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Vivian Wagner
Vivian Wagner
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KeyCorp Upgrades HR and Web Systems

KeyCorp performs major facelifts on its human resources and online banking systems. The changes are to improve both internal and customer-facing processes at the $81 billion institution.

Flexing its technology muscle, KeyCorp is performing major facelifts on its human resources and online banking systems. The changes are intended to improve both internal and customer-facing processes at the $81 billion institution.

To upgrade its HR system and implement a new payroll application, Cleveland-based KeyCorp has turned to enterprise application service provider Corio for help.

Key is upgrading to a newer version of PeopleSoft's human resource management software, and is also switching from an older, legacy payroll application to a PeopleSoft payroll application. Corio will assist in both processes by taking the data from Key, re-enter and re-configure it to fit the new applications, and help Key to set up the new systems. The whole process, which started in May, is expected to be completed by the end of 2003.

Key chose Corio because it offered the expertise and experience in the kind of transition process that Key sought. it hired Corio to design and manage a customized transition process. The four-year-old firm has transitioned numerous companies to newer applications.

Most of these transitions were done as part of Corio's full-service management services. Key, however, didn't want Corio to manage its applications; it wanted do that itself.

Key appreciated Corio's extensive experience in software transitions. "We don't see anyone else that has done this in a holistic way," said Bernie Shunfenthal, executive vice president of Key Technology Services. "Corio has the track record, since they've done this in-house several times."

To begin the transition process, Key sent all of its HR data to Corio, which then set about fitting the data into the new HR system, as well as reconfiguring and rebuilding that system. Once this process is complete, Corio will send the reconfigured data back to Key, help to install it on its hardware, and provide technical support through the transition. Corio will follow a similar process with the payroll system transition.

A big part of the appeal of sending the work to Corio is that it places the task of transitioning into Corio's experienced hands. Another plus for Key is that Corio guarantees that all of this will come together. "Corio guarantees that this will work," said Shunfenthal. "They're on the hook to make sure that it works here and that it works well."

Corio, too, is excited about its new relationship with Key. "There's a lot of synergy between what we had done and what they were going to be doing," said Andrea Holko, vice president of customer acceleration services at San Carlos, Calif.-based Corio.

Although Key is not the first customer that Corio has helped transition, it is the largest and most complex."What we're doing with Key is one of our larger transition solutions," said Rabi Padmanabhan, general manager for enterprise applications at Corio.

Though it's still early in the process, Key is pleased with Corio's work. "We're very happy with them," said Shunfenthal.

Meanwhile, Key has redesigned the online banking and investing portion of to give users one-click access to specific activities, resources and financial management tools. In place of typical navigation bars, the site now features drop-down menus, allowing the client to go directly to such areas as account summary, bill pay or place stop payment without going through multiple screens.

Key has converted its development platform to IBM WebSphere to enhance reliability and take advantage of newer technology. The user interface has been completely redesigned to enhance navigation and client experience and to allow for future expansion of functionality.

Clients can also move around the site more quickly because customer messages (such as information about new products or services) are indicated by a message alert rather than an actual message onscreen. Customers can access the online Message Center at their convenience.

"Clients, many of whom still use dial-up mode which tends to be slow, told us that one-click access to specific areas of the site would be very helpful," according to Paul Ayres, senior vice president and manager of online services at Key. "Changes that make access easier and faster are always popular with clients."

The upgraded site allows the customer to perform more transactions online. For example, customers can open any of 35 different kinds of deposit or loan accounts. The site also allows a client to view accounts and to initiate transactions online.

One of the most popular features of the site is the variety of calculators that assist in planning and management of assets. Key has made it easier and more convenient to access and use such tools as the retirement

planning calculator. There are four Planning Centers on the site: Retirement, Life Events, Education Planning and Changing Jobs. All provide information, tutorials and planning tools.

Dramatically expanded investment information is also now available via

Proprietary research from McDonald Investments has been supplemented with new and improved features from Standard & Poor's, such as investment editorials, stock and mutual fund screeners and a portfolio tracking capability.

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