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September 5, 2018

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Who isn’t afraid of failing?!

February 20, 2012
by Alan J. Wiessner

The Wallenda factor is just a normal fear of falling or failing?

“Just in case you haven’t heard, the Wallenda factor refers to the fear of falling or failing. Shortly after Karl Wallenda fell to his death in 1978 (traversing a 75-foot high wire in downtown San Juan, Puerto Rico), his wife, also an aerialist, discussed that fateful San Juan walk, “perhaps his most dangerous.”  She recalled: “All Karl thought about for three straight months prior to it was falling. It was the first time he’d ever thought about that, and it seemed to me that he put all his energies into not falling rather than walking the tightrope.”

Life is like traversing a tight rope.  If you think you need a safety net, it won’t be long before you fall.   Live your life without a safety net, or be prepared to live your life close to the ground.  

Certainly as a business we have operated with a safety net, as dictated by the standards by which we must comply, SSAE16 and PCI compliance, but over the years, we have always sought to be a technolgy leader.  We strive to offer “insanely great” software, to coin the phrase used by Steve Jobs.

Matt Ridley, The Rational Optimist says, “Pessimism is complacency.”   I think I would have to say at times I have exercised pessimism in certain situations.  I can relate it to looking in the mirror each morning and thinking, “I’m not getting any younger or thinner,  for that matter.” 

To see the video - just click on the picture

Last year I spoke of challenges.  This year, our 24th year in business, I believe anything’s possible!  Last year I spoke of good fortunes, we were fortunate enough to have earned another year in business.  I said I was proud of the intellectual property (IP) and talent we had.  This year I am confident our talent pool here is second to none.    Everyone has bought into The Rational Optimist theme, “Everybody is working for everybody else.”  Whereas last year I said opportunities present challenges.

We have faced those challenges.  We have conquered many and we are prepared to conquer the future.   While politicians in Washington scrum over the economy and jobs,  free market goes out and creates 100 mpg cars, even driverless cars. We need to tell our politicians…anything’s possible.  This year we will focus again on making our products easier to use, easier to install and cloud ready.   Inside Integra, we will continue to concentrate on developing and acquiring better tools to do our jobs in a more productive environment.  Last year’s message was, “Attitude is everything.”   

Celebrating twenty-four (24) years in business March 7th, 2012, we will continue  to encourage a positive attitude in the workplace, with our customers, partners and suppliers.  Everybody is working for everybody else (click on the picture to the left for the video) because again…. anything’s possible.  Finally, last year I predicted growth would be our next greatest challenge and we grew significantly.  We remain well positioned to take advantage of those significant gains in 2012 and beyond.     Alan J. Wiessner, President and CEO, Integra Business Systems, Inc.

To see an awesome video - just click on the picture

I’ll leave you with a great although somewhat unsettling video (click on the photo) and when you feel that wave of pessimism coming on, remember anything’s possible, well almost anything…

“We are what we repeatedly do.  Excellence, then is not an act but a habit.” — Aristotle

To Scan or Not to Scan

February 5, 2011

“To Scan or Not to Scan – Counting the costs of imaging systems – and of not using them” is an article written by Katie Kuehener-Hebert published in ICBA Magazine’s February issue.

As a contributor to the article, Wiessner made the following observations…, “To get a more accurate ROI, community banks should calculate both the hard and soft costs of their current operations and compare those with the costs and savings after investing in an imaging system, vendors advise. “The greatest ROI in deploying an ECM system today is in reducing labor costs by increasing the efficiency of processing and retrieving documents;’ offers Alan Wiessner, chief executive of Integra Business Systems Inc., a document imaging provider in Safety Harbor, Fla.

 “Banks often discount these soft-cost savings because they fail to recognize they can either eliminate or repurpose employees to reduce costs or to increase productivity, which is essential for growth:’ Reducing or  eliminating printing costs provides the best ROI in terms of hard dollars savings, Wiessner says. These costs include faxing, copying and distributing paper, estimated at 6 to 14 cents a page, depending on the printer, fax or copy machine used. “But banks don’t always know the true amount of these costs because of all the shadow copies employees may be making;’ he says. Those are the copies of documents that employees may be making;’ he says. Those are the copies of documents that employees in the branches or other areas of the bank make so they don’t have to take the time to retrieve documents from the bank’s legacy systems in its centralized operations.  Sometimes it can take days, but customers needing information off of those documents won’t tolerate waiting:’ 

By potentially eliminating these shadow costs, the costs of hardware such as multifunction printers or scanners can often be easily justified, Wiessner continues. One example he gives: Desktop scanners can cost less than $1,000 for each branch. ROI should come within 6 to 18 months of implementation of an enterprise content management system, particularly if it’s a Web based system.

How can iDentifi.net give you a Return on Investment (ROI)? 

Contact us at sales@identifi.net. for an indepth study and analysis.

The Mandate to Go Paperless

June 30, 2012

Posted under “Thought Leaders” on the cbanc website  cbancnetwork.com

According to IDC (International Data Corp) – between now and 2020…  there will be 44X the growth in information BUT… only 1.4X growth in IT professionals.  For example, according to MBA Online there are 294 billion emails sent every day.  To give you an idea of the impact it would take the US Postal Service two (2) years to process that many pieces of mail.  Every day 172 million people visit Facebook, 2 million Blog posts are written (guilty as charged), enough posts to fill Time Magazine for 770 million years!

So why are we waiting to manage and store all this information?  According to an AIIM, the leading trade association in a Enterprise Content Management (ECM) survey, “the problem is we don’t think we have a problem!” The number one answer to the survey is “management is still dragging their feet;” followed by “people still want to hold onto their paper.”  Finally, “people still think they need a wet signature (signature on paper)” …and so on.

Yet AIIM also asked the following question, “How much more productive do you think your organization would be…with ECM?”  The median answer is “at least 33% more productive.”  So where is Enterprise Content Management (ECM) headed?  We see the traditional ECM model moving from document centric to people centric, open and collaborative, community oriented and so on…  A focus on the customer, rather than on products, is a critical ingredient for financial institutions to maintain and grow their business with their customers. 

ECM is an effective approach to helping financial institutions manage the information, the content necessary to achieve a customer-centric focus.  As business and consumer customers become empowered by social media and pervasive communications, they are starting to realize they have choices for their financial services. These trends are reshaping the financial industry and are putting financial institutions into a more competitive atmosphere than before.

Technology innovations today and into the future have been turned up-side-down! It used to be business drove innovation, today people do.  So how do you manage the information tsunami so your customers don’t end up knowing more about your products and services than you do?  That is the imperative for going paperless and more.

We have moved from an era of the PC, to the internet and today the cloud.  Each subsequent move has happened more rapidly.  You can see how things were processed from the document, to the web page and today it’s an interaction.  Consider the best known companies.  Look how over time we have moved the cheese from IBM to Microsoft and now to Facebook.  Content has moved from microfiche to image, to document, to content to social business systems?  We see financial institutions moving from the PC to the web and mobile devices, but not nearly as quickly as their customers and the growth in the devices themselves.  What’s next?  Go paperless.

What are 2 or 3 greatest misperceptions associated with implementing doc imaging?

Centralized scanning (capture) is NOT the only way to control the document imaging capture and workflow.  Scanners become increasingly powerful and inexpensive.  Scanners for less than $1,000 include features such as duplex and color document capture.  Software as a Service (SaaS) and in-house web-server based ECM applications offer  click-once deployment, employ barcode recognition, forms recognition and e-signature technologies which allow for a more automated and accurate method of capture.  Centralized capture out!  Distributed capture in!

Your ECM implementation happens overnight.  False!  Technologies such as report archive and a basic backfile scanning application, like signature cards may be in place in weeks, but careful planning and best practices while employing ECM applications for all new account and loan products, HR, accounting, Accounts Payable and so on take time and teamwork.

You’re going to go “completely” paperless.  False!  There are going to be documents you have to keep, such as a mortgage and a deed.  Your lawyer must decide.

How long is a ‘typical’ timeline to get a doc imaging system up and running?

If the ECM vendor provides “templates” for the applications the customer wishes to implement and best practices guidelines during the pre-implementation stage and during implementation a “typical” document imaging implementation timeline will be 30-90 days.  If the customer is exceptionally well organized in terms of defining their applications and indexes it can be 30-45 days.  The customer must provide good feedback and be fully engaged.

Who is best suited to serve as the project owner for implementation: IT, the business line being imaged, or some other area?

The IT department or IT consultant needs to be involved as well as the business line managers of the department or organization being implemented but the ECM project owner should be a person that has project management skills.  They might not have all the answers but have the ability to get the answers and keep the project on track internally and be an advocate to promote the system throughout the organization.

Besides loan origination, what are 3 other areas that should be considered for doc imaging?

Deposits, Operations, Legal, HR, AP, Vendor Management, Facilities Management Wire transfer and more…

Are there any business lines or areas that are NOT good candidates for doc imaging? Why?

There are areas that will be more challenging than others.  If you are new to ECM, pick an area of the institution where there is a quick ROI like new account signature cards, new account documents, consumer loans, HR then make your way to more challenging are such as commercial mortgages.  The primary concern will always be the same best practices and teamwork.

What recommendations can be made to minimize staff keeping ‘ghost files’?

If you cannot access the content, image files, documents and reports easily and quickly from anywhere across the organization, you will most likely have people keeping ghost files.  This means stop the flow by capturing documents at their originating point within your organization and conquering the backfile as well.  A scanning service is a good way to get that done.  It is usually easy though for the bank themselves to go back and scan in all the old signature cards.  This is a good way to be successful right off the bat.  It has a good impact on the customer and the staff.

I recently did a survey and analysis at a multi-billion financial institution and I expressly advised them they would never catch up with their backfile if they didn’t capture their documents at the source (branch) or in the field and utilize e-signature and auto-indexing methods whenever possible.  Centralized capture is out!  Distributed capture is in!  Managing social business content lags far behind, but we are storing more content from more and more channels of communication.

Can some docs be destroyed immediately after imaging? Any docs that can NOT be destroyed?

This list is extensive and requires the advice from the financial institutions legal counsel.  As a general rule, keep everything seven years. Keep the Mortgage, Release of Mortgage and Note permanently.

For more information or an ROI analysis of your needs to go paperless contact sales@identifi,net or visit our website www.identifi.net

Living without Legacy – iDentifi.net – Part II

July 27, 2011

There’s a great series on the History Channel, called “Life After People”. The series explores what happens to our cities, buildings and bridges without people to maintain them. In just days, our very infrastructure we take for granted, our tunnels and subways will become flooded. Transportation will cease. Power will be cut. Our planet begins to look like this (click on thumbnail).

Some things increase in value with age, like a Monet or nice Cabernet.  Not so legacy software.  To run a software application in a SaaS environment you have to deploy the latest web technology.

How do you deploy over 2,000 scan stations, 9,000 signature pads and a combined total of over 12,000 eSign, Scan and Document retrieval stations across the country for a single customer in less than one month?  The answer is called iDentifi.net.  iDentifi.net is an Enterprise Content Management (ECM) suite of web-based software built on the Microsoft .Net latest architecture.

iDentifi.net can run efficiently in a Software as a Service (SaaS) environment.  Our competitors are running client-server applications, let’s just call it what it is “legacy” software.  To learn more about “legacy” software follow the link to read my last post – Living without Legacy http://wp.me/p1mJAs-m1

When evaluating ECM software, especially when it’s time to choose your core banking or credit union software, a 30 minute PowerPoint presentation or a brief demo showing integration with the core solution shouldn’t be enough to go with the “core” vendor’s company “owned” ECM software.

“It can be a giant step backward.  Take a harder look.”

Even when the core vendor’s ancillary product is recommended by your consultant.  Consultants most times go with the core vendor’s recommendation on ancillary products. How do I know?  None of the bank and credit union consultants have ever contacted Integra to evaluate iDentifi.net.

Besides the efficient and the low cost of deployment, what other reasons do you have to select a SaaS environment for ECM?  Number one on everyone’s list should be…  pay as you go.

No large upfront capital investment.  Rather than pay for IT infrastructure, that can soon become obsolete, operating software and services, either in-house or outside IT consulting, you can rely on a SaaS provider to supply everything you
need to run your ECM application.

The buzz is all about cloud computing.  There’s bound to be some confusion between cloud computing and SaaS.  SaaS is software application(s) running either in a private network infrastructure or a commercial network infrastructure.  Our iDentifi.net can run on either infrastructure or in-house on your network.

When I talk about savings on infrastructure by going SaaS, I’m talking about avoiding the investment in Server(s); Operating System (OS); Database (SQL); archival – secure document storage and access, encryption, reliable redundancy, backup and regulatory compliance. These cost all become the burden of the ECM provider in a SaaS environment.

When I talk about the savings you gain by choosing the latest web-based technology, I’m referring to our Smart Client” deployment via ClickOnce for applications that need to touch the PC, like iDentifi.eSign and iDentifi.Scan
software because they are tied to a signature pad and/or document scanner.  Clients automatically update themselves from the server.  Client configuration is centrally managed to speed up deployment. Multiple customers can be hosted on a single server.  Centralized management of licenses, users, groups and security are managed through iDentifi.Core.  All less time your IT folks need to invest as opposed to a legacy ECM product.

Follow the link for a Company and Product overview – http://www.slideboom.com/presentations/277770/iDentifi.Net-4.0-ECM-Product-Suite-and-20.10-Company-Overview

iDentifi.net customers live without legacy.  To us ECM is not our ancillary, it’s our occupation.

Living without Legacy – iDentifi.net

April 5, 2011

There’s a great series on the History Channel, called “Life After People”.  The series explores what happens to our cities, buildings and bridges without people to maintain them.  In just days, our very infrastructure we take for granted, our tunnels and subways will become flooded.  Transportation will cease.  Power will be cut.  Our planet begins to look like this (click on thumbnails).

Here is a trailer to the series.  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y8aLKHShv9o

Most of our competitor’s Enterprise Content Management (ECM) solutions, a.k.a., document imaging or COLD, are considered ancillary (secondary) products.  What happens when your provider’s resources are pulled from ECM product development to concentrate their resources on their core competency?

There’s a series is in the works, it’s called “Living without Legacy”.  It’s about living with an erosion in talent; living with meager or no updates; living with Band-Aid fixes (patches).

Without people maintaining the Golden Gate Bridge would be underwater in just a few short years.

Moore’s Law, named after the founder of Intel is about the trends in technology and innovation.  While Moore’s Law (click on thumbnail view) addresses transistors, processors and memory devices face similar growth.  These devices impact the software development business in a very big way.

Software development is our business and we know software is never done.  You have to update constantly to keep up with the latest technology.  Otherwise it will end up like the Golden Gate Bridge.  Underwater.

If you are living with legacy, you won’t be able to take advantage of the latest web technology.  And just like hair extensions, don’t be fooled by web extensions.  Like the world’s underground of tunnels and subways, the underlying technology behind web extensions is client-server – (legacy) based.  If and when available, what will it cost you to upgrade to the latest web-server technology of your ECM product?  It just may be time to find out.

Technology is not slowing down, it’s speeding up.  The faster technology changes the faster software applications must change to keep you competitive in your industry.

Integra Business Systems, Inc. develops ECM products for financial institutions and the financial services industry.  We own our technology.    We develop in ASP.Net and .Net.  Our iDentifi.net (follow link) http://www.identifi.net/product line is web-based.

To learn more about the products you need and best practices, go to the post, http://advancingthepaperlessoffice.com/2010/09/11/imaging-horsepower-2/ Imaging Horsepower, a post on this Blog which has appeared in both ICBA Magazine and online at Credit Union Magazine.

iDentifi.net customers live without legacy.  To us ECM is not our ancillary, it’s our occupation.

Imaging Horsepower is now available on Credit Union Magazine's website.

February 24, 2011

Imaging Horsepower is now available on Credit Union Magazine’s website.

Imaging

http://www.creditunionmagazine.com/articles/imaging-horsepower?

A successful ECM implementation means credit union staff must find the software easy to use. An ECM application using the ubiquitous browser is a good choice for searching for documents. Who isn’t familiar with the Internet browser? This reduces the cost and time to train employees, especially in positions with high turnover.

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