A Symitar Evangelist Outside of Symitar / Jack Henry Associates?

by Otto on May 30, 2007

My good friend James Burke-Frazier blogs the question, Why don’t all you CUs migrate to Symitar?  (I didn’t use as many questions marks as he did, he emotes better then I do I guess.)

James is one of the most connected IT guys in the CU movement.  It doesn’t really matter if you’re on Symitar or not, you probably have heard his name or some idea he’s come up with.  I first met James back at SELCO in the late 90s, during one of the Northwest Symitar User Group meetings.  He asked great questions and somehow I was on the answering end of his barrage and we quickly became friends.

In his post, he’s talking with a friend on OSI who just double posted something on accident.  Since James has done everything on Symitar (by accident or on purpose) he knew he could recover from this double posting within 3 hours or so.

Is Symitar awesome, or just that James knows his way around the system?  Is the debate something like a Windows Vista vs Mac OSX or Microsoft SQL vs MySql?  There are trade offs with all systems (I’ve toyed on several core processors) but no matter what core system you have, if you don’t have competent IT people, you’ll be down longer than necessary.

My credit union (click about Otto if you want to find out who exactly) is going through a core conversion this year.  We’re currently on XP Systems (IBM DB2 backend) and we’re moving to OSI (Oracle backend).  Since I’ll be writing several tools for OSI, I attended their database training last week.  When I read James’ post, I thought of three different ways they could have recovered within a couple of hours.

I think it comes down to knowing what options you have available.  If you get stuck with tunnel vision and only see one solutions and you immediately follow it, you’re limiting yourself.

I guess that’s one of the reasons I’m excited that my shop is converting to OSI – lots of choices.  With OSI, I’ll have access to the Oracle backend, CMC (their middleware that they don’t call middleware), and loads of other development tools.  XP Systems had a road map that was leading them down a great path and I was able to test their API (called APEX), but it wasn’t ready for prime time, mainly because it wasn’t complete.

And as James says, “Come on, its only a little host conversion what you afraid of?”.  I’d be concerned that if it didn’t go well it would be an RGE, resume generating event.  But heck, we’re still young, right?  The more problems you experience, the more problems you’ve had the opportunity to solve.


james June 16, 2008 at 8:59 am

As always a concise post Otto.It really boils down to a what does you software give you in the way of ‘self-directed’ tools.I have been very fortunate to find the Symitar has enabled tools that my simple mind has been able to grasp.I look forward to hearing of your progress, your new ideas (cuz I need to steal them).Holler if you need anything, regardless of the host system conversion can be (like you said) a RGE so if there is anything that can be done yuo let us know.

Jeanne August 4, 2008 at 1:32 am

We at Clearview FCU are considering a move to a new core system. We are just starting this process and I was wondering if you had any sample RFP’s with requirements that we could use as a start? Or, if not, can you recommend any sites to look at since we do not have any old RFPs around from a conversion 15 years ago. Any help is appreciated. Thanks!

Otto R. Radke August 4, 2008 at 2:30 am


I don’t have anything right now, but let me ask around to see if I can find something for you to use as a starting point.


Otto R. Radke August 4, 2008 at 3:48 am


I just sent you an email with an RFP template attached. Let me know if you have any questions.


cyndy January 21, 2009 at 2:01 am

Hi. We currently are on XP2 and looking at both OSI (was here last week) and Symitar (here today actually). Did your CU look at both these option and then choose OSI? If so, what was it that really "drew" you to OSI? Did your front-end people have any input in the choice?


Otto R. Radke January 23, 2009 at 9:17 am


Prior to converting to OSI, we looked at Symitar and OSI. I wasn’t on the team of people that made the decision, those folks were some of the best and brightest in our CU, so I can’t tell you how the decision was made.

What I will do is point out your comment to a couple of the people that were on the team and hopefully they can comment.

If you’d like a little more information, leave an email address and I can connect you with other people inside my CU.

cyndy January 27, 2009 at 3:38 am

Hi again,

Thanks for the reply. I’ve left my email.

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