Sparebank 1 extends contract with core banking and payments software provider Evry
Sparebank 1, an alliance of 16 Norwegian savings banks, has extended the contract with its incumbent software supplier, Evry, for another six years.
The agreement represents total contract value of NOK 3 billion ($364 million) over a six-year period. Evry provides Sparebank 1 and its member banks with core banking and payments solutions.
Jon Oluf Brodersen, CEO of Sparebank 1, says the contract extension means continuous access to “stable, flexible and cost-efficient IT services”.
“We are now building an efficient platform for modern banking operations with digital solutions that will ensure that we are well-equipped to meet our customers’ requirements in the future as well,” he adds.
Evry states the contract with Sparebank 1 is “of strategic importance” and “represents a big vote of confidence” in the company.
Evry and Sparebank 1 have a long-standing relationship. It went through a rocky phase a few years back, but bridges were rebuilt in mid-2014 with an official “strategic alliance”.
At that time, the Norwegian alliance became the first customer for Evry’s newly developed Java-based application, with plans to migrate fully from Evry’s old core platform (based on Cobol, DB2 and CICS).
This renewed commitment followed a low point in 2011 when Sparebank 1 intended to terminate the strategic portion of its work with EDB, as Evry was called at that time.
Evry had made several unsuccessful attempts to modernise its legacy core software, including a plan to replace it with Oracle FSS’s Flexcube (the project was ultimately a failure). It eventually developed a Java-based version of its platform under its own steam, with Sparebank as the new platform’s first adopter.
Eivind Gjemdal, alliance director for IT at Sparebank 1, explained at the time that following the decision is 2011 to cease the strategic part of the relationship with EDB/Evry due to the operational problems that it was encountering, Sparebank 1 did a lot of work to address its own internal architecture.
By mid-2014, Sparebank 1 had more than 16 product systems, including the new and old ledger systems from Evry. The rest were for areas such as leasing, general insurance, life insurance, savings accounts, share trading… “you name it, we’ve got it”, commented Gjemdal.
Most of these systems are packages, in line with the bank’s “best of breed” approach. It has been replacing these at a rate of one or two per year for the last eight or nine years.
As for Evry, it says it “is establishing its new core banking solution as a service platform using industry-standard components”. The vendor’s development strategy and implementation methodology are “firmly based” on the Banking Industry Architecture Network (BIAN) standards. Evry says it is the only Nordic IT service provider that is a member of BIAN.
In 2014, Evry was hit by the loss of DNB – Norway’s largest bank and Evry’s largest client – after a string of high-profile system problems. DNB entrusted the transformation and management of its operations and technology to India-based outsourcing specialist, HCL. The seven-year contract with HCL was valued at $400 million.
Evry had been working with DNB since the early 2000s, but the relationship had gone downhill, not helped by a string of online banking and ATM outages the bank suffered in 2013. Liv Fiksdahl, group EVP and head of IT and operations at DNB Bank, was quoted in the Norwegian press as saying that the failures in the bank’s systems were “decisive for the choice of supplier”.