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System Conversion & Implementation

Using the Next Step Methodology

Experience | Resources | Proven Methodologies | Relationships


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Experience | Resources | Methodologies | Relationships


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Cornerstone Advisors provides hands-on project management, consulting, and leadership to help growing banks and credit unions accomplish their high-risk technology projects utilizing the proven Next Step Methodology. We are experienced in the core, digital banking systems, loan and account origination systems, debit/credit card processing solutions, and other critical ancillary/surround products.

Strategic Technology Assessments

Knowing how your systems are enabling or impeding you is crucial. Our Strategic Technology Assessment delivers clear insight into whether your systems are aligned with your strategic drivers. It includes a comprehensive review across all lines of business and key systems, including:

  • Core

  • Digital banking

  • Financial/accounting

  • Loan and account origination

  • ATM/debit/credit card

  • Other supporting systems


Vendor/System Evaluations & Selections

Our unique Vendor Evaluation Process takes a comprehensive approach that arms your team with the right information to understand at a detailed level which solution is best for your business now and into the future. The service is tailored for every client and includes:

  • RFP development based on industry best practices and your unique needs

  • Identification of preferred vendors

  • Content of system demonstrations

  • Reference reviews

  • Functionality scoring and gap analysis

  • Decision facilitation

  • Conversion preparations and planning

Vendor Contract Negotiations

Vendor Contract Negotiations are complicated and quite often, confusing. We partner with your executive team and counsel to coordinate, facilitate, and negotiate the entire technology vendor contracts process and support pricing analysis. In doing that, we make sure your new vendor contracts are comprehensive, including the best possible pricing, and manage the risks to your institution. Examples of the types of arrangements we negotiate include:

  • Core

  • Digital banking

  • Financial/accounting

  • Loan and account origination

  • ATM/debit/credit card

  • Other supporting systems


Conversion Management

Our Conversion Management experts provide strong leadership, ensuring you avoid the typical pitfalls that jeopardize conversions in this industry. Our specialists serve as the overall project and risk managers for your team’s responsibilities and fill the key role of liaison with the new technology vendor(s). The Next Step 11-point risk management methodology complements and integrates with the new vendor’s approach, securing a timely and very successful conversion first day live! Customer/member impact is always consideration #1 with every decision.

Mergers & Acquisitions

We provide project and risk management services for bank and credit union Mergers and Acquisitions, including mergers of equal-sized financial institutions, ensuring a high level of success first day live! Our approach helps you identify the risks involved in getting two organizations on disparate systems to make the right decisions during the transition and mitigate the negative impact on your customers/members and bottom line. With proven tools and processes, we get the business units of both organizations working on the following:

  • Product consolidation/mapping

  • Process review

  • Operational integration and standardization

  • Systems Integration

  • Customer/member transition

Process Improvement

Through high-impact Process Improvement, we can help you leverage the new technology investments and address your most significant process needs, during the system evaluation/selection phase through the conversion and implementation phase. This service is performed with the active participation of the core system vendor and representatives from each area of the institution.

Next Step's project management methodology is extremely valuable, particularly for large initiatives such as acquisitions and system conversions. Their process ensures that all areas of the Bank work in concert toward a common goal and that their recommendations for process improvements have been meaningful, provocative, and practical.
Tony Morris
SVP / Atlantic Bank of New York
The team at Fairwinds took on the challenge of a conversion with a sharp focus on ensuring the highest level of member service. The Next Step Methodology made a difference in our results. It brought expertise that helped my entire team manage the risks and get the job done on time. I would recommend this methodology to any CEO looking to achieve a successful core system initiative.
Larry Tobin
President & CEO / Fairwinds Credit Union
The Next Step Methodology brought disciplined project management expertise and processes to our internal and vendor resources, ensuring that our team stayed focused, met deadlines, and achieved our project objectives.
Catherine Papayiannis
COO / Carver Bank
The Next Step Methodology helped us identify our business needs, select the vendor that best fit those needs, and negotiate a contract that laid the foundation for a solid relationship with our new vendor. The techniques used to manage the conversion process ensured the successful completion of all tasks.
Jo Ann Broderick | Alan Musselman | Steve Drosnock
President & CEO | CFO | CTOFirst / Commonwealth Federal Credit Union
Independence achieved success on no less than six major initiative rollouts thanks to the Next Step Methodology’s comprehensive, disciplined, and proven approach to project management. Whether it’s a vendor search, merger/acquisition integration, or new service introduction, this methodology delivers consistent excellence.
Terry Mitchell
President / Independence Community Bank