BIRMINGHAM, Ala., Feb. 28, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- BBVA Compass won the Celent Model Bank award on Wednesday for its core banking transformation, lauded in the business press as a "game changer" when it debuted last fall. The bank's technology upgrade marks one of the first successful core infrastructure replacements for a major U.S. bank in more than a decade. Celent honored the achievement with its award, which recognizes the use of technology that has a clear and sustainable impact on business, improves sales, reduces risk, improves processes and performance, or meets market demands. Previous award winners include Citibank, Wells Fargo, JPMorgan Chase, and Umpqua Bank. "The implementation of our new core system was a huge milestone for us," said Manolo Sanchez, BBVA Compass president and CEO. "By introducing this powerful and flexible technology, we're able to increase our focus on the rapidly changing needs of our customers and provide them with more personalized and innovative services." The new system powers BBVA Compass' checking and savings, consumer and business lending, and mortgage capabilities – and is fully integrated with its branch and ATM networks, call centers and online and mobile banking services. The $362 million project cut the time it takes to open a new deposit account to as little as five minutes from more than 40, and reduced time to market for new products by up to 75 percent. The system also allows the bank to support its first wholly digital banking product: NBA Banking, which launched this month and is maintained entirely online. It allows BBVA Compass to expand beyond its Sunbelt footprint and capitalize on its role as the official bank of the NBA in the U.S. The new core platform is now being used in the bank's more than 700 branches in seven states. The system is based upon Alnova Financial Solutions, Accenture's core banking software platform. Accenture also helped BBVA Compass implement the platform.