"Astera has been a lifesaver...it has saved us a ton of bucks."
Dennis Jardinil and Robert Salge, IT Professionals
Randolph-Brooks Federal Credit Union is one of the top credit unions in the country with over 400,000 members and assets exceeding $5 billion. Based in Live Oak, Texas RBFCU serves more than 2000 membership groups and communities across the South Central Texas area and beyond.
RBFCU had previously implemented an internally-developed core banking system to store and maintain member account information. As the credit union's membership and product offerings grew, the back end soon grew to hundreds of tables storing hundreds of gigabytes of data. Because of the legacy design of the system, RBFCU’s ability to develop modern, member-centric applications was hindered and fitting new products and services into the system often took an excessive amount of time. Additionally, RBFCU's team was tasked with completing many regulatory changes to keep the core system compliant, which further hindered them from focusing on developing productive software applications.
Ultimately, a decision was made to convert to a third-party core banking platform from Fiserv. The decision was a logical one; however, credit union leadership soon realized that converting to the new platform would be a daunting task. The sheer enormity of the data to be converted would require dedicated resources to get the job done. This spurred the creation of a core conversion team, which was charged with converting legacy data into the new core banking system, developing conversion logic/business rules, identifying opportunities for data cleanup, and integrating newly selected ancillary software with the core system.
Business needs for this project were three-fold. First, because RBFCU’s legacy system was account-centric and not member-centric, converting entity relationships from the old system to the new was very challenging. Converting data between the legacy system and new core system would take complex normalizations of the data, increasing the risk of an excessively cumbersome migration project.
Secondly, performance and ease-of-use were top priorities for this project. Any time spent learning a new tool or paradigm was time not spent working on the actual business problem at hand. Furthermore, an overly esoteric tool could prevent newcomers from effectively participating in the project down the road. Thirdly, the solution would need to have a performance threshold high enough to realistically test in a timely manner.
The possible solutions boiled down to the classic “build vs. buy.” Building the system in-house was initially considered but was quickly determined not to be a viable option. The development effort would have been too extensive and the run-time performance would not likely scale to the amount of data to be migrated.
The second option involved third-party ETL tools. Most of the major players were considered, but the race was short-listed to IBM, Talend, SSIS, and Centerprise. After thoroughly investigating each option, the RBFCU team found Centerprise to have the right combination of capability, performance, and intuitiveness.
RBFCU selected Centerprise because it met and exceeded all objectives. The learning curve was not too high as the team discovered the interface to be fairly straight-forward; developers were able to drop and come back to the tool without having to relearn it. And, with the Centerprise SQL Source and Lookup components, they were able to leverage and translate their SQL skills right away. Additionally, the Name Parser component was an unexpected bonus, which saved them additional development time. What would have taken at least a week with an in-house solution was now getting done in half a day.
Astera brings powerful data management and application integration solutions within reach of any organization. Astera's open source solutions for developing and deploying data management services like ETL, data profiling, data governance, and MDM are affordable, easy to use, and proven in demanding production environments around the world. For organizations looking to jump-start a big data initiative, Astera provides applications that accelerate data loading and other aspects of Hadoop setup by enabling developers and analysts to leverage powerful Hadoop technologies like Hadoop Hive, Pig, and Sqoop without having to write Hadoop code. Astera's ESB and data services infrastructure solutions extend proven Microsoft technologies like WCF and MSMQ to deliver affordable, flexible service enablement of distributed applications. To help enterprises improve operational performance, Astera also offers packaged solutions that support business process modeling and simulation as well as rapid development, testing, and deployment of process-oriented applications..NET, SQL Server and all Microsoft-related trademarks are the property of the Microsoft, and are used with permission.