ABA Banking Journal - December 2007 - (Page 44)
Tech topics Project Runways S tessa Cohen picked up on renewed interest in channel integration almost two years ago. Perhaps the notion of linking ATM, branch, call center, internet, and mobile access to give a 24x7 bank cohesion, value, and real-time speed had always been an issue. But the aha moment occurred for the Gartner researcher when she talked to a bank that had already put some sales and service capabilities on the teller line. “This bank had also been improving the internet banking GUI,” Cohen relates, referring to the customer-facing application design. “As a next logical step, the head of retail operations then wanted some better connection between the two environments,” she says. “It’s a classic channel integration theme.” The plot thickened. Cohen started to hear tidbits elsewhere. She wrote a note about multi-channel banking, pointing out, as part of her analysis, that a more unified, componentized infrastructure where every IT configured path to the customer was built from common elements and performed in consistent ways could, for instance, share applications and processes for risk management or security. Meanwhile, Financial Insights and HP jointly wrote about integration as part of a channel transformation white paper. Reduction of needless complexity, better channel performance, and flexibility were stated themes. ATM branch, call center “channels”— pathways to the customer— still need a better fit in 2008 At Forrester, Bruce Temkin, vice-president and principal analyst did some research earlier this year on the rise of the “experience bank” executive whose job was, among other tasks, to look across channels in the act of improving service. By Lauren Bielski, senior editor Second time around While it’s not a groundswell, the word is back out on the street nearly a decade after “channel integration” first made the rounds at industry conferences and trade articles. Remember the talk? Breaking down silos? Building common user interfaces? Clearly, the topic’s resurfaced. This time there are new IT wrinkles. The tools are different. Technologies like services oriented architecture (SOA) www.ababj.com/subscribe.html 44 DECEMBER 2007/ABA BANKING JOURNAL
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