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Stamford Federal Credit Union

Spirits typically run high following a technology vendor selection and system conversion. But to continue that excitement and even build on it three years later is another thing entirely.

"Our technology partnership with COCC is one of the best decisions I have ever made," said Raymond F. Dowling, President and CEO of Stamford Federal Credit Union located in Stamford, Conn. "When I tell other credit unions about the solutions I have with COCC, they are blown away." 

In an interview earlier this month, Dowling and his executive management team cited advantages as a result of the COCC partnership in income opportunities, risk management, procurement, product flexibility, infrastructure management, and disaster recovery. 

"We see value everywhere we look," said George Sessa, Vice President – Lending at Stamford Federal. "COCC saves us money on equipment and data communications because they pass along their bulk pricing. We save time on regulatory compliance, financial management, disaster recovery, product design, you name it. We get expert risk management reporting that answers the bulk of our examiners’ questions. We close our month end in one third the time. If a PC stops working or we need it elsewhere, COCC can recreate it in minutes with all the information and applications in tact. COCC’s responsible and responsive technical expertise have truly freed us to run our credit union."

Since converting to COCC in September, 2005, Stamford Federal’s membership has increased by 8% and assets by 18%. Previously, members would wait for tellers in a line out the door of the credit union’s downtown office. Today, the member line rarely grows beyond five people due to the COCC system’s speed and efficiencies. 

"COCC’s open system is so much more adaptable," said David Lucas, Stamford Federal’s EVP/CFO. "The conversion enabled us to rework our teller procedures and introduce efficiency-boosting features such as cash counting equipment. The results and performance have been terrific." 

Lucas added that the COCC conversion resulted in immediate reductions in operational tasks. "We used to spend half our time searching for information, such as end-of-day figures for balancing," said Lucas. "All of that went away with COCC." 

Both Dowling and Lucas said that the credit union gets the same software and support as a much larger credit union. "COCC makes strategic partners available to us that we wouldn’t otherwise be able to use," said Dowling. He cited Oracle Financials, eLan ATM services, and high quality partners for Internet and email security. 

"Prior to COCC, we had five vendors to manage our Internet and email security functions alone," said Dowling. "Now we call one person at COCC and they integrate the solutions provided by the phishing, spam, viruses, firewalls, encryption and penetration testing vendors. We have saved thousands of dollars in this area alone."

Building on the common Oracle-based systems for COCC’s account processing and financial management systems, COCC created special reports that simplify balancing throughout the credit union every day. 

"This type of innovation happens all the time with COCC," said Dowling. "Their branch capture solution was available almost a year before the corporate credit union offered it. It’s an amazing performance that we see every day at COCC."

Dowling added that COCC’s mutual ownership structure encourages cooperation, even between credit unions and banks. "We attend the same meetings, sit at the same tables, and share ideas about service, efficiency, and regulatory compliance," he said. "It all starts with COCC personnel who aren’t afraid to tell you what’s going on – the problems as well as the solutions. It’s a unique and refreshing vendor experience." 

Richard A. Leone, COCC’s President and CEO, agreed, adding, "The key to our clients’ success is COCC’s integrated, next-generation technology supported by technical experts who are dedicated to serving our client-owners. That simple formula has worked for us since 1967. We will continue to raise the bar on technical support with our new .NET upgrade and innovations in our risk management and business intelligence areas. We look forward to exceeding Stamford Federal Credit Union’s expectations for quality service in the years to come."

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