A successful collaboration requires the right mix of business partners, technologies, and experience. In 2003, Bellco Credit Union and Bethpage™ Federal Credit Union took advantage of the opportunities to create a successful alliance. The two credit unions formed Open Technology Solutions, LLC (OTS), a Credit Union Service Organization (CUSO), focused on providing collaborative, technology-related services to a few large credit unions on the Fiserv platform. Bellco and Bethpage were joined by State Employee's Credit Union (SECU™) of Maryland in 2007, and S3 Shared Service Solutions, LLC in 2011. Together, they have achieved the kind of scale none could have achieved on their own - more than 945,000 members and over $16 billion in assets - ranking them together as the one of the largest credit unions in the country. Currently, OTS proudly serves these members and over 2,100 employees in our consortium.
Operationally, the primary purpose of OTS is to create value for its partners by adding scale and efficiency to the process of providing information services. By standardizing and sharing the expense of providing information technology systems and services, our partners are able to access deeper skill sets and higher levels of service. Having the same core system was just the beginning of working together; over time, other opportunities to standardize and scale have been identified and implemented in many domains of technology enablement.
The key to collaboration is trust, but what makes it work is organization. An Advisory Committee, comprised of executives from each partner credit union and CUSO, meets regularly to charter collaboration groups, initiatives and efforts to further the strategic interests of the consortium. These groups, with members from all partners, are focused on domains of combined, strategic interest including digital, information security, program management, business continuity/disaster recovery, lending, member experience, payments, operations improvement and others.