A Dire Year For Banking Platform Vendors

For the past couple of years, I have worked on the analysis of global banking platform deals at this time of the year. Currently, I’m again working on the results of a global banking platform deals survey, this time for the year 2009. Accenture and CSC did not participate in 2009, and former participants Fiserv and InfrasoftTech continued their absence from the survey, which started about two years ago. The 2009 survey began with confirmed submissions from a total of 19 banking platform vendors.

We would have been glad to see more participating vendors, in particular some of the more regionally oriented ones. However, US vendor Jack Henry & Associates as well as multiple regional vendors in Eastern Europe, Asia, and South America did not participate. Nevertheless, the survey saw some “newcomers” from the Americas, Europe, and the Middle East, for example, Top Systems in Uruguay, Eri Bancaire in Switzerland, and Path Solutions in Kuwait. Consequently, the survey now covers banking platform vendors in all regions of the world except Africa and Central America.

However, 19 was not the final vendor count: One of the 19 vendors, France-based banking platform vendor Viveo, dropped out of the survey because Temenos acquired it shortly before Viveo provided its data. Another vendor simply told us that it only saw business with existing clients and, in the absence of any business with new clients, it saw no sense in participating. While all other participating vendors won business with new clients (whether the rules of the game allowed Forrester to count that business or not), 2009 was not the best of times.

About half of those vendors that participated in the 2008 and 2009 surveys saw fewer new named deals in 2009 than in 2008. While it is still too early to report any detailed results, preliminary survey results already show that the number of counted deals will be significantly smaller than in previous years. This market environment will drive consolidation in two flavors: Mergers and acquisitions will reduce the number of vendors, and less-than-successful banking platforms will see their end of life, which in some cases was just postponed in better years.

Executives and their teams involved in the selection and delivery of banking platforms need to consider the risk management aspect even more seriously than they have in the past: Who wants to undergo brain surgery twice in a relatively short time?

If you are interested in the final survey results for 2009, please join my Forrester Teleconference in early April.