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WyHy Federal Credit Union was chartered in 1953 with an initial investment of $35 to serve Wyoming Highway Department employees and their families. The credit union now boasts over 150 Select Employee Groups and 13,000 members. Their success can be attributed to maintaining a laser-like focus on their mission: To consider each member's situation individually and provide prompt financial advice to help members manage their finances. The Cheyenne-based credit union is able to sustain this single-minded dedication to member service year in and year out by outsourcing their entire infrastructure – not just their core data processing system like many credit unions, but their entire technology infrastructure. Their partner of choice is Ongoing Operations (OGO), a multi-owned CUSO which offers the credit union movement’s most secure, reliable and redundant cloud computing platform.
Bill Willingham, WhHy’s long time CEO, has worked at almost every position at the credit union from teller to loan officer to CFO. Using his incredible hands-on banking experience, which stretches over 34 years, Bill has organically grown the credit union from just $16M in assets to over $200M in assets since he took over as CEO 1994. His key to success is working with each member to build wallet share and help them with their financial life. According to Bill, “our core competency is serving our members, not running complex financial or technology platforms in-house.” After outsourcing WhHy’s core system and marketing department, Bill turned to OGO for assistance: “we felt very confident going with OGO because their references and credit union client list were great, and we always like to support the CUSO model which we strongly believe in.” Not only is OGO a long time CUSO with hundreds of credit union clients, but many of their employees come from credit unions and have been with OGO for a long time.
The first step in moving to the cloud was to upgrade WyHy’s telecommunications circuits. This turned out to be a grand slam for the credit union: OGO moved them from 1.5MB links to 20MB connectivity and lowered their costs at the same time! Bill recalls that “this got us off to a great start and we were poised to move more than a dozen of our servers off-site next.” The move ensured that the credit union was spared the considerable expense of upgrading their ageing hardware and no longer had the on premise support and backup headaches to worry about. The next phase entailed transferring the credit union’s mission critical Microsoft Exchange email platform to OGO’s super secure Phoenix data center, followed by the implementation of Microsoft’s Skype for Business VoIP phone system. Bill notes that “these systems require specialized skill sets that we did not have in place, so we were extremely happy to let the experts at OGO handle these sophisticated systems for us.”
WyHy is also taking advantage of OGO’s CU Control platform which enables enterprise security compliance controls, data aggregation, reporting, and management of almost all of their managed infrastructure. This solution greatly reduces the credit union’s labor related to IT Security and NCUA compliance. Bill adds that “working with OGO gives us so much more peace of mind than when we had in-house responsibility for these systems. We now feel very confident with our technology infrastructure and disaster recovery capabilities.” After a recent audit, the credit union received a vote of confidence from the examiners which served to verify and validate all of the hard work and effort that the credit union and OGO have put into their cloud hosted services architecture.
As WyHy continues to grow, they can feel confident that their reliable cloud infrastructure can scale with them. Bill explains that “we are in the financial services business, not the IT business. It made perfect sense for us to outsource everything to OGO and there is a natural synergy in our partnership.” He concludes that “OGO has stayed in engaged with us every step of the way and everyone from their CEO on down has been very helpful and friendly. I highly recommend working with them.”