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Inside National Australian Bank’s Core Transformation

BS&T caught up with Adam Bennet, executive general manager, enterprise transformation at National Australia Bank about its conversion to Oracle’s core platform to learn about the next steps of the conversion and the capabilities already being enabled by the new platform.

National Australian Bank (NAB) is in the midst of a multi-year core transformation on to Oracle’s core banking platform, which was released last year. UBank, NAB’s online branch-less bank offering, successfully transitioned to the new platform last August. Bank Systems & Technology spoke with Adam Bennet, the executive general manager of enterprise transformation at National Australian Bank about how the project is going.

BS&T: What drove you to decide to undergo a core transformation? What stage in that transformation are you at currently?

Bennet: Banks around the world are facing the problem of having a mix of old and new technology in their environments. Many of the core systems that support banks are now managing transaction loads far in excess of their original design. These systems are also often bespoke, curtailing the ease with which they can be upgraded and expanded as customers' behavior evolves.

NAB is a third of a way through a total environment transformation, with our core banking platform NextGen the centre piece of this ten year plan.

BS&T: What were your reasons for picking the Oracle platform?

Bennet: NAB has partnered with Oracle to design NextGen, the Oracle Banking Platform or OBP. The co-design has meant that we are able to work with Oracle's global community of experts to ensure the platform is designed with the requirements of a tier one bank in mind.

BS&T: Why did you decide to start the transformation with Ubank?

Bennet: UBank is NAB's direct online bank. UBank was launched to meet the needs of an emerging consumer segment, and concurrently the decision was made to launch the bank on a modern technology base. UBank has continued to be at the forefront of NAB's transformation work.

BS&T: How did the rollout for UBank go? Were there any major challenges or surprises?

Bennet: NextGen/OBP is up and running for UBank. UBank's 300,000 customers were brought onto the platform in August last year, with the migration running to plan.

Any project of such a size has challenges, however due to effective collaboration across NAB and Oracle the migration was a great success.

BS&T: How do you expect the experience with the roll-out for UBank will help you moving forward in transferring the rest of the bank on to the Oracle platform?

Bennet: Each stage of NextGen delivers considerable insight that is folded into future activities. This is the benefit of co-designing the platform with Oracle.

BS&T: What are the next steps in the transformation?

Bennet: The next phase is to prepare NAB for extending NextGen across more of the enterprise.

BS&T: What are some of the ways that moving to the new platform will improve the experience for your customers and also for your front line staff?

Bennet: NAB is committed to delivering safe, easy and reliable banking. As innovation advances the way consumers want to interact with their bank, it's vital we create the underlying technology that will support the coming decades of change.

NAB's transformation agenda places NAB in the best position to deliver innovation to customers quickly and flexibly, and to ensure our staff have the simplest products and tools. Moving from bespoke, legacy technology to globally standardized systems means we are able to upgrade and shift with great speed.

Jonathan Camhi has been an associate editor with Bank Systems & Technology since 2012. He previously worked as a freelance journalist in New York City covering politics, health and immigration, and has a master's degree from the City University of New York's Graduate School ... View Full Bio

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