Tag Archives: Partnership

14th WI Credit Union Signs

Press Release, For Immediate Release:

ESP Signs 14th Wisconsin Credit Union

Enhanced Software Products, Inc. (ESP), the Spokane, WA-based credit union Data Processing company, announced that Holy Family Memorial CU in Manitowoc, WI has chosen FORZA3™ for their new core processing system. Holy Family Memorial CU was looking to expand their offerings, giving their members what they are looking for. At 1,915 Members, look at what ESP and the Credit Union are able to accomplish!

Home Banking, Audio Response, Website Hosting, Statement Print Production/Mail, E-Statements, Online ATM/Debit, Mobile Banking, Digital Documents, Paperless Receipts, Member Imaging, Bill Pay, E-Notices and more!

When asked what was most important in making the decision on what Core Processor to choose as a partner; Price, Client Testimonials and Solutions were at the top.

We asked Susan Funk (President at Holy Family Memorial CU) to spend a couple of minutes so that we may determine why ESP was such a good fit for her Credit Union, here is what she had to share:

Did you speak to ESP Clients prior to your decision?

“Yes, I spend a full day at Marathon County Credit Union (Wausau, WI) with Anne Heggelund and also spoke with Sarah Steichen at Oshkosh Truck CU (Oshkosh, WI). Both were very pleased with your products and service.”

Why did you choose ESP over the others?

“I’ve spoken to many credit union managers under $50 million at the Small Credit Union Forum the Wisconsin Credit Union League puts on twice a year. For the last two years, I’ve asked as many people as I could who they use for a core processor and what they like and don’t like about it. Your product seemed to get the best reviews.

“Susan really worked with our Clients on this. She was very cautious of what other ESP Clients had to say and did her due diligence with regards to product demonstrations and such. Much larger Credit Unions on other Core Processors are being stymied to offer the solutions the Holy Family Memorial CU will be rolling out. We took our model and worked with a sub $30 Million credit union to offer up a suite of solutions that exceed member expectations and require one phone call to support. One of the ways I measure our success is by taking a 30,000 foot at what we accomplished for each new/renewing client; this business model is 20-years in the making and it sure is nice to be here – now.” Shaun Murray, President at ESP, Inc.

Everett, WA Credit Union Signs

Press Release, For Immediate Release:

ESP Signs Community Healthcare FCU

Enhanced Software Products, Inc. (ESP), the Spokane, WA-based credit union Data Processing company, announced that Community Healthcare FCU in Everett, WA has chosen FORZA3™ for their new core processing system. Community Healthcare FCU is deploying many solutions under ESP. Solutions like:

Home Banking, Mobile Banking, Statement Printing/Mailing, E-Statements, Bill Pay, E-Notices, Credit Bureau through MeridianLink, Paperless Receipts, Member Imaging, Digital Documents, Shared Branching, Online ATM, Debit and Credit Cards…and much more.

When asked what was most important in making the decision on what Core Processor to choose as a partner; Price, Client Testimonials and Solutions were at the top.

Gayle Yost (President at Community Healthcare FCU) spent some time with us to determine what made ESP stand apart from the rest. Here are some of the things she had to say:

Did you speak to ESP Clients prior to your decision?

“I spent a day with the staff at Connection Credit Union (Silverdale, WA) – observing their tellering process, loan origination and accounting operations. All of the staff I worked with had the same thing to say – “ESP goes above and beyond to make the system work for us”. That’s really what I was looking for in a core processor – a company that cared about what was important to me and found ways to make that happen instead of looking for reasons it wouldn’t.”

Why did you choose ESP over the others?

“Other than the reasons listed above – I like doing business with people I know…. people I can call and actually reach, have a conversation with and find a resolution to a problem with. My experience so far with ESP is that this will be such a company.”

What would you tell other Credit Unions about ESP?

“A Conversion is never fun but you have to look long term. Who do you want to be doing business with in 2 years, 5 or 10? This is a company I believe has the best interest of CU’s at heart.”


“Through the process of Gayle’s due diligence it was very apparent that she was looking for a company that had the solutions she was looking for, while maintaining a high level of support. These are two areas that we excell in, to say the least. Our goals is to ensure that Gayle and the rest of her staff at Community Healthcare FCU understand that we will be here to give them the solutions they want and support them when needed. I look forward to showing them what we can do,” Eric Trick, ESP Sales Executive.

6.14 years, Amazing!

“To be the Most Trusted and Admired Core Processor in the Industry”

That is our Vision. It is not to imply we are going to take one hundred credit unions from our competitors or expect that our competitors be knocking on our door asking us what we are doing “right”. We know better than that. The Vision is a direction, words to live by if you will.

“Most Trusted”. This speaks to our Clients. If we continue to do the right thing, as close to every time as humanly possible, we will gain Trust. A solid infrastructure to support growth, developing and deploying tested, quality solutions every time and continuing to improve the communication channels. All of this will lead to Trust. We measure the Trust by Agreement Renewals, what we like to call “Opportunities”. An opportunity to show that we deserve to be the chosen core processor for our Clients. So how are we doing for 2015, here is a breakdown:

Agreements Renewed =

10 / 10

Average Renewal =

6.14 Years

“Admired”. The way we would like to be viewed. Be the best partner we can be for our Clients, the best partner we can be for our strategic alliance partners and carry our ESP, Inc. name in the industry with pride. Our Client peers and ESP partner peers, we want those people to look at the relationship we have formed and “admire” that working relationship, through the good and bad. We take great pride in all of our Clients and we are proud of the partnerships we have formed in the industry, something we take very serious.

“Be the Most Trusted and Admired Core Processor in the Industry”, striving to be the best is bringing us opportunities to serve new Credit Unions, retain/serve existing Clients and be a great partner to our strategic alliance partners.

100% and 6.14 years – we are working with other Clients on renewals right now, but we are very excited about this year and the future! 2016 will be our 20th year and we will enter it full-speed ahead.

Shaun Murray, Chief Elbow Rubber

Looking for a smooth Conversion?

White Paper completed by Credit Union Tech-Talk and Connections CU and is available HERE.

Why did a now, 11 location CU choose ESP?

Connections Credit Union came to fruition after Idaho Advantage Credit Union joined with Potelco United Credit Union. The result was a credit union that has a history of proudly serving Eastern and Western Idaho for over 75 years – today they have over 22,000 members. The credit union is known for their excellence in member service, local attitude, and old fashioned Credit Union honesty and integrity, which is why they have chosen to partner with a core systems vendor that shares those exact same ideals: Enhanced Software Products, Inc. (ESP).

Brian Osberg, President and CEO of Connections Credit Union, and his team made the decision to move to ESP’s Windows-based FORZA³™ system in 2011. Osberg is a true credit union renaissance man – he started in the credit union movement almost 30 years ago as a computer operator and has worked his way up the ladder at various positions all the way to the corner office. He recalls “before we outsourced to ESP, we had an in-house core system that a couple of us maintained without any IT support. Hardware and software maintenance were expensive and security was always a concern, so it was a no-brainer to switch to a service bureau model.”

The question was: which outsourced vendor would be the best for the growing credit union? Osberg had met ESP representatives at a credit union league meeting back in 2009 and was impressed with them and their system. But of course he and his team looked at other options and performed due diligence on all of their potential providers. “We talked to other credit unions using ESP and they were great references,” says Osberg, “plus their system is super user friendly so we felt very comfortable choosing them.”

Every credit union employee is nervous about their core system conversion, but the team at ESP has decades of successful conversion experience under their belts. According to Osberg, “the conversion went smoothly – it was great overall!” While ESP’s trainers got Connections’ staff up to speed quickly on the new software, their conversion team was able to convert the existing database and provide years of past member financial history in the new platform. Not only did this conversion go smoothly, but so did others: 1) when Idaho Advantage, which was a client of ESP, merged with Potelco to form Connections and 2) when two other credit unions join Connections shortly after the Idaho Advantage merger. Osberg notes that “working with ESP is almost like having our own personalized IT Department that gets things done quickly and efficiently.”

Once the system was up and running and Connections was live at all of their 11 branches, the credit union was pleased to find out that the top notch service levels continued. “We have direct access to their top executives,” states Osberg, and “it is really refreshing to work with a company that believes in zero bureaucracy.” Special reports and minor changes only incur small charges at ESP, and the company prides itself on listening to their customers. Osberg explains that “while the system has great functionality and does everything that we need it do, ESP is still very open to new ideas and updates. They are always adding new features and keeping up with regulatory changes for us.”

With $143M in assets, Connections is not a small credit union, but at the same time they do not have a huge technology budget like larger institutions. Osberg appreciates the fact that ESP bundles many digital feature into their modules so that it is affordable for his members to use online and mobile banking, and that the credit union can offer instant issue debit cards. He concludes that “ESP is always there for us in every situation and we truly consider them our business partner for the long term.”

Partner On-Boarding

We ran across a super article by ChannelEyes (www.channeleyes.com) Marketing Department, it really touches on the things that any vendor and credit union alike can run into.

On-boarding a new partner is a lot more than filling out some paperwork and filing it.

On a technical level, partner on-boarding is when a vendor brings on a partner and trains them on everything: the vendor’s technology, operations, sales pitch, and go-to-market plans. Vendors should realize that this is not something that happens after one training session, or even two. This is an on-going process throughout the time of the partnership. This keeps training fresh in partners minds, which leads to stronger relationships that can produce larger ROI’s over a longer period of time. Spending a little more time and effort on on-boarding ensures that partners pick up product information faster, increases market share, and shortens the sales cycle.


Ever hear the saying, “Build it and they will come”? That is not true for partner on-boarding.

There are some vendors out there with the idea that if they have a Partner Portal and a bunch of resources and training information in it, partners will gravitate toward it and just start consuming it all, leading to sales and happiness.

No. No, no, no.

It almost never works that way. Ever. The thing to remember here is that vendors need to really push this onboarding process if they want their partners to be successful additions to their channel. Don’t wait for them to ask or expect them to go to the resources themselves, because obstacles do exist in the on-boarding process that should not be ignored.


Nothing worth having comes easy. This is true of partner on-boarding as well.

Any problem during this process can usually be traced back to lack of resources, lack of commitment, or lack of focus. This could be on the partners behalf or the vendor. Both parties need to be fully “in” when they begin this. Some issues to keep in mind are:


There are only so many training materials for a partner to look at. Resources seem to be few and far between. And now that things are being stored in the cloud, it makes locating them even more difficult if not properly organized.


It’s often seen that the vendor is more committed than the partner. They might think, “Oh well this is nice. Just a small piece of my business so I don’t need to commit too much time to it.” This means that they’ll only commit a portion of the time or energy that a vendor would like into the training and on-boarding process.


Like a brand new puppy, it’s hard to get partner’s attention when it comes to on-boarding. The first thing they want to do is sell/deliver the products/services that the vendor is trying to train them in. They want to attain whatever profit can come from that, so actually being on-boarded and trained falls low on their priority list.

There are exceptions to everything. Some partners might come on with high energy towards training and completely dodge the obstacles mentioned, but more often than you think, you’ll need to formulate solutions to these problems.

Tools to Aid in On-Boarding

Yes, solutions! Thankfully there are ways to combat all these obstacles involved to bring about a successful partnership.

The best of the best combine access to training resources with a program that guides the partner through the whole on-boarding process. Having a tool like that ensures that the partner learns everything they need to know about the vendor, the methods by which they sell their product, training about that product, and building their pipeline. A work engine like this holds partners accountable for each step in the on-boarding process.


These steps in the on-boarding process can be simplified down into “missions”. Missions are goals or tasks that vendors want the partner to accomplish before they’re fully on-boarded. The best execution of missions involves “gamifying” them.

The word gamification can be kind of intimidating because it’s new, but it is the solution to many on-boarding obstacles. The first step is to create a great User Experience by making this tool with the missions aesthetically pleasing to the eye. People are sold by feature before function so make sure the tool is something that your partners want to use.

Second step is to set the goals and tasks to accomplish. This could be something that they check off when finished or they might need to earn points by completing each task that will result in a badge that says they’re done being on-boarded. This keeps partners focused on what tasks need to be done.

But what will motivate them to complete these missions? Look at your partners and those before them. What would motivate them? Would competition between partners be motivating enough? Then you just need to award them visible “badges”. Or maybe, like most people, they’d be more motivated by a physical reward, like a gift card to Starbucks. Whatever a vendor chooses, an increase in partner engagement in the on-boarding process will be evident.

The Takeaway

Not all partners are going to be as committed and focused as a vendor would like. Obstacles will come no matter what. The best way to combat them is to find the right tools. These tools will need to have missions capabilities if vendors want to see a more motivated and educated partner, a partner that will ultimately represent and sell their product exactly as they would like.

via Channeleyes.com