Community Banks and Credit Unions Are Realizing Business Success With Microsoft’s Experience Banking Initiative

ORLANDO, Fla. — Nov. 15, 2005 — Small and midmarket community banks and credit unions are benefiting in a big way from Microsoft Corp.’s experience Banking initiative, launched a year ago today.

In a commoditizing market in which global banks are offering sophisticated suites of products and services, community banks and credit unions are differentiating themselves by building their technology infrastructures with Microsoft® technology solutions, Microsoft today announced at the Bank Administration Institute (BAI) Retail Delivery Conference & Expo.

Momentum for experience Banking is fueled by continued adoption of Microsoft technologies by customers including Arizona State Savings & Credit Union (AZSTCU), CommunityAmerica Credit Union, Farm Credit Services of America, Mid-State Bank & Trust, and Woodforest National Bank.

“The great thing about Microsoft’s experience Banking is that it works for all sizes of banking institutions, and we are thrilled to see that community banks and credit unions are experiencing the same success as the larger banks,” said Bill Hartnett, general manager of strategy and solutions for the Financial Services Group at Microsoft. “Through experience Banking, Microsoft and our partners are helping banks use technology to deliver personalized, branded experiences — the kind of service and satisfaction consumers have come to expect in other experience-based service settings.”

Key Areas of Experience Banking

Microsoft’s experience Banking helps banks address three key areas of their businesses that will help them differentiate their brands, which in turn can help them increase market share and profitability: the customer experience, the employee experience and the operations experience.

  • Customer experience. Banking solutions based on the Microsoft platform can integrate information from many sources, creating a seamless experience across all channels. Meeting customers’ increased expectations helps banks create a positive customer experience and can give them a significant advantage in the marketplace.

  • Employee experience. Microsoft-based solutions help bank employees conveniently access data and gain important insight into customer data. Giving bank employees a 360-degree view of the customer helps lead to better decision-making, improved cross-selling opportunities, and increased customer satisfaction and loyalty.

  • Operations experience. Microsoft is committed to helping provide financial institutions with a platform that is reliable, scalable and security enhanced to help keep their systems available 24×7. Partner solutions based on Microsoft technology are designed to integrate with banks’ existing systems and provide the flexibility and agility banks need to quickly and cost-effectively implement critical banking applications.

Continued Community Bank and Credit Union Success With Experience Banking

Community banks and credit unions are continuing to adopt Microsoft technologies with an eye toward experiencing benefits that other community banks and credit unions have achieved such as low cost of ownership, positive return on investment, fast time to market, streamlined operations and enhanced customer service. Examples include these:

  • Arizona State Savings & Credit Union wanted to enhance the security of its online transactions and create additional protections for its internal network before implementing its online banking system. AZSTCU chose to deploy a solution using Microsoft Internet Security and Acceleration Server (ISA Server). As a result, AZSTCU has been able to minimize the chance of attacks, reduce business costs and expand its market reach with little incremental cost.

  • CommunityAmerica Credit Union, a large and growing organization with 126,000 active members, wanted to operate more efficiently, with the goal of increasing profitability and improving customer service. One of the biggest tasks facing the IT department was to select a middleware solution that could help integrate disparate and, in some cases, aging legacy systems. After reviewing middleware alternatives, the credit union became an early adopter of Microsoft BizTalk® Server 2004. The solution has helped improve communication between systems while dramatically reducing the time required for IT staff to perform system integration tasks.

  • Farm Credit Services of America serves the agricultural credit and financial needs of farmers and ranchers in Iowa, Nebraska, South Dakota and Wyoming. To address a variety of disparate customer-related systems that made it extremely difficult to gain a single view of customers, the company, with the help of Quilogy Inc., replaced its point-to-point connections with Pinwheel. Pinwheel is a customer integration solution based on the Microsoft .NET Framework and Microsoft BizTalk Server 2004 Enterprise Edition. Information is now processed through Pinwheel, stored in a central “customer truth center,” and published back to the customer-related systems. Significant benefits of Pinwheel for Farm Credit Services of America include increased loan volume, a 70 percent boost in productivity and a 75 percent reduction in system integration time.

  • Mid-State Bank & Trust, a financial services provider with 41 branches on the California coast, with the help of INS installed Microsoft Windows Server™ 2003 and Active Directory®, and upgraded to Microsoft Exchange Server 2003 and installed Microsoft Systems Management Server (SMS) for added security. The upgrade has helped the bank boost its system security, reduce downtime, increase productivity and resolve technical problems much more quickly.

  • Woodforest National Bank, one of the top-earning banks in the U.S., developed a multilingual telephone banking system using Microsoft Speech Server 2004 R2. Call times are now expected to be reduced by 50 percent. Live operator support has been reduced by up to 70 percent.

Experience Banking in Action

Microsoft is demonstrating experience Banking at this year’s BAI Retail Delivery Conference & Expo. A number of Microsoft technologies and industry partner solutions will be featured in Microsoft’s booth No. 1171.

About Microsoft Experience Banking

Experience Banking is a Microsoft initiative that helps banks change the customer, employee and operations experience so they can achieve increased market share and profitability. The initiative was launched with the support of leading software, hardware and systems integration partners delivering solutions based on the Microsoft platform. Experience Banking is designed to help banks differentiate their brand and achieve a competitive advantage with increased employee satisfaction and productivity, faster response to changing market needs, and reduced total cost of ownership. More information can be found online at

About Microsoft

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT”) is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential.

Microsoft, BizTalk, Windows Server and Active Directory are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corp. in the United States and/or other countries.

The names of actual companies and products mentioned herein may be the trademarks of their respective owners.

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