Success Stories

Great North Bank

Digital Transformation

Great North Bank
Michael Sullivan, Chief Operating Officer
“We didn’t want to be limited by one person’s thoughts about what the technology for our organization should look like. But for a small bank in northern Wisconsin, it’s harder to get best-in-class service and solutions next door. Wipfli as a partner gave us people, technical skills and the confidence to say, ‘This is where we want to go.’ Being able to collaborate with them on determining this future — and making it a reality — is powerful.”
Great North Bank


Founded in 1891, Great North Bank is a family-owned and independent community bank in northern Wisconsin that provides flexible, efficient and innovative financial services and expertise.


Great North Bank came to Wipfli with quite a few challenges it was looking to solve with technology. The primary challenge for its management team was breaking away from traditional thoughts about technology and gaining a new perspective on how the business could transform digitally. For example, it wanted to become less transactional and more relationship oriented, but it didn’t have the tools to do so. Great North Bank also had a variety of other challenges, including hiring top talent for specific skill sets, as the bank’s location in northern Wisconsin limited the available pool of people.

As a smaller organization, Great North Bank was also limited in the resources it could commit to help transform its organization into becoming more mobile, collaborative, data oriented and ultimately better able to serve its customers. So it turned to Wipfli for a fresh perspective and strategy.


To help Great North Bank stay agile and connected, Wipfli built out an extensive technology plan focused on better linking the organization and its processes.

Enabling a mobile workforce was perhaps Great North Bank’s biggest priority. Its goal was to hire more remote workers in markets across the country and make sure everyone — whether they were at a Great North Bank location or working from home — could fully communicate and collaborate with each other. Wipfli was able to help create and implement that much-needed mobility solution.

Over a 12-month period, other technology tools that were implemented include Microsoft CRM, Microsoft Teams, Skype, a company-wide intranet and a training portal to assist with change management, since technology that isn’t being used isn’t very valuable.


With good adoption rates, technology overall has helped Great North Bank better share information and collaborate with staff working in remote locations and other branches. Very significantly, its mobile solution has attracted experienced, skilled talent.

On the productivity side, Microsoft CRM has streamlined Great North Bank’s processes, providing it with a competitive advantage in being able to perform work more efficiently. In fact, Great North Bank’s headcount is actually down, but it is 60% larger in revenue, demonstrating that it’s already becoming more relationship and customer oriented.

Great North Bank is also getting ready to begin utilizing the data it’s now receiving from Wipfli’s outsourced managed technology solution so it can make more informed decisions, which is vital to its future growth and success.

Relationship Executive(s)

Dan Miller, Senior Manager