GEFA in Wuppertal, which belongs to the international bank group Société Générale, is active in the equipment finance sector, and is a long-standing partner of S&N, replaced its 25-year old core banking system KB-Online with the French core banking system CASSIOPAE, from the vendor of the same name, on the 30.06.2012. The migration of data from the old system was a demanding project that required close cooperation between the employees of GEFA, of the software vendor CASSIOPAE, and of the S&N team.
The new system will be used to manage ca. 120,000 GEFA lending and hire-purchase agreements. The CASSIOPAE installation in Germany is thus the largest in the Société Générale Group in terms of the contracts managed. For CASSIOPAE and S&N, this is the first successful installation in Germany and thus the first step in the German market as well.
GEFA chose CASSIOPAE in 2009. The technical platform on which CASSIOPAE is available fits into GEFA’s architectural environment. This was specified not least by S&N’s individually developed software solutions. After the design phase, the standard software began to be integrated into GEFA. S&N already collaborated on the project to a substantial extent in this stage, and as of 2010 it took over the project management of the scheme. In order to minimise risk, it was decided to run the old system and the new system in parallel during the transition phase. In the first step, the sales of receivables were automatically migrated from GEFA Leasing to GEFA Bank. Both existing contracts and new contracts in this portfolio were transferred to CASSIOPAE and continued there accordingly. The opportunity to “learn” and the experience gained from operating the system were successfully used for further stages of the project.
At the beginning of 2012, the process of setting up and entering increasingly complex new businesses in CASSIOPAE was gradually begun. At this time, new businesses were still handled on the old system and on CASSIOPAE in parallel. The advantage of this approach was that users, some of whom had been working with the old system for 25 years, could become gradually familiar with the new system. The number of new contracts in the old system was gradually decreased, and more and more contracts were handled on CASSIOPAE.
The last and biggest stage of the project was carried out on the 30th July 20120. The data from the old system were fully migrated to CASSIOPAE. Ca. 90,000 lending and hire-purchase agreements were transferred and recalculated by the system. This demanding and sensitive task was meticulously prepared and successfully carried out by the whole team (specialists from GEFA, CASSIOPAE and S&N). A special challenge was presented by the fact that some of the contracts present on the old system were long-running and individually arranged. These had to be processed in such a way that the calculation and continuation on the new system could be undertaken correctly.
Overall, the migration was carried out with minimal and explicable residual differences compared to the old system. With the successful completion of the project, GEFA has now arrived 100% in the new world of CASSIOPAE when it comes to the lending and hire-purchase business. The first productive end of the month has already shown that CASSIOPAE has been seamlessly integrated in the IT landscape of GEFA. The system is running stably and the number of incidents from operation is comparatively low.
Over the coming weeks and months, the system will by further adapted and extended to make it more user-friendly and provide greater support for GEFA-specific requirements.
S&N would like to take this opportunity to thank the entire project team, which during peak times encompassed up to 80 employees of GEFA, CASSIPOAE, S&N, and the other partners involved, for their exceptionally constructive and effective collaboration.