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Smiley Technologies Helps Community Banks Reduce One-Off Applications

Vance Smiley
Vance Smiley president, smiley technologies inc. - Photo by John David Pittman


Customer: Smiley Technologies Inc.
Headquarters: Little Rock, Arkansas
Business: Hosted banking services
Challenge: Building a simpler and easier-to-manage software environment
Solution: Developing a largely all-in-one solution that reduces customer reliance on APIs and other integration technologies
Hardware: Three IBM Power Systems servers
Software: IBM DB2 for i, JavaScript, C#-based RESTful, Swift for iOS, Java for Android support, Rational Developer for i, SQL

For the sake of saving money, expediency and perceived ease of use, some organizations combine multiple systems to create what they hope will be a wholly integrated operating environment. Other companies don’t want to deal with any of those issues and instead purchase entire suites of vendor-supported software.

Although legitimate arguments exist in favor of both cases, a combination of the two may be a better way to approach application implementations, using, for example, a suite- and database-oriented back-end system, a middleman application server and differing coding depending on the end-user interface.

That’s the approach Smiley Technologies Inc. (STI) took when it developed its internally hosted banking system SIBanking, with around 70 percent of its business logic residing on the IBM Power Systems* host, 20 percent on the application server and 10 percent on the client. This allows the company to be more flexible when delivering updates to its banking partners while allowing them additional flexibility—and innovation—on the front end.

From Many to Few

The history of Little Rock, Arkansas-based STI goes back much further than its 2003 founding by brother-and-sister duo Vance Smiley, president and CEO, and Elizabeth Glasbrenner, senior vice president. Their father, Walter Smiley, a former IBMer, had established a bank data-processing company, Systematics, in 1968.

They obviously took a cue from their father’s work, even though Vance seemed more interested in play than work at the time. As he fondly recalls, “I used to throw punch cards in the air—and get in a lot of trouble for it.”

Now, the business seems to run in the Smileys’ blood. Working with community banks in Arkansas and surrounding states, it has created a seamless, three-part hosted computing environment, SIBanking, that assists smaller financial institutions not only in traditional core accounting functionality, but also more advanced features that are typically add-ons for other such packages.

These include teller; online banking; new accounts desk; management reporting; board reporting; fraud detection; risk measurement; accounts payable; wire and ACH; and remote services such as smart-device check deposits. The goal is to reduce the number of software systems a community bank must acquire and integrate from several dozen to just a few.

Jim Utsler, IBM Systems Magazine senior writer, has been covering the technology field for more than a decade. Jim can be reached at jjutsler@provide.net.

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