When there was an argument, which was frequent in a family of six siblings, my father used to say, “Which leg do I stand on.” I’ve always felt that was a great question because it would give me pause to think. When there is disagreement which is often, if you care how you live your life, the choices you make affect everyone around you. You can label the results of those choices anyway you want. I label them experience.
Experience has taught me, it’s all about the people around you, whether at home or at work. Interdependency is key. To obtain an understanding amongst those who you live and work with is paramount. Not easy! The path to success is the ability to agree to disagree and change course quickly when necessary. As a result, we always take a stand with both feet firmly planted, always pointed and moving in the best direction. Thanks Dad!
Mom and Dad owned a small business when home office in the back bedroom wasn’t a thing, it was a reality. He would work late. Not late by today’s definition, late until way past midnight. He wouldn’t miss dinner or coaching Little League, he’d miss Late Night with Jack Paar. I too, started my business in a back bedroom of our home. When I hear the expression “bootstrapped” I have to smile. I’ve never thought of Dad, myself or my business as bootstrapped. As the founder of Integra Business Systems d.b.a. Identifi in 1988, I’ve never worn boots other than to hike. I’m a Floridian sandals kinda guy. I’ve never felt strapped to anyone or anything.
I’ve only a few basic tenets. Those basic tenets are, take care of your own, your employees, your customers and they will take care of you.
I’m generally a man of few words and let the results speak for themselves. One of our core values is "Thoughtful Innovation. We embrace balanced innovation to advance our existing customers as well as new opportunities.” Towards that end, after 34+ years in the making, on October 3rd, 2022 Identifi took on a strategic partner, Arcadea Group. Essentially nothing has changed, yet after taking that step, everything is moving forward. We have retained all of our employees, although one employee retired. Our customers are continuing to receive great products and services. Arcadea Group has given us the capability to invest more in our people, in you, our customers and in our Identifi ECM product suite.
I would be remiss if I didn't say 2022 was a tumultuous year in many respects. As a people, we have dealt with war, hurricanes and now bomb cyclones! We will continue to deal with challenges and better them. I believe many of us, who have been more fortunate will find ways and means to give back to those less fortunate. I speak for Identifi’s 45 employees, soon to be 48 and our new partner Arcadea Group when I say, I feel only pride in what we have accomplished and tremendous gratitude for each and every one of you in my life, family, friends and in business.
I want to wish you a Happy New Year! Umm, 2023 we're not waiting for you. Catch up if you can!
Alan Wiessner, President and CEO, Identifi
We had some fun #teambuilding at Identifi's home offices in Safety Harbor , Florida on a hot day. Each of four teams competed to creatively dress large inflatable ducks we floated on the pond behind our sales and admin/conference center buildings. We then voted to determine the winner of the Duck Wars. Rather than reveal the winner, you are welcome to vote yourselves (use the Get in Touch link at the top right of your screen) on which duck, captioned below, you determine to be the winner! Check out our Fire Quacker video!
Our team at Identifi wishes you peace, joy and prosperity throughout the coming year. Thank you for your continued support and partnership. We look forward to working with you in the years to come.
We’ve deployed Identifi Online eSign OLE, to allow businesses and consumers to complete their paperless business processes online, with online electronic signature software.
We have transitioned many of our customers from on-premise to our private cloud, commonly referred to Software as a Service or SaaS. All new Identifi customers in 2017 were implemented in our private cloud as SaaS.
We currently have several customers beta testing our new Identifi Work business process management product and Identifi Document 5.0 document management, ahead of schedule, and with fruition, a.k.a. success. We’re also getting great customer feedback to serve our customers better.
We are very proud of our deep commitment to help the community by our ongoing involvement in the local chapter of Coder Dojo.
On the Identifi campus, we have continued to improved infrastructure, including a new administration building and conference center, with state of the art communications. We have expanded the Identifi gym with an aerobic room. We employ a personal trainer who’s job it is to whip us into shape. No pain no gain!
There’s little doubt we are in a growth business. It’s exciting. Identifi is well-positioned to take advantage in the ECM market with a suite of products that address all of the initiatives cited by MarketsandMarkets™ and more.
Our Identifi product line includes Documents, a repository for all your content. Tracking, to stay compliant and keep your auditors happy. E-signatures, both online and desktop to close the deal, skip the paper and sign your documents electronically. E-receipts point of sale e-signatures for paperless transactions. Work, a no code business automation platform. Build apps for customer on-boarding, hiring and more.
From all of us at Identifi, we wish you and yours a safe, and peaceful holiday season and prosperous Happy New Year!
Identifi's Implementation team faced a number of challenges during a recent Uplink project that required some late nights and out-of-the-box thinking. Despite myriad challenges the project came in on time and on budget. In appreciation each have been presented with an embroidered Identifi Uplink black-belt that underscores their formidable Fu.
Approximately 60% of the average employee’s day is spent working on an organization’s records and documents. How much of that time is truly productive and how much of it is wasted? When dealing with content creation, storage, archiving, distribution, and transfer throughout an enterprise, there are often significant areas for improvement. A cloud-based consolidation and distribution center can vastly reduce the amount of time employees need to spend on document management while also improving business outcomes and customer service.
Boosting Productivity and Reducing Time to Market
With the majority of employee time being spent on document management, there are many opportunities to boost productivity and efficiency. Moving to the cloud allows an organization to take advantage of superior resources and an always accessible platform, both of which drive innovation and make it faster and easier for employees to process their documents effectively. Employees will be able to connect and collaborate from anywhere in the world, and thus they can quickly complete products and reduce the organization’s time to market. The enterprise content management (ECM) market is growing faster than the overall software market, as more organizations find that improving their ECM is one of the fastest ways to reduce project time and boost productivity. Time to market can be extraordinarily important for many organizations, especially those with close competition. Through cloud ECM, organizations can remain competitive with other businesses as they, too, invest in newer technologies.
Increased Reliability, Scalability, and Elasticity
Reliability is a key component of success. Up to 27% of businesses have suffered a loss of reputation due to poor document management. This affects customer retention, customer acquisition, and word-of-mouth advertising.
Cloud-based ECM gains all of the traditional benefits of the cloud. Cloud ECM can offer greater uptime than on-premises solutions, it can scale upwards through the deployment of additional resources, and has the elasticity to deploy resources on-the-fly to compensate for sudden or unexpected intervals of increased usage. All of this amounts to better service for customers and a far more productive and efficient environment for employees. Elasticity has the additional benefit of ensuring that the service is reliable and that organizations don’t need to pay for resources when they don’t need them. Scalability prevents an organization from being forced to invest too much in their infrastructure before they truly need it.
Lower Cost of Deployment and Ownership
By far the biggest driver of cloud-based enterprise content management is cost. When polling organizations, 38% reported that they were interested in cloud-based ECM for the purposes of cost reduction, compared to running their ECM solutions from on-premises servers. Deploying an ECM system on-premises means investing heavily in network infrastructure and physical assets, whereas a cloud-based ECM platform can be quickly deployed and scaled to suit the organization’s budget and needs. ECM deployments may contain as little or as much of an organization’s documents as desired and the costs are fluid; they can be reduced if the organization’s need is reduced. On premise servers and infrastructure often need to be upgraded to compensate for company growth and older equipment. This isn’t necessary with cloud-based ECM deployments, which simply requisition and provision resources as needed.
Integration With Business Process Management
Business process management (BPM) and enterprise content management need to work together for the best business outcomes. For most businesses, their documents are their processes.
Integrating BPM and ECM allows for fewer bottlenecks, improved overall efficiency, increased visibility, improved responsiveness, and fewer human errors. Cloud-based solutions can be easily and quickly integrated with each other for full support and consolidation. Many modern organizations are moving their entire infrastructure to the cloud, including BPM, ERP and CRM systems, and, of course, ECM. By managing and maintaining all of these components through the cloud, an organization can create an always-on completely connected and consolidated network.
BPM and ECM solutions can also be used to reduce liability and improve regulatory compliance, as they create a complete audit trail for documents and procedures, ensuring that the organization always has records for the work completed and the details of that work.
Universal Accessibility and Improved Collaboration
Cloud platforms can be used to effectively connect offices from city to city or nation to nation. Not only can organizations leverage the power of a global office, but they can also empower employees with the flexibility to set their own hours or work from home. Flexible work schedules aid in courting top talent, sourcing affordable talent, and keeping employees happy and productive. Cloud-based systems can be accessed from anywhere in the world and are “always on,” allowing for improved collaboration and the support of multiple time zones and regions.
Through a cloud-based ECM, an organization can freely grow throughout the globe. And by integrating a cloud-based ECM with other cloud-based solutions, better collaboration can be achieved throughout business processes. Cloud-based solutions can work on virtually any platform and generally only need a browser to connect to, freeing up employees to work from anywhere and to work on multiple devices. On-premises ECM applications can cost $1 million or more, with $200,000 or more being invested in hardware alone. Not only do cloud-based ERP solutions have a lower cost of deployment and maintenance, but they can significantly improve productivity and efficiency by creating an always-on solution through which employees can effectively collaborate and share.
Document management is a core business process that has to be effectively streamlined and managed for the overall productivity of a business. Through cloud-based enterprise content management solutions, an organization can improve the efficiency of every level of their business operations, accelerating speed to market and their customer happiness.
For additional information contact firstname.lastname@example.org
On January 1, 2017, the world changed for credit unions. At least for credit unions serious about Business Banking. In place of a fixed percentage of assets, a cap based on net worth (in other words, tied to the credit union’s ability to absorb lending risk) was implemented. Prior to January 1, NCUA waiver delays resulted in the loss of many good loan deals (and sometimes business clients). In place of the waivers, credit unions now must have sound lending policies, and are judged on how well they follow their policies.
The new NCUA rules create tremendous growth opportunities for credit unions. The best small business clients can contribute 5-10 times the profitability of an individual consumer, and business clients expect to pay extra for time savings and banking advice. However, their decision criteria for selecting a banking partner is different, and requires a radical change in how credit unions think about their service and pricing models. As regulations started to loosen in the late 1990s, credit unions with excess lending capacity saw business loans as a vehicle to produce better returns than they were getting with traditional investments. However, because of the lengthy delays in approvals, and lack of competitive deposit products and merchant services, some credit unions became the “lender of last resort” and many sizeable portfolios were written down or written off altogether when these less desirable, single product borrowers defaulted.
Traditionally, credit union business banking programs have focused primarily on the lending side, but deposits and merchant services account for nearly 80% of small business banking profits, vs only 22% for loans (see chart, Oliver Wyman, 2011). Rates and fee pricing are lower priorities for businesses than having tools to accept payments, access to working capital, ease of making ACH and wire payments, and sound banking advice.
To build a solid, profitable, and sustainable business banking offering, credit unions need to employ people, process, and technology along with competitive products.
Experienced Business Bankers- Forbes describes a small business as “one that does not have a CFO”. This role often belongs to the business owner. A key part of the value of the banking relationship is the ability to get solid financial advice. That takes experienced business bankers. Not just lenders, but staff with experience in deposits, payments, and operations.
Commercial Deposits- Business customers have used community banks or larger banks in the past, and expect a broad variety of deposit offerings. Along with traditional checking, savings, and IRA accounts, they expect their banking partner to offer limits and controls on who can transact business with the CU on behalf of the business client, based on their role with the firm. Banks have offered automated sweeping of excess balances from operating accounts to high-yield accounts for over 20 years. Positive pay (a feature that allows the business to view and approve their checks before they are paid) can help them avoid check fraud losses. And analysis accounts that reward the business client for the overall relationship help attract and retain the most profitable business clients.
Business Services- The most important banking function for many businesses is enabling them to take payments for their products and services. Roughly 30% of small business banking profits are from payments-merchant card payment processing and remote capture and transmission of check images.
Business Online Banking/Mobile/Cash Management- The most valuable commodity for a business owner is time. The right set of capabilities can save your business clients valuable time transacting their banking business, and neutralize the huge brick and mortar advantages of the big banks. Most banks now put the ability to send wires and ACH originations and payments, pay bills and control card limits in their business client’s home office or even in the palm of their hand.
Commercial Lending- Along with more traditional forms of business credit such as term loans, business credit cards and vehicle loans, many businesses need more sophisticated lending products. SBA loans create great value for both clients and the lender, allowing businesses the capital they need to grow and expand, with government guarantees protecting the lender if they default. Loans with variable payment schedules tied to seasonal cash flows, flexible collateral arrangements and commercial construction loans allow the credit union to serve as a “one stop shop” for most of their business clients.
Security- Small businesses are frequently the target of fraud, sometime from their own employees. They expect a banking partner that has the expertise and technology to protect them from cyberattacks, check and payments fraud, and embezzlement.
And finally, speed. Efficient processes and tools for application processing, credit review and funding will help you offer business clients the same amazing service experience credit unions are known for with their consumer members.
Even after credit unions hire experienced business bankers and set up policies and processes, technology often becomes the primary barrier to success. Most credit unions run on core processing systems designed in the 1980s, long before credit unions were allowed to offer business banking. Many offer online banking platforms that serve the needs of consumers well, but lack essential cash management and business functionality.
Credit union IT teams and traditional credit union technology vendors often lack familiarity with business banking, banking regulations and the third-party systems that help serve business banking operations, and their business clients. Choosing the right solutions that will integrate with your current environment and fit your budget can be difficult and risky. A detailed strategy with clear requirements, budgets and timelines will go a long way toward mitigating the risks involved in complex technology decisions.
Enlisting outside advisors with experience in helping credit unions develop and execute the right technology strategy to enable their business services program can go a long way towards minimizing the risk and disruption of a complex technology selection and deployment.
At Arriba Advisors, our partners have over 25 years combined experience in assessing the business banking technology needs of credit unions, and helping them evaluate, select and contract for the right technologies at the right cost of ownership. Feel free to contact us for a free business banking technology market overview.
George McGourty- Originally from Boston and based in Tampa, George has spent his entire 30-year career helping financial institutions evaluate, select, and implement enterprise technologies. He has held senior sales and executive leadership positions with Fiserv, FIS, CSI, Deluxe and Open Solutions as well as co-founding an IT services firm that was later acquired by a Fortune 1000 technology company.
George co-founded Arriba Advisors to help community financial institutions understand and evaluate their technology options, and gain the most value from their technology investments. He is an accomplished negotiator, having personally negotiated over 1,000 technology and services contracts while sitting on the vendor side of the table.
Tom Russell- A native of Miami, Florida, Tom has spent the past twenty years helping financial institutions navigate complex technology and professional services decisions to create efficiencies and gain competitive advantage. Tom has held senior sales roles at TWS Systems, Open Solutions, and Fiserv, managing complex enterprise sales valued up to $25M.
In his role as co-founder and partner at Arriba Advisors, Tom helps our clients understand the technology options available in the market, and how to match their needs and budget to secure the right solution at the right cost of ownership, while identifying and managing the risks inherent in a complex technology purchase.
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.