When Karen Niven needs a business process automated, she doesn’t care if it’s in Java or .Net, as long as it can be done effectively, on time and on budget.

So when Niven, the product manager of electronic payments for Calgary-based Credit Union Payment Services (CUPS), needed to replace a manual

process with some automated, she gave Celero Solutions the business requirements and let the IT provider take it from there.

CUPS, a joint venture between the Credit Union Central of Alberta and Credit Union Central of Saskatchewan, needed a Web-based wire-transfer application that will be used by member credit unions in Alberta and Saskatchewan to initiate, track, query and receive wire transfers among one another and with other financial institutions across Canada and internationally. Currently this process is done via Excel spreadsheets and the telephone.

“”It’s really manual,”” says Niven. “”There’s a lot of room for error.””

It was Lisa Neilson’s job as Celero’s vice-president of client services to bring the task of developing an application to the Celero team.

“”Payment Services’ delivery direction is everything via the Web,”” says Neilson, “”because its customers are spread across multiple provinces and in some cases nationally. So, they need a cost-effective way to deliver products and services.””

Because Celero is also a joint venture — in this case between the information technology groups of Credit Union Central Alberta, Credit Union Central Manitoba, Credit Union Central Saskatchewan, Credit Union Electronic Transaction Services, and Co-operative Trust Company of Canada — it has a variety of technologies and expertise it can source when solving a problem. For example, Credit Union Central of Alberta’s IT department, which in the past past has serviced CUPS, has mainly used IBM’s WebSphere, while other credit unions have used .Net technology.

CUPS wanted to get something to market quickly, says Neilson, and cost-effectively — it wanted to improve service without having to charge customers more for it.

In addition, Celero had to look at the availability of staff in order to deliver the end product, says Neilson.

“”Many of our WebSphere resources were committed, so we had to look elsewhere in the market, and certainly .Net resources were readily available.”” she says.

With the help of IT provider Xwave, Celero is building the wire transfer application using Microsoft’s Visual Studio.Net. “”Their solution to us was a combination on Web, DB2 and host-based applications,”” says Niven. “”Some of the functionality has been outsourced to Xwave and some of it has been insourced to various development areas within Celero.”” Xwave is building the Web front end and the interface to the DB2, while Celero is building the back-end processes, she says. “”It’s really a flavour of everything.””

Peter Humphreys, .NET practice leader with Xwave based in Calgary, says .Net means different things to different people. In some case

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