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Synergent, a wholly owned service subsidiary of the Maine Credit Union League, is a progressive technology company that is faced with a difficult task: support the data processing needs of 50 credit unions throughout New England that serve over 400,000 members. Since 1971, this organization has worked hard to build their credit union client list and has expanded to over 125 employees. Fifty of these employees work in the Technology Services Division, which is noted for its high levels of customer service, technical expertise and efficient operations. In regards to this last point, Synergent has chosen to drive its efficiency levels to new heights by partnering with a world leader in multi-platform automation solutions: Software & Management Associates (SMA).

While your average credit union IT Department runs its core data processing system in-house, Synergent has the daunting task of keeping the system up and running 24/7 with the highest degree of accuracy in a service bureau environment. Tim Gilman, Operations Manager of Synergent, is in the unenviable position of having to keep 50 separate databases running around the clock without error. Without comprehensive and effective IT automation software in place, his job – and the 11 IT employees under him – would be nearly an impossible task. Gilman recalls that “from the very outset, SMA felt confident that they could help us and that their OpCon/xps™ automation software was the right choice for our complex needs. After seeing their demonstration and working with their pre-sales team, I was very impressed and felt confident as well.” SMA even went so far as to send one of their lead developers to Maine from their Houston headquarters to analyze Synergent’s systems and operations. Gilman confirms that “it was a real collaborative effort and SMA’s team was very knowledgeable.”

Synergent immediately began to see results upon installing the robust OpCon/xps™ solution. For instance, one job that took 13 minutes to run manually now runs in under three minutes, while another that took 45 minutes now takes less than 5 minutes. “The labor savings were huge,” enthuses Gilman. “We no longer had to worry about human errors, so it was a real win-win for us.” Because OpCon/xps™ is Windows®-based, Gilman’s operators did not have a difficult learning curve; in fact, he notes, “OpCon/xps™ has a strong and well designed GUI (graphical user interface) that provides a centralized place for monitoring all of our jobs.” While Synergent’s credit union clients enjoy using the powerful Episys® system from Symitar, Synergent’s employees are 100% focused on back office data processing issues, and providing superior levels of service and support. According to Gilman, “OpCon/xps™ has turned out to be the perfect tool for tying everything together on the backend.”

Many IT people may be concerned about the complexity of an automation solution technology such as OpCon/xps™ and how difficult it would be to configure and obtain support. Gilman was pleased to find that “technical support has been minimally needed because it is such a stable and well written package.” However, just as with any software application, he and his team have needed to work with SMA’s support engineers over the years to help automate their most pressing challenges. The result: “They are a pleasure to work with and very helpful. We work with dozens of vendors here at Synergent – all of whom are good – but SMA’s customer service and technical support stand out above the crowd. They have a top to bottom commitment to a high level of service towards their customers, which is highly important with critical production processing, and reflects the value of client service that Synergent is known for.”

With OpCon/xps™ providing the automation needed to drive the dynamic event-driven processing of hundred of tedious IT tasks, Synergent has even found the time to show individual credit unions the power of their system. Gilman relates that “I have done demonstrations for a few credit unions and they all came away impressed with the power and ease of use of OpCon/xps™.” Even though SMA’s clients include large multinational corporations, its software can also help fairly small organizations with automating their IT processing. Gilman is convinced that “IT people really need this product because not only can it help with core data processing, but also with all types of day to day IT operations across a wide range of operating systems and networks. It truly is up to the task of handling any challenge that we have been able to throw at it.”