“WRG has allowed our staff to focus on growing the Credit Union instead of allocating our resources to the labor-intensive maintenance of core administration.”
–Dennis Griesgraber, Chief Technology Officer
With over $200 million in assets and nearly 17,000 members, United Educators Credit Union (UECU) offers a full line of financial services, and currently operates branch locations in Apple Valley, Coon Rapids, and Mennetonka, Minnesota. Although the Credit Union has undergone many changes over the years, the strength, dedication and commitment it brings to the education community has remained consistent since 1957.
UECU went live with Wescom Resources Group’s (WRG’s) UNITRI Core Hosting Service in concert with its conversion to the Corelation KeyStone core solution in March 2020.
- Maintaining Continuity and Data Security: UECU south a mature service bureau solution with a strong track record of security, compliance, reliability, performance, flexibility and knowledge of the KeyStone core.
- Disaster Recovery, Backup and Redundancy: UECU needed a cost-effective solution for maintaining geographic diversity of its backup servers for business continuity.
- IT Resource Allocation: Prior to WRG, many of the UECU’s recurring IT and back office processes were automated, and management of that automation consumed significant internal IT resources.
- Integrating Third-Party Solutions: The Credit Union needed to improve its ability to quickly onboard third-party integrations in support of its operations and member self-service capabilities, with assurance these connections were reliable and fully available.
To address these challenges, UECU first evaluated the costs of deploying and co-locating its own core servers, but the replication, vendor end-point management and IT resources required were well beyond its preferable resource ranges. As an alternative, the Credit Union considered various hosting and service bureau options. In the end, UECU selected WRG as the best and most cost-effective solution to meet its goals.
UECU implemented WRG’s Unitri Core Hosting Service over the course of 12 months, in parallel with its conversion to the KeyStone core platform. According to Dennis Griesgraber, Chief Technology Officer at UECU, all expectations were met or exceeded.
“WRG exhibited a strong and dedicated project implementation team,” Griesgraber says. “All the security, continuity and IT resource benefits are baked into the offering. Not only did WRG successfully migrate our existing automation, but it enabled us to onboard new automation such as share draft and ACH posting, as well.”
- Time Savings: Switching to Unitri Service Bureau has enabled UECU to automate a wide range of maintenance activities and manual processes, preserving significant staff time and resources. Since implementing Unitri Core Hosting, UECU has successfully slashed its ACH processing time by a third, and share draft processing in half.
“Between the server refresh and replacement, OS patching and administration, KeyStone upgrades, core automation, and vendor end-point management, WRG has saved the credit union the equivalent of one full time IT Core Administrator position,” says Griesgraber. “On top of that, we are afforded a high-performing, data replicated core with negligible staff time devoted to its ongoing operation, all for a fixed monthly cost.”
- Greater Flexibility: UECU has successfully outsourced the automation and management of most of its standardized processes to WRG, unshackling IT and operational staff from being on call 24/7/365 to run reports and manage system outages.
“The ACH and share draft posting automation affords our back-office staff much more flexibility on banking holidays and early closures,” says Griesgraber.
In addition, UECU now has access to WRG’s deep bench of established vendor integration partners, allowing the Credit Union to easily expand its service offerings without the headaches associated with integrating vendors to the core system and dealing with middle-of-the-night calls to repair faulty vendor connections.
- Reduced Errors: By automating numerous manual processes, the opportunity for human error has been reduced substantially.
“I would say the biggest efficiency with WRG is the automation of the ACH and share draft posting,” says Nicole Kauth, Payment Processing Manager at UECU. “It saves us a ton of time and also reduces the chance of errors since we are not manually posting any longer.
“The returns process is also very streamlined, and the fact that WRG will also email us to verify totals if what we have emailed them doesn’t match Keystone gives us peace of mind.”
- Lower Costs: WRG’s Managed Services solution allows credit unions to fully outsource their core processing management, maintenance and support, at a fixed monthly cost that is often more economical than hosting in-house.
“Our goal was a fully replicated core with managed vendor end-points hosted in a secure datacenter that consumed a small portion of our total IT resources,” says Griesgraber. “WRG allowed us to achieve these goals at a small fraction of the cost had we deployed this ourselves on-premise.”
- Business Growth: By partnering with WRG, UECU’s staff can now focus on introducing new products and growing the Credit Union, instead of allocating resources to labor-intensive core administration and maintenance activities.