1) Become very familiar with your current contract for core processing: Terms, expiration, contingencies (sold, merged, discontinued, etc.). Document this for your vendor management program, as well as your core evaluation.
2) Survey your end users to identify any significant feature/function problems, or any support problems from your current vendor.
3) Formalize this list, and meet with your current vendor to discuss and resolve any issues, as well as to discuss their specific plans for your product. Consider discussing cost reductions, additional applications, etc., as noted above.
4) Develop a “short” list of comparable products from other vendors, and initiate a program to evaluate them.
5) If you have already been served notice of your vendor’s intent to discontinue support of your product, accelerate your review into a full blown core evaluation effort, so that you are in control of your timetables for conversion, training, etc.
6) Consider professional help (yes, this is self serving) An industry expert who has managed dozens of system selection efforts brings valuable experience to your process, allowing you tomake the best decision, in the shortest amount of time. Considering the hundreds of thousands of dollars you will be spending over the life of a contract, the investment in a consultant is well worth it.
Excerpted with permission from an artcicle from Trent Fleming. A thirty year industry veteran, Trent Fleming works as a trusted adviser to financial institutions on matters of technology and strategy. He has worked with banks on matters as diverse as strategic planning, business continuity, employee education and training, and operational efficiency. Fleming’s presentations on technology, management, and strategy consistently get the highest marks from his audiences, one reason he is invited back over and over again to speak. He serves on the faculty of GSB‘s Bank IT Management School, and regularly contributes articles to industry publications.