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Q&A: Skipton Building Society on all things JADE

Case Study

To describe their journey with JADE, Phillip Hirst, Applications Architect Leader for Skipton, did a quick Q&A with our JADE team.

"What do you utilise JADE for?"

Skipton Building Society uses the JADE platform to support our Mortgage and Savings account processing solutions – full lifecycle from application through to account closure.

It’s a core piece of our business, so you’d appreciate we need absolute confidence in these systems and JADE gives us this.

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What was Skipton using prior to JADE, when and why did you transition?

We were using a product Jade Software would be very familiar with – Unisys LINC. We transitioned from our mainframe-based solution over to the server-based solution back in 2002/2003 using Jade’s JET process.

The main reasons for moving to the JADE platform were around our vision of future IT capabilities (and that Mainframes were not the future). Plus, who can forget the cost savings when compared to Mainframe based solutions?!

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What are the main benefits that Skipton realise by using JADE?

We benefit from Jade’s history and background as a professional IT supplier. Their technical knowledge shows through into the products they produce. We have confidence that the JADE product is both reliable and robust to store and process our customers data.

We also benefit from a flexible, end-user licensing model, which has allowed us to roll the product out without having to worry about additional licensing.

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What investments have Skipton made to modernise your technology over the years?

There have been too many list. So, here are a few: Refactoring the code following the automated ‘jetting’ process; making use of the object-oriented capabilities within the product; extensive use of the data exporting to SQL for our data warehouse; the use of secondaries and delta capabilities to maintain high availability for digital capabilities whilst in ‘batch’; and UI frameworks created to enhance usability of our applications.

 

How has JADE helped your business be successful over the years?

Having a close relationship and dialogue with the people that produce the software we use to build our solutions has been a key driver throughout our relationship. This has enabled us to build industry leading solutions that are aligned to our key business processes.

Over the years, we have worked with Jade to build specific enhancements to the benefit of both companies.

How has the team at Jade supported Skipton over the years?

The relationship goes back long before we converted over to using JADE in 2003, it was when Jade (Cardinal Networks) took on the development and support of the Unisys LINC product when we first established a relationship. Jade has always been keen to understand how they can enhance their product such that their customers can make best use of them.

There was a period when Wynyard was split off with the plant and there was less willingness to engage is product enhancements to the benefit of their customers, but this has now changed and the ‘old’ relationship seems to be re-establishing itself of one where Jade are actively engaging with their customers to help benefit all.

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What are you most looking forward to on the JADE roadmap?

The cloud. Azure to be specific. We’re really looking forward to working with the Jade team to move away from infrastructure-based deployments and get our core banking applications running in the Microsoft Azure cloud natively, using SaaS and PaaS.

In essence, our Mortgage and Savings application will continue to support the primary business functions with an overarching API layer to support all digital capabilities. It’s very exciting.

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Are there any other specific stories you would like to share?

I think a good one for here is around a business problem we needed to solve – how to continue to provide business services whilst our CORE database was offline in overnight ‘batch’ mode. It’s an issue many companies running a legacy applications face.

Working with Jade, we came up with the concept of a ‘delta’ database based on the secondary concept Jade was already running. This collaboration and resulting functionality has allowed our Building Society to provide 24x7 operations and still run the overnight batch processing.

I think a good one for here is around a business problem we needed to solve – how to continue to provide business services whilst our CORE database was offline in overnight ‘batch’ mode. It’s an issue many companies running a legacy applications face.

Working with Jade, we came up with the concept of a ‘delta’ database based on the secondary concept Jade was already running. This collaboration and resulting functionality has allowed our Building Society to provide 24x7 operations and still run the overnight batch processing.