Paving the Way for Digital Transformation While Enhancing Customer Experience

To stay ahead and grow in today’s fiercely competitive financial services market, banks and other financial institutions must deliver stand-out services and customer experiences to an increasingly savvy consumer. But legacy technologies hold them back and slow the digital transformation needed to enable those differentiated experiences.

For one of our clients, the largest not-for-profit financial services organization in the Northwest and one of the top five financial cooperatives in the country, this meant executing two critical initiatives at the same time. They needed to keep existing banking applications running smoothly while setting the stage for a full-scale transformation.

Based on our longstanding partnership, the organization turned to 3Pillar Global to support both their short-term and longer-term strategy, trusting our expertise and high-performing teams to execute successfully and deliver the highest possible return on their digital transformation investment.


Modernizing Core Banking Services to Deliver Better Customer Experience

To stay at the forefront of the industry and expand market share, our client urgently needed to make it easy to handle financial transactions online by creating engaging online experiences. This became even more critical with the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, which prevented customers from visiting branch offices in person.

In the short term, they needed to keep their finger on the pulse of customer needs and identify opportunities to provide customers with additional banking services. That meant modernizing their technology infrastructure—starting with their outdated legacy customer relationship management (CRM) solution.

At the same time, senior leaders decided to launch a full-scale digital transformation initiative to modernize the core banking platform that delivers checking, savings, and loan services to customers. Knowing this would be a multi-year process, our client needed to ensure their legacy applications could continue supporting current customer needs while they built a strong foundation for the future.

Meanwhile, our client was also undergoing multiple organizational changes, forcing team members to split their focus across multiple projects.


Bringing Skills and Experience to Enhance CRM and Core Banking Capabilities

The organization engaged 3Pillar to help them maintain the legacy applications used to serve customers today and then create the necessary application programming interfaces (APIs) to connect those legacy applications to the new, modern infrastructure.

We provided cross-functional, senior-level resources with the required skill sets and experience across the software development lifecycle—architecture, design, development, testing, and project management. Leveraging the Microsoft technology stack, this high-performing team focused on two primary objectives:

Custom CRM

  • Identified all the dependencies of the previous CRM solution, which connected to multiple data sources.
  • Built back-end integrations that allowed data to flow automatically to the new CRM front-end application.

Core Banking Platform Enhancements

  • Applied the necessary software and security updates to keep the platform’s legacy applications functioning correctly for checking, savings, loans, and debit card services.
  • Created APIs to connect the legacy applications and transition to the modern software infrastructure.

Modernizing the core banking APIs enabled our client to drive faster deployments and service innovations, such as enabling customers to order new or replacement debit cards online—rather than traveling to bank branches.

Innovating Product Development Processes

While implementing these projects, 3Pillar collaborated closely with internal client stakeholders as well as team members from other technology providers. We also introduced new process approaches based on development best practices such as Agile and Scrum and supported our client’s internal teams in adopting them.

These approaches accelerated code updates by 33%, enabling application enhancements to be deployed faster.

As the organization and their needs evolved, we readily adapted to changes in project scope and provided new perspectives on how to tackle the development challenges. And as we successfully completed project tasks, we earned our client’s trust to take over the management of both internal and external resources. As a result, our client considers the collaborative effort with 3Pillar as a seamless single-team effort.

“3Pillar does a great job helping us understand the scope of our projects and the feasibility of the features we want to add to our applications. This approach facilitates the process to revisit project requirements so we can make sure we have a solid game plan in place to deliver value to our customers.”

— Senior Director of Engineering

3Pillar is helping the financial organization execute their multi-year strategic roadmap with sequenced business and technology initiatives as well as documenting the people, processes, and technology required to support each initiative.


Delivering Higher Returns on Enhanced Banking Services

The new CRM solution enables our client to nurture and grow customer relationships by providing new services and improving the experience customers have while banking. They can also get valuable customer feedback through automated surveys via phone, chat and email.

The modernization of core banking services and API connections will allow the organization to enhance the financial services they offer—encouraging customers to engage more often and deposit more financial assets.

In the meantime, we’re enabling legacy applications to continue serving current customer needs and keep operations humming along.

Through our partnership, 3Pillar is helping our client deliver a high return on their substantial digital transformation investment. And with the framework in place to transform applications into customer-first experiences, that investment will pay dividends for a long time to come—putting our client’s organization at the technology forefront of the financial services industry.