April 25, 2016 | Julia Schaefer
Client Testimonial: A Q&A with Bank-Fund’s CIO, Tim Elmore
Blackstone’s Marketing Manager Julia Schaefer recently interviewed Bank-Fund’s Chief Information Officer, Tim Elmore. Mr. Elmore shares how working with Blackstone has changed the way Bank-Fund does business and how Blackstone’s service and delivery helped drive value to Bank-Fund’s customers.
JS: How did you get involved with Blackstone Technology Group?
TE: We first learned about Blackstone during a reference call to a bank to learn about their mobile banking solution. It turned out that Blackstone had played an important role in the bank’s implementation project, and a productive ongoing relationship ensued – focused on enhanced support and assistance with release management. We made note of this and later established our own relationship with Blackstone.
JS: What were the capabilities that Blackstone brought to the table?
TE: When we had a need to temporarily add testing and technical resources during our mobile banking implementation project, we went to Blackstone because of their proven experience. Blackstone has an established digital services team with very relevant experience with the mobile banking solution we were implementing, so they were able to quickly step in to assess our gaps and suggest tactics to streamline & improve our user acceptance process, to bring an informed perspective to assist with resolving some challenging configuration issues, and to provide assistance in the process of evaluating, logging & tracking defect cases. We were impressed that the Blackstone team quickly melded with our internal team and made valuable contributions throughout the engagement.
JS: How did the relationship with Blackstone impact your business and customer objectives?
TE: In our post-project assessment of the mobile banking implementation project, we feel that Blackstone’s efforts to enhance and support our user acceptance testing reduced the go-live timeline by a least a couple of weeks.
JS: How did Blackstone’s service help drive value to your business and members?
TE: We were very pleasantly surprised that in the first 90 days that the mobile banking service was available, 26% of online members had downloaded and used the App. This pent up demand confirmed our concern that the longer our launch was deferred, the greater the chance that some very good members would be tempted to leave. Blackstone’s contribution was to help trim the time to go-live, enabling us to retain many of those relationships that were at-risk.
JS: How has working with us changed the way your company does business?
TE: Developing a retail mobile banking service was new to us in terms of how to approach testing and supporting an array of device types and mobile operating systems. The relevant experience Blackstone brought to the project meant no new wheels needed to be invented.
JS: Can you share any specific elements of delivery that stood out throughout this process?
TE: The Blackstone team impressed us with their professionalism, commitment to getting the job done (no matter the time of day), and the quality of their work.
JS: What distinguished Blackstone during the project? What did you like most about working with us?
TE: I was impressed with the way the Blackstone team easily integrated with our testing and IT teams for a period of several weeks, and then eased back after we got through the challenges together. One of our expectations was knowledge transfer, and we accomplished that as a natural outcome of the engagement.
JS: Why would you recommend us to your peers?
TE: I feel very comfortable recommending Blackstone because they are responsive, resourceful, and trustworthy and are able to provide the skills that are required for the job at hand.
JS: Anything else you’d like to add about your overall experience on this project and the relationship with
TE: While we connected with Blackstone due to a specific need for quick delivery of mobile banking expertise, I expect that we will have a long and mutually beneficial relationship that goes well beyond that niche.