Banks, legacy systems and a one-view wonder

Amongst the heap of supplements that make up the modern Sunday newspaper (paper version, online versions available), was one called ‘We have lift off – plotting the best route through the crowded payments space.’

Amongst stories of the French being able to tweet money, Bitcoin – not to be confused with bitcoin (the currency itself) – and the clash between Apple Pay and MCX (more anon) was a headline that brought flashbacks. ‘Banking platforms:’ went the title, ‘the unwelcome legacy.’

The first line was even more hallucinogenic. ‘Creating a single point of view of the customer is crucial from a bank’s point of view.’

One of the interviewees, a veteran of several banks’ IT war zones admitted to having over 25 legacy systems. He spoke of the challenge of piecing together a single view of the customer with all these systems. Another thought the time had come to create a single view, because the physical world is coming together with the digital.

There should have been tears of joy. Memories certainly flooded back of the evolution of telecoms billing. Of the point products which supported a single service in order to avoid integration with the ‘mother ship’ to get round the terror of regression testing. The realisation that 138 separate systems was not the way forward. The years of consolidation in order to get to a single view of the customer – one product actually called Single.View. The discussions about going online, and in so doing putting your business in a ‘goldfish bowl’.

Back to the banking article, and a Mr Perry, who says ‘a greater degree of transparency is always good, especially for banking.’

Leave banking alone for a moment and look at TV, and similar things are the focus for them. They are struggling to centralise and rationalise their product catalogues in order to be more responsive and intuitive in their offerings. IT in many TV companies is years behind telecoms.

And all of this, which means that telecoms is actually ahead of the game when it comes to modernising IT, should mean that there are huge advantages for telcos, huge opportunities for telecoms based companies and the people who run them.

Could it mean, could it actually mean, that ultimately our neighbours in the digital world (TV, Banking and Payments) are actually frightened of us?

After all, they are very reluctant indeed to partner, unlike those super cool, over the top, Digital Service Providers.

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Alex Leslie
About Alex Leslie 400 Articles
Alex was Founder and CEO of the Global Billing Association (GBA), a trade body focused on the communications sector. He is a sought after speaker and chairman at leading industry conferences, and is widely published in communications magazines around the world. Until it closed, he was Contributing Editor, OSS/BSS for Connected Planet.

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