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ELITE 8 2012: Michael Redeker Implements a New Core System with a 'Big Bang'

ATB Financial CIO Michael Redeker led a high-stakes core system replacement initiative that already is paying off, helping the Canadian bank achieve its goals of putting people first and making dreams come true.

Speed-to-Market Improvements

ATB Financial already has seen significant benefits from the new core, including improved speed to market. "We were actually able to roll out a mobile app five months after we went in production," Redeker reports. "We are able to roll out new products in days versus our old legacy systems that would have taken weeks," he adds. "We are able to make changes much more frequently and get the benefits of those changes in a much shorter timeframe."

But this is just the beginning, according to Redeker. "We've just scratched the surface," he says. "Once we learn more about what the solution can do, it will help continue the transformation of our organization and how we provide services to our customers."

The scope of ambitions for the new core system are in line with the mission of IT at ATB Financial. "Our role is to roll out the most advanced technology, which enables our customers and our associates to connect and complete banking transactions for the benefit of our shareholders and our organization," Redeker explains. "We need to implement and support world-class solutions that enable our associates to be successful with our customers." And those customers must be able "to do their banking as seamlessly as possible -- they don't notice the technology, they just know they can comfortably bank with us."


Technology also is the enabler of ATB 2.0, a strategic framework that defines the bank's goals and how it intends to achieve them. But, Redeker emphasizes, it's more than a traditional mission statement. "We're changing our world by putting people first and making dreams come true," he says, explaining that this means helping customers meet their objectives. By doing this, "We'll ultimately create value for our customers as well as for our associates."

This aligns with the bank's three strategic goals. "We want to be first in every market we choose. We want to be the place to work. And we want to be loved by all Albertans," Redeker explains. The foundation of these aspirations are four strategic pillars: leadership, innovation, process and understanding. "As the CIO," Redeker says, "I look at each one of them, and make sure I'm partnering up with our line-of-business heads to make sure we're executing collaboratively in each of these strategic pillars, so we can collectively achieve the dream of ATB 2.0."

Elaborating, Redeker says, "Understanding is knowing everything we can about our customers and our associates, so we get the most value out of our team, as well as the best services we can provide to our customers." He explains that this accomplished with technologies that include big data, data mining and data warehousing "that provide the information and … understanding of all our banking transactions, all the data we utilize around our banking activities, as well as around our customers."

Process is about streamlining transactions and improving efficiency ratios. "Every banking transaction runs through IT. We need to work effectively with the business units to define what processes they have, and how they leverage the technology effectively from end to end," Redeker says. Meanwhile, leadership encompasses everything from implementation of the SAP core banking solution to executive development.

Regarding the pillar of innovation, Redeker says, "It's not about looking at the next shiny object and saying, 'Here's what we think we want to do,' but actually transforming your organization -- how it utilizes technology for the betterment of our customers and our organization." According to Redeker, the IT organization plays a key role making that happen by partnering with the bank's innovation center to manage the risks of innovation and by testing leading-edge solutions, such as the new core banking system.

"It's a passion to continuously improve and think out of the box," Redeker continues. "We want to change, we want to continuously improve, we want to make a difference and be relevant."

Katherine Burger is Editorial Director of Bank Systems & Technology and Insurance & Technology, members of UBM TechWeb's InformationWeek Financial Services. She assumed leadership of Bank Systems & Technology in 2003 and of Insurance & Technology in 1991. In addition to ... View Full Bio

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