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CASE STUDY | 12 MINUTE READ

$158 Billion Cooperative Bank Increases Efficiency by up to X%

CoBank uses Liferay DXP as a unified development platform and CMS to host internal and external applications serving essential industries.
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Logo
x%
Faster Development Time
x%
faster publication time
75,000
borrowers served
Outline
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Key Takeaways

  • Unify the user experience under one solution.
    With just one login for affiliated Farm Credit associations compared to the previous twenty, users save time and frustration with a consistent and seamless experience.
  • Decrease duplication of development effort and waste.
    Consolidating development technologies onto one platform has meant CoBank can maintain critical applications so they don’t have to rebuild existing technology since apps are always up to date.
  • Meet business requirements faster with more agile creation processes.
    Because CoBank’s development team can develop applications more quickly and the content team has also increased their rate of output, business needs are efficiently fulfilled.

Background

CoBank is a $158 billion cooperative bank that serves vital industries across rural America, providing loans, leases, export financing, and other financial services to agribusiness and rural power, water, and communications providers in all 50 states. As a member of the Farm Credit System, CoBank also offers wholesale loans and other financial services to affiliated Farm Credit associations that aid more than 75,000 farmers, ranchers, and other borrowers.
 
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Challenges

With an old content management system and external applications hosted on many different solutions, CoBank wanted to modernize. But these existing legacy systems would make integrating with a new platform very difficult. 

Additionally, CoBank’s current content management system was giving them these issues:
  1. Slow and cumbersome way of creating and publishing content. Business users had to go through the IT team for even small content changes, which required the team to make custom code.
  2. No maintenance of critical applications.
    CoBank would create an application without a regular, easy way of maintaining it, so applications were never up to date.
  3. Unnecessary manual processes. 
    Without a standard for receiving information in a secure way and communicating it onward, there was a possibility of introducing accidental errors and security vulnerabilities.
Having a single development platform allows us to maintain a level of security and compliance while quickly developing new applications.
Terri Pepin
Director of information technology

Implementation

CoBank turned to Liferay to create a unified platform that would allow them to integrate with important legacy systems while creating modern applications. Liferay Global Services assisted with initial development, and Liferay’s Customer Success team was on hand as well. Terri Pepin, CoBank’s Director of Information Technology, noted that “the support team’s been fantastic,” especially during upgrades and patching.

The CoBank IT team brought multiple solutions onto Liferay, including their public website, CoBank.com, and a number of external and internal applications. Internal applications serve CoBank’s 1,100 employees with crucial resources and business-line process improvements. For external-facing applications, users like borrowers can log in and self-service with personalized information and access to their banking services.
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Results

With so many solutions developed and hosted on Liferay and integration requirements met, CoBank has seen incredible results since their implementation. Anoop Sasi, the Senior Manager for Information Technology, highlighted that, “the platform is really flexible, and it makes development way easier,” including for “a lot of complex use cases.”

Consolidating solutions onto one platform has meant:
  • Reduced development error. Developers can stick to their own areas of expertise and more safely develop with one consistent development platform.
  • More efficient maintenance of important applications. Both older and newer applications are much easier to maintain, so the team can update applications while working on the next project.
  • Simplified user experience. Before, associations receiving money through CoBank to lend to their customers had to go to as many as twenty different applications with separate logins and experiences. Now associations go to just one application, CoBank.com.
“We can really concentrate on the business need instead of ‘what’s the architecture?’” said Pepin, and that has resulted in these additional tangible benefits for CoBank such as:
  1. % faster publication process.
    With business users happy using Liferay’s content creation capabilities and easily adding functionality like custom layouts without going through the IT team, they can publish more content faster.
  2.  % decrease in application development time.
    CoBank often needs to build applications in a short amount of time for very specific use cases. Because of the new platform, the loan forgiveness SBA application, for instance, was created in record time.
  3. % time saved with automated processes.
    CoBank has automated laborious manual processes, so now getting information from the outside world and passing it along happens quickly and securely.
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Moving onto the Liferay DXP platform has made CoBank’s team more efficient and effective. To keep pace with their progress, they’re always looking to upgrade to the latest version and fix packs to support more complex applications in the future, ultimately assisting the company in continuing to serve America’s crucial rural and agricultural industries.