Dear Abby meets Name that Tune in the latest installment of problem-solving strategies from Croal Dude. Feel free to sing along!
Dear Croal-Dude: I hope you remember me. The last time I wrote in, that little snit Kamryn, with a “K,” was tearing up her mouse clickity-clicking all over her desk. She is sooo annoying! Well now she is my boss. After we started working those cutes with all of our daily work in it, well then she came up with the bright idea of going two-fingers-in-air quote paperless unquote and she told Dave. I don’t know why he listened to that hussy. I can’t find anything anymore. You have to search by this, search by that, wildcard this, wildcard that. Mr. Croal Dude sir, I miss my old paper files. Tell me what I should do.
–Anna Jean Hornswallow, Paducah, Ky.
CD: Anna-anna-anna-anna……..I know it can’t be any harder than walking around your kitchen in your housecoat and slippers trying to find your glasses. But if you are really having trouble finding documents, there are only three possible problems. Too many places to look, too few places to look, or the folks scanning and indexing them lost their glasses, too. You sound like the type that knows your documents. You go tell Kamryn-with-the-K that you want to be able to contribute. Tell her that whenever you get a piece of paper or an email attachment, you are going to add that to imaging and index it. Snap. You go girl. Do what you want you want if you have a dream for better.
Dear Croal Dude: I’m like, you know, a Gen-Xer and new to the banking industry. I’m like using my dual major marketing-MIS degree from an S.E.C. football powerhouse university (pick one, any one) to the best of my abilities but we are like so far behind here. Our online banking and mobile banking products are like getting some good penetration but our Facebook page and our Twitter accounts are like not at all. We are like constantly advertising but it’s like nobody wants to be our friend or follow us. I’ve like started some email threads with my co-workers and have saved a lot of research material on my G: drive but nothing seems to be happening. I’m like so losing it. Make me a rock star, please.
–Matthew Boudreaux, Baton Rouge, La.
CD: Tell me Matt, are you friends with Wheat Thins or do you follow your favorite shower soap? Come on! I mean those great statesmen Graham, Leach and Bliley are not going to let you negotiate a loan on Facebook. And why do you want to risk having that Alec Baldwin-like pinhead rip you a new one in public? Before we can expect to be experts at social media and collaboration with our customers, shouldn’t we first become experts at it internally? Web 3.0 is all about getting control of idea sharing and collaboration. Get off that 1.0 email, share drive, and static intranet, and get your thoughts flowing through a true collaboration tool. You will find that internal use of an enterprise collaboration tool with all of its benefits related to effective communication, project and idea collaboration, interaction and knowledge sharing will fulfill your boss’s desire for process improvement and excellence, elimination of silos and lost knowledge, and expansion of creativity and innovation across the bank. You can become the information professional holding the keys at your bank. It’s like the sound of winter but you’ve got to hang on to yourself. Let the external go for now, and drive it internally first.
Dear Croal Dude: Man, those OWS’ers sitting in the park sure gotta be hating me. Ever since Adobe gave up on Flash, I’ve been thinking about all of the cool stuff I have programmed on our home banking Web site that now I need to go back and convert to HTML5. It’s great to stay up-to-date on the latest technology, right?
–Shedad Manjogoria, NYC
CD: Those OWS’ers can’t even agree on a damn song. At least we had “we don’t need no education.” Forget about this HTML5 crap for now. Flash will still run for at least another two years, probably longer. Why don’t you go sit down with some of your departments that are inundated with paper and ridiculously cumbersome processes and figure out how to help them? Better yet, forget the song and go get you some education at www.AIIM.org. Use promo code GONZO for a discount on accessing some great toolkits and training for content, records and process management. This is your chance to become the “I am, I am, I am superman and I know what’s happening” dude at your bank. I guarantee your internal folks will appreciate your efforts to leverage document imaging and workflow more than your online banking customers will appreciate you saving them a little battery life with HTML5.
Dear Croal Dude. During a recent IT Security audit, our consultants simply walked around to our users and asked them to explain how they manage their passwords. We were surprised how many employees, especially the ones in commercial lending, still had sticky notes taped inside their desk drawers. Some even kept a Note in Outlook with their IDs and passwords. Our consultants recommended we transition our Windows login to an employee-number user ID and a Merkle-Damgard SHA-1 password construct and then all business applications that are Active Directory aware could take advantage of it. Do you have any advice?
–Roscoe P. Coltrane, Hazzard, Ga.
CD: A holiday hoobie whatee? The devil went down to Georgia, he was looking for a soul to steal… Did your consultants even ask the question, “Why do we have so many passwords in the commercial lending area?” Instead of getting a front-end alignment, you are satisfied to keep buying new tires every 10,000 miles. Root cause, man. Simplify it, dude. Your commercial folks probably have at least a dozen different programs to get through the process of originating and booking a loan. It’s time to eliminate at least half if not more of those. In addition to lowering your security risk, there will be fewer data quality issues. The vendors are trying hard to make it easy for you. Make it easy for yourself and your users. Go look at what’s out there now.
Dear Croal Dude: I run the credit card program for a small credit union. I heard the other day that Bank of America is leaving the business of issuing credit cards on behalf of credit unions. What am I supposed to do now?
–Sarah Conner, Hollywood, Fla.
CD: We’re from BofA and we’re here to help… If you traded it all away for the one thing, wouldn’t that be something… One thing is absolutely certain. Your members will continue to carry and use a credit card regardless of who is doing the processing. Another thing is also certain. You can make some hay right now and state the facts and retain those members as credit cardholders. Something to the effect of “Wall St is screwing us again!” ought to work. One more thing is certain, to survive this you need to act now and take control. Determine your exit date and, if too far out, your early exit penalty if one exists. Then take these steps:
Dear Croal Dude: Howya doin? We’ve spent a lot of time thinking about adding a brokerage unit. But with the recent volatility in the market our CFO thinks it is a bad time. What say you?
–Jon Cozrine, Angola, La.
CD: I’ll be waving my hand, watching you drown, watching you scream… A 389 point down day! After a couple 100 point up days in a pretty good October. Followed by a crappy November and an uncertain December waiting on the blokes across the pond!! It’s no wonder your CFO has the shakes. My 401K is in cash and I don’t know when it’s going back in: 9,000 8,000 10,000 who knows? But I’m not the only investor a bit gun shy. I’m no pro (you can tell because I used to run around naked with some options until BIDU got me) but the retail investor will eventually come back in when there is some sense of stability to the world. Can we all say business cycle and pendulum? At some point we will have a wave to ride. Your affluent customers are not going to be satisfied with your 0.01% savings and 1.5% CD rates when the tide turns. They are going to either turn to you or Charles-Jones to get a return. Don’t overinvest in personnel yet but get the infrastructure in place. I promise there are plenty of political battles in front of you when your investment reps start pulling CD balances out of your branches and turning them into fee income. Figure it out now before the volume becomes significant.
Croal Dude would like to acknowledge the following for their contributions: Evanescence, Bush, Pink Floyd, R.E.M., Karthik Chakkarapani, Charlie Daniels Band, Finger Eleven, The Grinch, Our Lady Peace.
Also, just so you know, Michael Croal is a Director on the Board of AIIM. Cornerstone receives no spiff from your GONZO discount promo code (good until 1/31/2012). Just spreading the love.
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