With the implementation of Temenos T24 core banking system
complete across Hypo Alpe-Adria’s Bank’s Banja Luka unit, Ernst
Fanzott, HGAA management board and IT shared service centre program
manager, and Dr Bernd-Michael Rumpf, global head of customer
services group at Temenos, speak to Meghna
about the transition


Austrian lender Hypo Alpe-Adria Bank’s (HGAA)
unit in Banja Luka, Republic of Srpska, has completed the
implementation of the Temenos T24 core banking system across 49

This latest deployment of the T24 platform by
HGAA is the third of its four-part rollout plan for the lender’s
markets in the former Yugoslavia region, starting with Montenegro
in November 2009, followed by Mostar in Bosnia in May 2011.

The latest live deployment of T24 in Banja
Luka also marks the implementation of the Temenos platform across
three markets in the region by HGAA in 1,000 days.

Ernst Fanzott, HGAA management board and IT
shared service centre program manager, says the transition to T24
was “smooth and the subsequent live operation has been trouble-free
with impressive performance”.

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Fanzott also told RBI that having an
integrated platform across countries “helps the bank save

“We have been working with Temenos for the
last 12 years. The change was not easy but the difficult part is
only to get over the use of the new system. The advantages are very

“Through the capabilities of the software, you
can check immediately whether or not you have all your processes
correct, you can adjust your call centres the way you want them.
The others are technical advantages provide a lot of flexibility
with regard to products and processes.”

HGAA’s Banja Luka implementation features the
AA (Arrangement Architecture) Lending Module for its retail and
corporate banking units. The region’s operations centre is in
Belgrade where the implementation program is located. According to
Fanzott, the implementation takes an 18-months time period on

The HGAA staff went through a Temenos customer
service training to get familiar with the the new AA system.

Fanzott says the lender got “a lot of positive
feedback about the training and AA” internally, and the sessions
were “conducted in a workshop style to challenge people”.

“On the front end, the training has been very
intensive, especially because we are changing the old legacy
system. For instance, we have a lot of people working on the teller
– our old legacy system is 55 years old and now you have to train
them to get used to Temenos systems.”

The training, however, is “substantial and the
system is fast enough” due to which, after completion of the
training sessions, the staff members don’t require further
assistance from Temenos. “Our goal is to equip our staff to do most
things themselves and the training enables that,” adds Fanzott.

Dr Bernd-Michael Rumpf, global head of
customer services group at Temenos, says the Temenos customer
services group aims to provide clients with “what they are looking
for” in terms of business support and project

“Clients need expert services to help them not
only to purchase the right software package but also to guide them
through the implementation for a smooth transition with minimal
time to ROI and with the lowest possible risk. That is what we

“The clients who benefit most from Temenos are
those that come in with a process model and try to reinstall it
into T24, and leverage on the best practices that we know from many
of our other clients,” says Rumpf.  

In the Eastern European retail banking market,
the biggest challenge is regulation with 65% statuary changes
taking place annually, according to Fanzott, which need “planning
and resources”.  

Temenos is a suitable fit for HGAA due to its
capability to adjust to the complex regulatory demands and cope
with changing needs of the market.

“This was also another reason to move to T24
and the AA product due to its ability to follow, in a very short
time, the statutory regulations that you are just handed with.

Rumpf says it is the objective of the
technology vendor to “help banks achieve their own business
targets”, and the “investment is made on the back of a business
case – be it compliance, flexibility, or lowering costs”.

“The other dimension we keep in mind is ‘can
we set out to do this in a certain time frame with certain costs in
place?’,” says Rumpf.

HGAA started focusing on CRM three years ago
and is using Temenos’ system capabilities for its CRM system at
present. The lender has carried out mass marketing campaigns so far
via post and email.

HGAA is further looking towards integrating
the Temenos systems into its mobile banking platform as well.

“Mobile banking is coming up very strongly in
our region. We offer several mobile services via SMS, but we do not
offer regular mobile banking services and transactions at the

“We have an internet banking platform but it
is not powered by T24. Branches are our first point of contact with
customers but internet banking is very strong in the region as
well. Croatia for example has a wide and deep product portfolio –
the market is demanding and creative,” informs Fanzott.

Main competition on the whole for HGAA would
be Rafffiesen Bank, says Fanzott, though “different countries throw
up different competitors”.

“There are also some local niche players in
Austria who we consider competition. But most of them have the
disadvantage of using the old legacy systems, which are not as
flexible and need a lot of development. We have an advantage there
with the new AA model,” adds Fanzott.

Post the T24 deployment in Banja Luka in
August, the fourth implementation in the region is scheduled to be
completed in April 2013. In 2002, HGAA entered the Bosnian market
and has become the biggest lender in Republika Srpska.

Established in 1996, HGAA is the fifth biggest
bank by assets in Austria. In total, the bank has approximately 700
branches and close to 2m current accounts.