NAB's core overhaul '” dubbed NextGen for 'Next Generation Platform' '” has been in the works since at least August 2008, when the bank announced it had picked Oracle's i-Flex platform as the centrepiece of its banking operations moving forward. However, unlike CommBank which has conducted the equivalent of an open heart transplant to replace its core with SAP technology over the past several years, NAB chose to dip its toe in the water first, rolling out the technology in its UBank online brand first to get some early lessons.
But yesterday, the bank made it clear that it was now accelerating the project to light speed.
In briefing documents associated with its results session, the bank indicated that it had defined the targeted operating state for NextGen, was building the platform, and had already activated some of the new platform's functionality '” such as customer analytics tools.
In 2011, the bank noted, it would deploy what it described as the 'foundation release' of NextGen, as well as making a new general ledger system operational and deploying extra capability through the program into its securitisation platform.
The move represents one of the first concrete reactions by a rival bank to CommBank's very public claims over the past year that it was stealing a march in terms of its technology platform over its competitors, through the deployment of so-called 'real-time banking' in its core. Neither ANZ nor Westpac have confirmed plans to overhaul their core banking systems in Australia, although ANZ is reforming its platforms internationally.