Expert Advice for Medium and Midsize Businesses

Banking on Growth and Great Service in the Cloud

With 21 locations across New Jersey and New York, ConnectOne Bank has built its reputation on meeting clients’ needs. The bank has grown to annual revenue of $152 million through personalized service and community involvement. One of their mantras is “little things matter.”

Unfortunately, as the bank grew, a lot of little things started getting in the way of some of the more important things—like providing the personalized, customer-focused care that the bank’s clients had come to expect.

The bank found itself bogged down with manual paperwork and number-crunching. As more and more clients came on board, the workload grew and bank staff reached a point where they were spending too much time on checking figures and reconciling data, distracting them from their primary function—client service.

ConnectOne Bank knew that it needed to automate as much of this manual work as possible, so that its staff could stay focused on its clients.

The bank turned to the Oracle Cloud for help, along with implementation partner IBM.

Both Oracle and IBM have a long history of working with the financial services industry; they came to the table well-versed in best practices. With the advent of monthly subscription pricing in the cloud, small to medium banks like ConnectOne can now afford to use the same technology as their enterprise-sized competitors.

ConnectOne Bank set out to automate as many back-end manual processes as it could. They built interfaces from their core banking system ledger to a much more robust chart of accounts in Oracle Financials Cloud—improving processing for accounts payable as well as the granularity of general ledger reporting.

Automating Manual Back-End Work

The bank introduced process automation using a combination of Oracle Platform as a Service, Oracle ERP Cloud and Oracle EPM Cloud. For example, all systems are now automatically updated with figures from each day’s activities—eliminating the need for time-consuming (and error-prone) manual data transfer.

With its new systems in the cloud, the bank eliminated the need to build and maintain a data center on premises—ramping up scalability and allowing ConnectOne Bank to continue operating a lean IT team, even as the business continued to grow.

The new automation means that employees can quickly generate reports and drill down into data, in ways that were previously impossible or excessively time-consuming.

This, in turn, helps the bank’s finance team focus on understanding the data instead of maintaining it—gaining fast insight into areas such as the profitability of each product, service, branch, and customer. This has ultimately informed high-level decision-making to help drive continued growth.

As result of the project, ConnectOne Bank has:

  • Saved 17 hours of work monthly on fact-checking its figures
  • Cut seven days from the monthly close, and saved weeks on regulatory and SEC reporting
  • Sped up audits by 10%, saving the bank thousands of dollars annually in auditor fees
  • Ensured employees are better equipped than ever to understand and react to its clients’ individual needs—and efficiently manage growth to sharpen its competitive edge in the financial services industry

“Thanks to Oracle, we now operate in a more flexible and scalable environment that allows us to make business decisions that reduce risk, cut costs, and drive increased profitability as the company continues to grow,” said Neil Martucci, senior vice president and controller of ConnectOne Bank. “Additionally, our clients will benefit from more tailored service.”

In the future, ConnectOne Bank plans analyze where its customers are based, which pricing strategies work well with each customer segment, and which promotions are most effective in which areas—so the bank knows where to focus its growth efforts.

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