Academic journal article ABA Banking Journal

Web -Friendly Software Grabs a Bit of Legacy

Academic journal article ABA Banking Journal

Web -Friendly Software Grabs a Bit of Legacy

Article excerpt

Bill Orr, contributing editor of this journal and editor of a newsletter about banking on the Internet. Orr writes from Waterbury Center and can be reached via the Internet at orrbc@sover.net

The banking-software company that Michael and Frank Sanchez formed 19 years ago is like the actor who, after many years off Broadway, becomes an "overnight" sensation on the Great White Way. In 1983 Sanchez Computer Associates had four clients for its Profile/Anyware core-processing software, which the firm audaciously offered as the new-generation replacement For bank legacy systems.

By the end of last year, the firm had sold its vision to 375 financial institutions and had a $34.7 million backlog-- most of it for development work that the company hopes will blossom into full implementation contracts. in the first half of this year, sales revenues of $19.7 million were a 68% increase over the like 1997 period, while earnings per diluted share jumped 133%. The firm has 300 employees worldwide.

This year's pace is even hotter. During the first five months of 1998, Sanchez announced an armful of agreements with global banks to replace all or part of their legacy systems. The main agreements covered certain core processing functions at Citibank (following on earlier work for Citihank Canada); core processing for international banking at Sumitomo Bank; support for worldwide retail operations of a subsidiary of the $330-billion-asset Dutch IN G Group; cash-management services for a London-based unit of Banker's Trust; and loan-processing software for the Federal Home Loan Bank of Pittsburgh.

What's the appeal? From the perspective of this column, the Sanchez core systems eliminate the need for the various "middleware" systems that permit Internet banking packages to function in a legacy environment. Unix-based Profile/Anywhere currently runs on IBM RS6000, Digital, and Hewlett-Packard machines. A version for the IBM S/390 is planned.

In the early '80s, the Sanchez brothers set up shop in Malvern, Pa., on the outskirts of the Philadelphia. They found that their best prospects were the newly independent countries of Eastern Europe. With the help of loans from the World Bank, the largest banks in Poland and the Czech Republic leapfrogged from Soviet-style processing to leading-edge Profile systems then still untried in Western countries. …

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