Something happened at the end of November that was incredibly inspiring to watch.
For those of us who can remember the home computer of decades gone by, we remember how much of a pain in the neck it was to change a keyboard. Back in the day, you had to make sure the plug on your new keyboard was the same as the plug on your computer, or buy a separate adapter, and then you had to install new driver software and restart the computer. At some point in the last decade or so, we all had to replace the computer itself, and we discovered most of our current peripherals like monitors, keyboards, and printers wouldn’t work with the new computer and we had to replace nearly everything at once.
Pacific Crest has been running on a core system that in many ways functioned like the home computer of days gone by. Anytime we needed to change out a piece, like online banking, we had to pick one that was compatible with, and limited by, the core system. Then we had to shut down the whole system, swap out that piece and bring it back up. Like the desk top computer of old, at some point organizations have to swap out the center piece of their technology, the core system, for a much more modern system. When that day comes, most of the peripherals that interact with it need to be swapped out as well. For Pacific Crest, that day came at the end of November after two years of planning and preparation.
I’m a bit of a numbers geek, and as one might imagine, swapping out a banking platform is a little more complex than swapping out a home computer. A home computer handles maybe a few users and four peripheral devices, while our system handles nearly 17,000 members, more than 10,000 credit and debit cards, over 30,000 accounts and inputs from 22 peripheral systems, as well as performing over four million transactions each year.
So on November thirtieth, after more than 20,000 hours of planning and preparation, Pacific Crest launched the biggest system upgrade in our history. Now you might be wondering if a system changeover is what I found so inspiring that weekend. It wasn’t. Watching files load, establishing system connections, and validating data is about as exciting as it sounds.
What was truly inspiring was to watch what the smart, dedicated, passionate staff of Pacific Crest were able to create together. I cannot begin to describe what a privilege it is to work with this group of people every day. Pacific Crest is blessed with people who possess an abundance of talent coupled with a depth of character, who every single day strive to make themselves, each other, and Pacific Crest better. This amazing group poured themselves into this project for nearly two years because they care deeply about our mission of providing our members and communities with the opportunity to prosper. Our members and our communities will be better off because of their efforts. Any expression of gratitude or recognition that I could show falls short of what this team deserves, and how appreciative I am of this amazing group of people.
Pacific Crest now has a new core system of record, a new electronic document storage solution, new Online Banking, and new account and loan application systems. The platform we have today is a giant leap forward from our old systems. On day one we were able to begin providing new tools for our members through Online Banking, such as the ability to view accounts at other financial institutions, and automated budget tracking, to help them achieve their financial goals.
New tools for our members to use today is just the beginning. As our world’s technologies continue to advance, Pacific Crest’s new systems and modern architectures provide a platform from which innovative products and services can be integrated and launched to meet our member’s needs and fulfill our mission far into the future.