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
When I was sixteen, I had just two things on my mind — girls and cars. I wasn’t very good with girls. So I thought about cars. I thought about girls, too, but I had more luck with cars.
Let’s say that when I turned sixteen, a genie had appeared to me. And that genie said, ‘Warren, I’m going to give you the car of your choice. It’ll be here tomorrow morning with a big bow tied on it. Brand-new. And it’s all yours.’
Having heard all the genie stories, I would say, ‘What’s the catch?’ And the genie would answer, ‘There’s only one catch. This is the last car you’re ever going to get in your life. So it’s got to last a lifetime.’
If that had happened, I would have picked out that car. But, can you imagine, knowing it had to last a lifetime, what I would do with it?
I would read the manual about five times. I would always keep it garaged. If there was the least little dent or scratch, I’d have it fixed right away because I wouldn’t want it rusting. I would baby that car, because it would have to last a lifetime.
That’s exactly the position you are in concerning your mind and body. You only get one mind and one body. And it’s got to last a lifetime. Now, it’s very easy to let them ride for many years. But if you don’t take care of that mind and that body, they’ll be a wreck forty years later, just like the car would be.
It’s what you do right now, today, that determines how your mind and body will operate ten, twenty, and thirty years from now.
– Warren Buffett
Identifi enjoys the company and considerable banter from our four Veterans. Billy Hartman, Marines E5, Chris Baston, Air Force E-5, Frank Marcario, Army E6 and Tom Pioli, Navy Chief Petty Officer . They are always trying to best one another, Army Navy, Air Force or Marines!
In Billy's own words. While I was in DC for a running event, my wife and I decided to take a walk through Arlington National Cemetery. I watched the changing of the guard at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, looked at the names and dates on various headstones, visited a special hero from our area, and watched people throw their coins on the JFK burial site while staring at the Eternal Flame. At each of the locations I visited, I noticed handfuls of older veterans.
It wasn't until the Marine Corps War Memorial that I realized that something special was happening, but I wasn't sure what it was. The veterans were all being wheeled up to the memorial and I was approached by one of the people lining these men and women up. She asked if I would mind taking some pictures of her and her friends.
I always want to help out where I can, especially for a group of veterans. I must have taken a few dozen pictures. I was having fun and they seemed to be OK with me taking lots of pictures too. While I was taking their pictures, everyone that was not part of the group was pushed back behind a barrier and my wife snapped the picture of me taking pictures of the group. When I realized another 2 of 3 rows had been formed behind me (in front of the steps), I gave their phones back to them and they asked to take my picture and thanked me for helping them out. I told them it was my pleasure to help out some fellow veterans.
At that point, I showed them my USMC t-shirt and they all lit up smiling, shaking my hand, and became much more talkative. I snuck off to the side and found my wife. I walked back to our hotel and talked about how cool it was to be able to help out the group of veterans. I posted a few pictures of our day. About an hour past when a family member told us what was happening in the picture. These weren't just any random group of veterans. These were Honor Flight Veterans from South Florida. I had never really heard of Honor Flights before that weekend. It is truly an honor to think that I was a very small part of their trip.
Veterans Day is the anniversary of the signing of the armistice, which ended the World War I hostilities between the Allied nations and Germany in 1918. On this day our Veterans are thanked for their services to the United States. Thanks guys! No doubt there will be plenty of banter over why Billy is getting all the attention. Billy ran the 2018 43rd MCM Marine Corp. Marathon in Arlington, VA. Not bad for a Marine. Identifi is proud of Billy, Chris, Frank and Tom. Thank you for your service!
Chelsea Groton Bank's Feel Good About Your Bank slogan extends beyond words to their people. Identifi recently met with several members of the dedicated Chelsea Groton team. We came away with an appreciation for their dedication to making their customer's banking experience a better one.
William Lidestri, SVP, Director of Operations & Technology is driving innovation at Chelsea Groton. Using Identifi Work business process automation software for Accounts Payable vendor invoice approval, Mr. Lidestri has successfully increased productivity by thirty percent (30%).
Additional innovations initiatives to the create the bank of the future. Margaret Blundon, VP/Business Intelligence Manager and Matt Benoit, Business Process Analyst/Business Intelligence proudly display Intuiface. Intuiface will be installed in their branch of the future opening in October.
Intuiface will allow the customer to be self-service, utilizing the touch interface to learn about the various products and services offered by Chelsea Groton Bank. The Chelsea branch of the future will also provide financial training classes to the public.
Max Spelman, AVP Operations Manager working with Amy Prince, Sr. Deposit Operations Representative use Identifi Document to file Power of Attorney (POA) documents. This has proven to be a huge time saver, obtaining documents when needed using Identifi's KWYK KeyWhatYouKnow patent pending search engine.
Chelsea Groton plans on using the Identifi OLE Online eSign to process new POA’s. Identifi is also used for business banking applications, operations and cash management.
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.
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.by Alan J. Wiessner
"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 technology 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.”
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.
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
At Integra, when our A-Team meets to discuss past, present and future challenges for iDentifi.net the “compelling cloud” is the most incendiary, exciting and persistent topic of discussion on our agenda.
What we have learned is to keep our noses to the grindstone and keep our heads in the clouds, I call it “practically innovative.”
This is a real challenge for a software company, a.k.a. also known as "propeller heads," but it's necessary for us to ensure our customers are well served.
As for the “Cloud,” I needn’t remind you? We’re already there. The future is now and we want you there, too. The reasons you may not be there are many and diverse. But I’ll go out on a limb here and say it hasn’t been practical or “compelling” enough for you to consider the “cloud”?
The self-proclaimed “King of Cloud”, Marc Benioff, CEO of Salesforce would like you to believe “software is dead.” Mr. Benioff is a highly successful visionary, but as the CEO of a wildly successful business, I would risk saying he has lost the vision of a practitioner.
Practically speaking, having been there, moving from a legacy contact management software product to Salesforce or any cloud like product is costly, challenging and time-intensive. In any case, I think it is a stretch whether “software,” other than nominally, will ever be dead.
If you want a great read on what defines cloud computing and how it might apply to your organization, I would be happy to point you in the right direction. Just email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
So there, I’ve said it. If you’re mired in a legacy client-server application or worse, it’s may not be practical at this time for you to move to a web-server based application like iDentifi.net. I’m sure I have mentioned, at least twice, once you are on iDentifi.net you can move to the cloud.
What I do find objectionable is for your organization to take a giant step backward, when you can take a giant step forward with iDentifi.net. If your “core” vendor of choice whether it be Fiserv, who offer several different flavors of Hyland Onbase’s legacy laden client-server based technology, a.k.a. Director, Nautilus, etc… or Jack Henry’s Synergy don’t go there. Before you go there, ask them when they can offer you cloud based computing for Enterprise Content Management (ECM) and more importantly what it will cost you, practically speaking.
When I say practically speaking, go back to what I said earlier about being a practitioner. Remember I said earlier and you probably agreed, moving from a legacy software product to a cloud like product is costly, challenging and time-intensive.
So ask your core or ECM provider, what it will cost you to move to the cloud and then be the practitioner and add all the pain associated with the conversion.
To avoid some or all of the above, you can choose iDentifi.net. We know what it’s like to be practical and we can ease the pain moving from Legacy to the Cloud.
To serve our customers best, we have our nose to the grindstone and our head in the clouds.