The N.C. Department of State Treasurer has selected New York-based i-flex solutions, a provider of integrated IT solutions for the financial services industry, to replace its core banking legacy system.

At a cost of almost $2.5 million, NCDST will deploy nine modules of i-flex’s FLEXCUBE that will run on HP servers featuring Intel’s PIII Xeon processors. These modules include, among others, Cash Management, Nostro Reconciliation, Funds Transfer, Deposits and Teller Support.

FLEXCUBE will help the NCDST expedite and manage the flow of money collected and disbursed across all 800-plus state agencies and will allow NCDST, and the agencies it supports, to access account information over the Internet through i-flex’s FLEXCUBE Internet Banking solution, the company said. NCDST will also establish and extend its relationship banking capabilities through FLEXCUBE’s Customer Information System.

Bill Golden, chief information officer and deputy state treasurer for NCDST, says FLEXCUBE will provide benefits over the previous system (developed in 1981), but that putting an actual figure on the savings is more difficult.

“We did prepare a cost benefit analysis for the project, but it was hard to quantify tangible savings,” Golden tells Local Tech Wire. “Most of the benefits were along the lines of better (and more) services to our customers, such as Internet Banking, increased flexibility and maintainability, and streamlined business processes (General Ledger, Check Clearing, Imaging process, End of Day processing, Elimination of manual procedures, etc.).”

Golden adds that, at this point, he only knows of one other state (Oregon) that is replacing its old “home grown” banking applications with a modern commercial solution.

To implement the core banking system at the NCDST, i-flex is partnering with Keane Inc., which it says has significant experience in implementing technology solutions for the State of North Carolina and a sound understanding of its practices and procedures. Boston-based Keane will provide services in process flow analysis, building interfaces to third party systems, testing and quality assurance as well as end user training.

NCDST began the process of replacing its legacy system with a request for proposals last November. Golden says the deadline was in January and four bids were submitted. A team of nine employees evaluated the four proposals against the detailed business and technical requirements, he adds, and narrowed the field down to two before making a final decision on i-flex.

“In March of 2001, those two vendors were asked to complete two days of ‘scripted demos’ each, in which the vendors had to follow a script showing how their software performed our business and technical requirements,” Golden says. “A team of 13 employees evaluated the demos. Using the ‘best value’ concept, we selected i-flex solutions as the winner.”

With assets of $60 billion, the NCDST uses a correspondence network of various North Carolina banks to allow deposits by all state agencies. In addition to accounting for deposits, the NCDST annually processes more than 23 million checks issued by the agencies, an average of 85,000 checks per business day, peaking at 210,000 on some days. The NCDST is similar to a community bank in terms of transactions numbers, and to a large bank in terms of assets.

i-flex solutions:

N.C. Dept. of State Treasurer: