credit Union enjoys the fact that ESP is committed to delivering updates two to three times per year. Prior confirms that "they are very proactive with their updates. They are constantly working on their system to make it better." ESP takes the ‘wish lists’ from their numerous credit union clients – who range is size from a just a few million in assets to over a billion in assets – and does their best to incorporate them into the next release of FORZA³™. Prior concludes that "ESP just does things differently than other vendors. Their developers really listen to us, and all of their employees are dedicated to providing personalized service."

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