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YBS has teamed up with Hewlett-Packard to offer a managed service, designed to enable smaller mutual building societies to run applications such as branch front office systems, mortgage and savings solutions and handle financial and management information. Hosted by HP, the system is being made available to the societies over a virtual private network.
Rob Jackson, operations director for YBS, said the system was originally developed three to four years ago to run YBS' business operations. "We built the system ourselves because there was no suitable off-the-shelf package we could buy," said Jackson.
The hosting deal will help YBS recoup development costs of £21m. "We now have a [software] asset that can bring in revenue," Jackson said.
In a bid to realise the potential of the system, YBS established a subsidiary called Yorkshire Key Services (YKS) in May 2001. YKS targeted small building societies with up to 40 branches that could not afford to develop their own applications.
The system is being implemented at one building society with three more orders "in the pipeline," according to YKS.
The package, which is highly customisable, was built around an Oracle 8i database, using Oracle Designer/2000 and Developer/2000 tools, which generated software automatically.
"We designed the system internally. Two-thirds of the development was run internally and the remainder was outsourced to India," Jackson said.
The building society wanted to run the software on a Unix system and decided to standardise on the HP9000 server running HPUX, he added.