News

TargetST8 Reaches Milestone – Loan IQ implementations!

     Number One in Commercial Lending!

 

TargetST8 is celebrating this week with another successful client implementation of Loan IQ. This project was completed in less than one year and was widely considered a great experience from our client. This continues the unbroken record of successful implementations. Here are some fun facts:

 

  • –  TargetST8 is the only company in the industry with double digit number of successful new implementations!
  • –  TargetST8 is the only company in the industry that has the in depth expertise and experience to complete upgrades on time and on budget
  • –  TargetST8 is proud to have the strongest network of Loan IQ and Commercial Lending professionals in the world today.
  • –  TargetST8 knows how to implement this system better than anyone else in the industry.

 

Our clients benefit from our expertise, our depth of knowledge and our top end professionals on every project.

 

Thank you to all of our clients for our success, we are committed to your success!

 

Crossbridge Consulting is now TargetST8!

We are pleased to announce that we have rebranded and Crossbridge Consulting LLC is now TargetST8 Consulting (read: Target State)! Our name has changed but our advisory and professional services are stronger than ever!

We have always  strived to listen to  you,  our clients, to  focus on what we do best   offering world class  advisory and professional services faster, more efficiently and with greater  value.   Crossbridge Consulting is now known as TargetST8 Consulting.  We are making some changes to become stronger globally and increase our services to match our clients demands!  TargetST8 Consulting is the current brand name of our heritage starting with m.a.partners in 1998, Sente Partners in the 2000s and now TargetST8!

Please contact us for more information at info@targetst8.com

 

 

 

TargetST8 welcomes Miriam Sheehan – Director New York

TargetST8 is pleased to welcome Miriam Sheehan as a Director in our Lending Practice.  Miriam has over two decades experience in the financial services industry, with a successful track record in Project Management, Business Analysis, Product Development and Operations Management.  Miriam is a well-known subject matter expert in Loan IQ and a champion of delivering system driven solutions to enhance efficiency, business development opportunities and control environments.  Please join us in welcoming Miriam to the team!

Miriam can be reached at miriam.sheehan@targetst8.com

TargetST8 and Marquis partner on automation for LoanIQ

TargetST8 and Marquis have entered into a partnership to implement Marquis Automated Reusable System for Finatra’s LoanIQ implementation projects.

Contact Gary Huang for more information at gary.huang@targetst8.com.

How the grocery industry should respond to Amazon’s real agenda

Amazon’s acquisition of Whole Foods has been met with varying degrees of euphoria and skepticism.  Most believe that similar to the havoc wreaked on publishers, Amazon is going to kick the grocery chains “out-into-the-orbit.”  Others feel that perishables like ice-cream and steaks cannot be stored in Amazon’s warehouses or downloaded on a Kindle, and that a tech company does not understand the challenges of the grocery businesses.  Just two years ago, Whole foods had warned Amazon’s venture into groceries would become Amazon’s Waterloo.  Both sides are missing the bigger play here.

Learn vs. compete

Undoubtedly, Amazon will leverage its experience in online retail, massive cloud infrastructure, brand recognition, and marketing blitz to gain market share quickly.  But instead of competing with Amazon, those in the grocery industry can benefit from this push to transform, ironically using Amazon’s AWS platform itself.  This may well be Amazon’s intention in the first place — lead transformation through targeted uses cases that accelerate the adoption of its digital platform.  The $13.7 Billion investment in Whole Foods further rationalizes Amazon’s nearly $500 Billion market cap, vast majority of which is centered around mass adoption of AWS and corresponding digital technologies.  Amazon intends to play a central role in the ecosystem for major industries, and enjoy non-linear scalability at high margins.  Case in point, Amazon’s much hyped Go-Stores seem less of a blueprint for a mass roll out of the company’s grocery stores, and more of a subtle motivation (and threat) for other grocery stores to adopt AWS to build similar capabilities.  This is not different from Tesla’s strategy to expand the electric car market by supplying batteries to other car manufactures, and to position itself as a battery company that the ecosystem has a critical dependency on.

The grocery industry digital agenda

We are witnessing the long overdue transformation of the grocery business.  Amazon just happens to make the opening salvo, and others will respond and adapt.  Existing and future grocery store operators must ensure their digital transformation  includes the following:

  1. Understanding strengths and weaknesses:  Employ Industrie 4.0 frameworks or Digital Maturity Assessments to gauge focus areas. To mitigate risk, use cases must evolve from Proof of Concepts, to pilots, to large scale transformation;
  2. Enhance Customer Experience:  Focus on customer experience at the grocery store or with online orders. Learn from disruptors like FreshDirect and BlueApron.  Augmented Reality can help customers connect more with products and services they consume;
  3. Connected Processes:  Capture the 3-7% EBIT that is trapped in the inefficient farm-to-fork value chain.  Internet of Things, Intelligent Automation, Machine Learning and other digital capabilities are available to make a quantum leap.  Digital technologies are making it easier for existing assets to be leveraged more effectively.  Recently, Walmart piloted a delivery service where some deliveries are made by employees heading home in their own cars.  No major Capex, happier employees make extra money, and increased customer satisfaction makes this kind of innovation essential; and
  4. Think Global, act Local:  Consumers are increasingly conscious on quality, freshness and the source of their produce.  Companies must learn to build digital capabilities at a global scale that can be customized by stores to build unique local ecosystems.  This can create new revenue streams of locally produced and consumed products and services.

Actions current operators take  over the next several months will determine their place in the grocery ecosystem. Taking Amazon head on will be sheer madness; positioning oneself in either the Amazon or Walmart camp would reduce a company to an under-appreciated provider of essential, but easily replaceable, low margin services; championing digital transformation to create a customizable yet scalable experience for customers, combined with hyper efficiency unleashed by connected processes, is the best way forward.

How to learn vs. compete

Before jumping into a digital transformation strategy, make sure you understand how to adequately fill your grocery cart.  Linium’s IoT webinar provides a path  to enable the digitization, automation and evolution of manual service workflows.  You can also learn more about our innovation services and how we can help your business transform.

TargetST8 partners with VeriComply

TargetST8 has agreed to partner with VeriComply on an asset verification system. The companies will partner on automating aspects of Finastra’s LoanIQ program.

Please contact Gary Huang at gary.huang@targetst8.com for more information.

TargetST8 selected as Misys (Finastra) Select Infusion Partner

TargetST8 announced today it has joined the Misys InFusion partner program. Misys, a global financial software company, will expand its opportunities to deliver the world’s leading solution for servicing commercial loans.

Leveraging the rich functionality of FusionBanking Loan IQ, TargetST8 provides financial institutions with a single platform for bilateral, commercial and syndicated loan servicing, trading and settlement. The unified platform allows banks to consolidate lending lines onto a single servicing solution to lower total cost of ownership, drive transparency across lending operations, and enable more profitable growth by tightening risk control, and generating more timely and accurate data across the loan book.

TargetST8 is delivering significant results through its partnership with Misys, including successfully leading the implementation of a major system rollout for a global bank. TargetST8 consolidated and moved all syndicated and participation deals from legacy commercial lending systems into FusionBanking Loan IQ, while also decommissioning all legacy loan systems and sub-systems. Other FusionBanking Loan IQ clients have now selected TargetST8 to execute their latest version upgrade in multiple locations across North America and EMEA.

“We are delighted to be awarded partner status with Misys, in recognition of our track record of delivering successful FusionBanking Loan IQ implementations for multiple clients,” said Gary Huang, Managing Partner at TargetST8. “In leveraging the resources of one of the world’s premier financial software companies, we are well-positioned to assist financial institutions in modernizing their commercial lending operations, reducing cost and redundancy, and accelerating efficiency. This capability fits perfectly with TargetST8’s consulting expertise and provides additional digital business solutions to serve the needs of our clients.”

TargetST8 welcomes Virag Patel – Director New York

TargetST8 is pleased to announce the addition of Virag Patel to our New York City office.  Virag will help to lead our lending practice globally as well as serve as a delivery lead for client engagements. Virag has extensive experience in LoanIQ program management across multiple industry groups. His addition compliments one of TargetST8’s hallmark offerings.  Please join us in congratulating Virag!

Please contact him at virag.patel@targetst8.com.

Loan IQ Upgrade to 7.x: What You Need to Know

What we now know as Loan IQ started all the way back in 1994, when IBM and Banker’s Trust joined forces to productize an in-house software that had been developed by Banker’s Trust. When the software was eventually introduced to market, it was branded Lending System 2—or LS2 (a moniker still widely used by those that have worked with the software since inception). Then, in March 1998, IQ Financial Systems Inc. (IQFS) was formed as a spin-off from Bankers Trust Corporation before being bought by Deutsche Bank and, later, by Misys, PLC.

Before I joined IQ Financial, product knowledge was essentially limited to the PS team, most of whom had worked with the software at Bankers Trust or the consortium banks (ING, Bank One, Chase, Sumitomo, Bank of America) that funded the functionalities development. Outside the development team, however, technical knowledge of the system was minimal. And because the product knowledge resources were typically assigned at the client sites, it was difficult to get any actual training. I was the chosen to fill an experimental role, in which I would learn directly from the development team (system architecture and database) to become a knowledgeable resource before ever venturing out to client sites.

At the time, Loan IQ software consisted of a manual and a compact disk (CD) for installation, and from Loan IQ version 4.1 on, setup of the system required the implementation of customized utilities (SASPRIME) and SQL scripts. This was before install shield was made available and all the server and client executable and the database definition libraries (DDL) could be easily packaged.

Fast-forward to today, you would expect that the installation and setup process of Loan IQ would be as easy as setting up a PC or Mac. In fact, that upgrading to new version would be as simple as upgrading your using Apple IPhone iOS, considering that the product have been around over 20+ years (and that in that time rapid technology advancements have taken place). Unfortunately, that’s not the case. Loan IQ functionality (technical and functional) has increased so much and so quickly in the last ten years.

Why do I need to upgrade to 7.x?

The vendor Misys only supports one General Acceptance Release (GA) prior to the current release, which is 7.x. The last time Misys released a major update (version 6.x), it took over three years for all of their customers to upgrade. The subsequent release of version 6.5 (Asian Characters) never materialized, and clients were not required to upgrade. The lapse time from release 6 to 7 was about four years, thus all current 6.x customers will require an upgrade to 7.x. Loan IQ version 7.x is significantly different than version 6.x due to the technological changes in software architecture. Version 7.1 came out with few early adopters, but the majority of clients are in the midst of upgrading to 7.3.x. A 7.x version upgrade is mandatory within the next twenty months due to termination of software support on version 6.x software.

Many organizations have expressed confusion on the versioning of Loan IQ and are uncertain which version of 7.x they should upgrade to. To clear up some of the confusion, Misys announced its new software release strategy at their 2014 user conference.

The published release structure is as follows:

  • Major Release (Platform Change or Architectural Change)
    • g V6, V7, V8, etc.
    • Full delivery of application
    • Release documentation regarding changes
    • Full Regression Test executed by Misys
  • Minor Release (Infrastructure Changes) – ETA is 12 – 18 months
    • g V6.0, V7.3
    • Full delivery of application
    • Release documentation regarding changes
    • Full Regression Test executed by Misys
  • Service Pack (Error Corrections & New Enhancements) – ETA 2 – 4 months
    • g V6.0.13.05, V7.3.1
    • Full delivery of application
    • Release documentation regarding changes
    • Full Regression Test executed by Misys
  • Patch (Critical/High Bug Fixes – cumulative all customers defects) – monthly
    • g V6.0.13.05.1, V7.3.1.3
    • Only changed/affected objects get recompiled
    • Full Regression Test on cumulative patch from 7.2.7.15 and 7.3.1.0 onwards
  • Hot Fix (Out-of-sync fix for emergencies only)
    • g V6.0.13.05.1.1, V7.2.2.2.1
    • Cumulative at Service Pack level. These are short-lived and must be approved by Misys Dev Head
    • Only changed/affected objects get recompiled
    • Risk-Based testing
    • Release documentation regarding changes

What is Misys’ Loan IQ Software Support Policy?

Below is the software support information regarding Loan IQ versions 6.x and 7.x. The software support is an important factor to consider—Loan IQ clients are required to upgrade to 7.x in order to be compliant with the vendor software mandate.

Product Version General Acceptance Date Standard Support Expiry Date Sustaining Support Expiry Date Technical Support Expiry Date
6.0 Feb – 2007 Oct – 2013 Oct – 2016 Indefinite
7.1 Feb – 2012 Feb – 2016 Feb – 2019 Indefinite
7.2 Mar – 2013 Mar – 2017 Mar – 2020 Indefinite
7.3 Sep – 2014 Sep – 2018 Sep – 2021 Indefinite
7.4 Oct – 2016 Sep – 2020 Sep – 2023 Indefinite

 

Misys will continue to support version 6.0 until October 2016. Any defects or bugs in the software past that date will require premium support, which will likely be an additional charge. Clients still using version 6.0 after October 2016 will need to work out a support model directly with Misys to ensure continued support.

Misys will continue to support version 6.0 until October 2016. Any defects or bugs in the software past that date will require premium support, which will likely be an additional charge. Clients still using version 6.0 after October 2016 will need to work out a support model directly with Misys to ensure continued support.

Which banks have adopted version 7.x?

A handful of banks have successfully upgraded from 6.x to 7.x and new implementations on version Loan IQ 7.x. The following banks are have upgraded to version 7.x:

  • Israel Discount Bank
  • Morgan Stanley
  • Societe Generale
  • JPM
  • HSBC
  • Natixis
  • ING

There are many banks are currently in the midst of upgrading to 7.x.

How long does an upgrade typically take?

I have personally been involved in more than 25 Loan IQ upgrades/implementation in my career. I have done upgrades in as few as 3 months, while others have taken as many as 14 months. The average upgrade in version 6.x is around 6 months. Unlike in version 6.x, with the upgrade to 7.x, clients (banks) will need to regression test everything from both a technical and functional standpoint due to the architecture changes to the software. On average, upgrading to 7.x will take between 9 and 12 months. Ultimately, the estimated timeline really depends on resource expertise, integration points and the licensing of Loan IQ functionalities.

How does the upgrade’s estimated timeline of 9-12 months break down?

  • Cost & Benefits Analysis
  • Project Planning
  • Project Execution
  • System Installation
  • Test Cases Development
  • Downstream/Upstream clients
  • Testing
  • Go Live

What are the benefits of 7.x?

  • As the latest General Acceptance version, 7.x is the platform of future growth
  • Competing banks are already in the process of executing their own upgrades to version 7.x
  • Versions 7.2 & 7.3 & 7.4 contain additional enhanced functionalities that will allow the business to keep in step with competitors in the market
  • The latest version utilizes UTF-8 encoding, which allows for multi-language support
  • Technology benefits with Software Development Kit (SDK) include Service Oriented Architecture (SOA) capabilities and lower deployment costs

What are the potential costs of remaining on a legacy version of Loan IQ?

  • A bank’s ability to compete in the market would be compromised, as new functionality would not be retro-fitted to current version
  • Additional time would be required to upgrade as new functionalities are added to the product
  • After October 2016, version 6.x will no longer be supported and functionality enhancements will no longer be offered

What are the critical factors for a successful 7.x upgrade?

The following points are the key factors to a successful version 7.X upgrade:

  • Project Execution Strategy
  • Project Plan
  • Team Formation
  • Testing Methodology
  • IT Support Structure
  • Misys’ ability to address bugs/defects
  • Upgrade Process

Who can help your organization to deliver a successful upgrade?

Upgrading is a complicated process and will affect all aspects of your business—it’s not a decision that should be taken lightly. As you begin your search for an implementation partner, you will find many consulting firms that claim to have core competency knowledge of Loan IQ and promise to execute a successful upgrade. But buyers beware: not all consulting firms are created equal. You should make your choice based on which firm will be the best partner for the job; you shouldn’t make the decision based solely by cost pressure or speed to market.

As a user of this product for 18 years, I, along with the TargetST8 team have the expertise necessary to help you and your organization successfully navigate this process in the most thoughtful, timely and cost-effective manner possible.

Crossbridge plays at the 3rd Annual Charity Golf Outing with Barclays

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Crossbridge once again joined our clients at Barclays to play golf to raise money for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s Light the Night Walk. This cause is a personal one for our partners, Steve and Gary, and we are pleased to once again support our client’s charitable giving. This year, we won! Highlighted by a crack team mixed with Barclays and Crossbridge golfer, the team managed to sink a few more putts than the other teams.  Congrats to our team!!!!

RENTD Commentary – Are You Market Making? Article by Jacob Sassoon

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On March 31 Wall Street banks were required to provide the first annual CEO attestation as part of the Volcker Rule which was adopted in 2013 and went live in July 2015. As part of the attestation, each banking entity must demonstrate that it “has in-place processes to establish, maintain, enforce, review, test and modify the compliance program established under [the Rule] in a manner reasonably designed to achieve compliance with” the statutory Volcker Rule provision (Section 13 of the Bank Holding Company Act) and the Rule. Read the entire article at:

RentD  <– See what Jacob says…

Crossbridge Supports Reach Out and Read of Greater New York

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Each year, Reach Out and Read and Greater New York pediatricians help prepare more than a quarter of a million children in New York’s neediest communities for school by prescribing free books and helping parents make reading part of their family’s daily routine.

 

Crossbridge is proud to support this fine organization that impacts the community in a powerful grass roots way!  The investment in our children will make our city, our state and our community great for years to come.

Crossbridge Consulting: Certified Minority Business Enterprise

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We are so proud of the company we have built and were honored last week with the recognition from the National Minority Supplier Development Council (NMSDC) that Crossbridge “…is a bona fide Minority Business Enterprise” in the States of New York & New Jersey.  We continue to be proud of the jobs that we create for our great consultants in the area and always strive to represent our firm, our client and the communities values that we live in.  For more information, please contact us at info@crossbridge-consulting.com.

Crossbridge and Blue Prism partnership

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We are pleased and excited about our new partnership with Blue Prism, an industry leading software in Robotic Process Automation, or RPA.  RPA is one of the hottest topics and promises to bring efficiencies and deep cost savings to our clients. Please visit Blue Prism’s website at www.blueprism.com to see the future today!

Crossbridge plays at the 2nd Annual Charity Golf Outing with Barclays

Crossbridge helped to field a remarkably talented team for a beautiful day in New York to play golf to raise money for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s Light the Night Walk continuing our support of our community and our families as this charity hits close to home for our partnership who lives have been personally affected by the disease.  We played well and finished only 10 strokes behind the eventual winners that day but, in the end, everyone was a winner.  Special thanks to our hosts, Barclays, who put on a tremendous event and with whom we share the same values.

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Frequently Asked Questions on Loan IQ Upgrade to 7.x. Article by Gary Huang

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Upgrading is a complicated process and will affect all aspects of your business—it’s not a decision that should be taken lightly.

As you begin your search for an implementation partner, you will find many consulting firms that claim to have core competency knowledge of Loan IQ and promise to execute a successful upgrade. But buyers beware: not all consulting firms are created equal. You should make your choice based on which firm will be the best partner for the job; you shouldn’t make the decision based solely by cost pressure or speed to market.

As a user of this product for 15 years, I have the expertise necessary to help you and your organization successfully navigate this process in the most thoughtful, timely and cost-effective manner possible. Read the FAQs here:

Loan IQ FAQ   < —  Read all about it!

Banking … data has its day! Article by Steve Shyn

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Banks are now being compelled to assess, clean and manage their data assets—effectively cleansing themselves of all the sins of their past. Regulation like BCBS239 and CCAR are pushing banks to invest in their data infrastructures and to put in controls and governance in order to keep things pristine. More enlightened bankers will understand the many benefits of clean data, including the ability to derive intelligent conclusions about what products and services will best serve their clients.  Read more at:

Data has its Day!!!  <– click here to find out more.

Compliance… Enter Stage Right! Article by Steve Shyn

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…Compliance finds itself on stage and in the spotlight for the first time. More and more frequently, Compliance groups are representing their banks in industry conversations and bi-lateral discourse with regulators, while also becoming front line defensive soldiers in ensuring that the conduct and compliance programs are effectively designed and executed. Read more at:

Enter Stage Right  <– click here to read the whole article