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  • Writer's pictureJohn San Filippo

Jack Henry Connect Kicks Off in Indy

Updated: Oct 17, 2023

By John San Filippo


Jack Henry Connect 2023, the financial technology provider’s annual user conference, opened today at the Indianapolis Convention Center. More than 2,800 attendees are here for the third annual event that brings together bank and credit union technologists. Prior to Jack Henry Connect, part of the company’s “One Jack Henry” initiative, the company held three separate user conferences – one for credit unions under the Symitar brand, one for Jack Henry Banking, and one for ancillary products under the ProfitStars brand.


David Foss opens the conference.

After brief opening comments from company CEO David Foss and master of ceremonies Mark Jeffries, Kyle Scheele was introduced as the opening keynote speaker. Billed as the “patron saint of crazy ideas,” Scheele explained, among other things, how he went from 17 TikTok followers to more than one million in 25 hours, as well as how he found success running a fake marathon during the pandemic.


By all accounts, the audience found Scheele’s session entertaining and inspirational. However, the meat of the opening session came during the executive panel discussion that followed.


A Commitment to Improvement


After Scheele’s speech, Jeffries introduced Greg Adelson, Jack Henry’s president and COO. Adelson was followed onstage by President of Complementary Solutions Matt Riley, Managing Director of Digital Solutions and JH Platform Technology Modernization Strategy Julie Morlan, Chief Information Officer Rob Zelinka, and Senior Director of Customer Success Mark Hampton.


(l-r) Greg Adelson, Matt Riley, Julie Morlan, Rob Zelinka, Mark Hampton

Adelson opened with candid comments about “roadmap execution,” a topic he described as “very near and dear to [his] heart.” He admitted quite candidly that in years past, the company’s technology roadmaps lacked both consistency and follow-through.


“Three and a half years ago, we only had 13 roadmaps that we actually shared,” said Adelson. “And none of them looked the same. Now we have almost 70 roadmaps, including the roadmap for our tech modernization strategy project we call Origin, which is the modernization of our core and other components to that.” He added that all of these roadmaps are now in the same format and updated and shared semi-annually on the company’s for-clients portal.


Adelson also noted that when the company began to measure its ability to hit the dates on these roadmaps three and a half years ago, their success rate was only 67.5%. “That obviously isn't good enough,” he told the audience. “So, we got really highly focused on doing a better job. When we measured the last iteration, which was February to August, we as a company hit 86%. We hit 88% the quarter before that, so we took a little bit of a dip, but the reality is we've gone up almost 20 percentage points over the last three years by getting focused on that.”


Upping Its Fraud and AML Game


Today via press release, Jack Henry also announced the availability of its new Jack Henry Financial Crimes Defender product, a cloud-native fraud and anti-money laundering (AML) solution designed with real-time capabilities at the forefront. Adelson asked Riley to comment on this announcement.



“The press release went out for [Jack Henry banking core] SilverLake’s general availability for Defender,” said Riley. “It's been a about a two-and-a-half-year journey, building the product from the ground up. It’s cloud native, API-driven, and built within the ecosystem of the Jack Henry platform.” He added that the product will be available for Jack Henry’s Symitar credit union core processing platform in December.


Business Banking


Next, Adelson asked Morlan to comment on the progress the company has made with Banno Business, the commercial component of the company’s Banno digital banking platform.


“For SilverLake, we are generally available,” Morlan told the audience. “We have over 50 customers live today and a lot more in the testing process.” She added Banno Business for the Symitar core is currently in beta testing.


One new feature of Banno Business that Morlan described as “revolutionary” is called business conversations. “Nobody does it today,” she explained, “where you're able to have a secure conversation, authenticated conversation between two business users about approving a wire or ACH transfer, then pull in someone from the bank or the credit union to talk about it, as well.”


Better CRM


Adelson then turned to Zelinka to comment on the company’s migration from an aging PeopleSoft-based CRM system to Salesforce.


“This is one of the hardest projects I've had in my 30-year career,” explained Zelinka. “There's a lot of stress and pressure associated with getting it right. One thing that Jack Henry stands for is always doing the right thing, and sometimes doing the right thing means slowing down and not compromising speed for quality.” He added that as the company works through this project, it has learned three things:


1. The complexity associated with doing something like this is enormous.

2. The scale is even more enormous. To this point, Zelinka said, “We want to make sure we get it right the first time and don’t have to go back and redo it or find out we got it wrong.”

3. Requirements continue to evolve. “We're trying to draw a line on the sand on things that are absolutely necessary and essential on day one versus things that are important, but not necessarily essential on day one,” noted Zelinka.


Zelinka added that the big payoff will be in a much more consistent, much more efficient user experience.


Faster, Better Service


Finally, Adelson asked Hampton to comment on the company’s progress in resolving urgent cases quickly.


“Our time solution presentment is a metric that we put in place to take a look at how successful we are at meeting that 24-hour solution presentment back to the customer SLA that we have for our urgent support cases,” explained Hampton. “Back in July of 2022, we were successful with that about 77% of the time. Obviously, that's not acceptable. So, we really dug in and looked at how we were measuring the process in our support areas. We found out that we focused a lot on the individual contributor metrics, but we really weren't looking at that customer experience metric of, when did you open the case and when did you actually get the solution presented back to you?”


Hampton said that in response, the company deployed an enterprise work management system that provides a view into the digital flow of cases in work. This in turn enables greater collaboration across multiple departments.


“What's happening now is managers are collaborating,” said Hampton. “They're looking at the report, they're calling one another and saying, ‘Hey, this one is still sitting here. We're approaching our target timeline. What do we need to do as an organization to help get this back to the customer on time?’ By doing that, we’re getting consistency, we're getting best practices, and we now have our support staff looking at what is the customer experience throughout this process as opposed to focusing intently on the work in front of them and then passing the next piece down the line.”


The opening session was followed by a social event at Lucas Oil Stadium.

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