By John San Filippo
SymEast is one of three independent groups for users of Symitar’s Episys core processing platform. Each year, the group organizes and hosts an eponymous conference that includes many educational sessions and an exhibit hall. SymEast 2022 took place April 11-13 and Finopotamus was onsite to cover the event.
Symitar’s Senior Director of Operations Ed Miller delivered the keynote address to open SymEast 2022 the afternoon of April 11. He addressed the impact of the pandemic on Symitar, its customers and the industry as a whole, stating that the industry’s response to these trying times has been nothing short of amazing.
The Pandemic Elephant in the Room
“Our industry has maintained an increase in the average membership for the past five years,” said Miller. “This is huge. It's a very competitive environment out there, but you've added new members, you've increased mortgages, continued to grant consumer loans, so you should give yourselves a round of applause.” The audience complied with Miller’s suggestion.
Miller went on to explain that Symitar exceeded his expectations in terms of service levels throughout the pandemic. “We monitor our progress via dashboards and surveys, and we were pleasantly surprised to see that our service levels actually rose over the past two years,” said Miller. “I was absolutely prepared to see our service levels drop off as we moved to a remote work environment, but it just never happened.”
Miller then shared the results of Symitar’s ongoing client support surveys, observing that for this fiscal year (parent company Jack Henry & Associates’ fiscal year runs July to June), Symitar achieved an average satisfaction rating of 4.75 out of 5 for service tickets. The company’s target for this time period was 4.55.
By the Numbers
Miller then shared several interesting statistics with the audience, including:
Symitar has more than 700 employees.
There are more than 710 credit unions running the Episys system.
The company counts 39 of the largest 100 U.S. credit unions among its customers.
Symitar enjoys a 97% client retention rate.
There are more than 240 companies in Symitar’s Vendor Integration Program (VIP) representing thousands of data connections.
About two thirds of Symitar’s customers run Episys in a hosted environment.
The Market Is Moving to Hosted
Looking deeper into the industry trend toward hosted data processing, Miller showed a breakdown of fiscal year 2022 sales by environment. This data showed that only one new client chose to deploy Episys as an on-premise solution. All the others chose to run the platform in a hosted environment, either through Symitar’s own EASE (Episys as a Service) offering or through Member Driven Technologies, a technology CUSO that includes Episys hosting among its products. Many of these credit unions exceed $1 billion in assets.
As further evidence of this trend toward hosted core, Miller noted that 14 on-premise Episys credit unions are already slated to migrate to EASE in fiscal year 2023. The company anticipates and has allocated resources for a total of 25 such migrations.
Asked if Symitar hopes to migrate all of its on-premise customers to a hosted environment, Miller responded, “We currently have about 250 credit unions running Episys as an in-house solution and I seriously doubt that all of them will choose to go to a hosted solution,” adding that Symitar will continue to sell and support on-premise solutions for those credit unions that feels it’s a better option. Even so, Miller expects the company to maintain its pace of 25 migrations per year for the next 5-6 years.
The Technical Stuff
Miller then took his session in a more technological direction by providing Symitar’s six-month technology roadmap, as well as details of some of the company’s major initiatives. He also noted some staffing realignments designed to further enhance client support. He closed the session with a few minutes of Q&A, and invited attendees to find him at the reception that followed if they had any further questions.