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Arion Bank Survives the Financial Crisis with UNIT4 Agresso

Posted by  Clarence Gray

I was just reading about one of UNIT4’s customers in Iceland, the Arion Bank, which experienced tremendous change a few years ago as a result of the major banking and financial crisis in Iceland in October 2008. Prior to the crisis, Arion bank’s predecessor, Kaupthing Bank, was a growing international bank with operations in 13 countries. When the financial crisis hit, the Icelandic Financial Supervisory Authority took control of Kaupthing and reshaped it to create Arion Bank as a local Icelandic bank.

The Arion Bank was faced with the need to entirely re-organize its business operations including restructuring the organization and responding to new currency restrictions and a much stricter set of accounting rules. Arion Bank relied on its core financial system, UNIT4 Agresso, to help the bank quickly revamp its configuration to reflect the new realities. Oskar Johann Oskarsson, the bank’s Senior System Manager, reports that it only took a team of four internal resources working part-time on the project for six weeks to make the necessary changes in the Agresso system. Just one external Agresso consultant was hired for one week.

The power of Agresso, known as post-implementation agility, was proven once again. Post-implementation agility means that years down the line from go-live, when requirements change, the solution can adapt to new requirements without complex coding or in many cases re-implementation. With Agresso, the costs and risks associated with traditional change to an Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) implementation are drastically reduced when the person doing it understands the business need and is authorized to make the change. In a recent white paper, third-party analyst firm, IDC, concludes that, “Meeting changing business requirements requires substantially less system change for the UNIT4 ERP customers than for the average ERP customers.

Agresso’s agility is achieved with Agresso’s unique VITA™ architecture, which ensures that all key areas of the product – the data, business processes and reporting - are linked together so they move as one. When a change is made in one area, it is automatically reflected in the other areas of the product. No re-coding is required. Business users, not IT users, can be empowered to make the necessary changes to the system using the standard user interface, reducing the cost and time to implement necessary system changes. Just imagine being able to respond to re-organizations, mergers, acquisitions and regulatory change sooner.

The next time you’re in the market for Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software, be sure to consider the time, costs and risks of the inevitable need for on-going change to your system to respond to your business needs. This enables your organization to minimize your staff resources spent on supporting your ERP system, and provides the opportunity to focus resources on other higher value activities.

Clarence at Unit4

Clarence Gray

Clarence Gray is the Client Manager at Unit4 in North America. He is interested in sales operations, business processes and improvement, and when he’s not responding to RFP’s, he’s ballroom dancing in his free time.

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