Staff Intranet Credited For Aiding Training, Updates

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The Intranet is quickly becoming the hot spot for employees at Atlantic Credit Union.

That's good news for the $245-million CU, said David Reis, vice president of IT. Employee training is streamlined, and software updates are easier.

"Our Intranet acts as one interface for multiple functions," Reis explained.

The Intranet browser is the portal for many of the CU's programs, including consumer lending, teller transactions, cross-sales, online bill pay, and the call center. Thus, programs look and feel much the same to employees.

Still to come to the Atlantic CU Intranet are its mortgage lending and MAPS auto leasing systems.

Employees navigate a growing number of the CU's technologies through the Intranet, which was launched for the purpose of managing help desk calls in 1996. "We're working on driving all of our applications through the Intranet, so that it is the portal from which employees do their jobs," said Reis.

There are clear benefits to employee training from Intranet-based navigation.

"Because the programs operate in the same way, we don't have to teach employees how to use different programs," said Reis. "And because it's point-and-click, it's simpler than other environments, which operate on transaction codes and commands.

"We can focus more on serving the member instead of training employees on the technology," he added.

And IT staff doesn't have to run from computer to computer installing software updates. "The deployment of updates is done by the end-user as they interact within the program," Reis explained.

Looking at the world through Intranet glasses doesn't mean the 30,000-member credit union has to compromise on systems integration.

"The Intranet interfaces directly to our mainframe," said Reis.

In addition, employees can get their jobs done with greater flexibility. "They can access components from home on a snowy day, or over the Intranet through the Internet."

Reis is itching to see the Intranet become a community center, as well. "We're looking at a product that would help us further develop a sense of community within the Intranet. We'll use employee identification upon log-in to capitalize on personalizing the experience."

The credit union has started making the Intranet a little homier by focusing on login content, according to Reis. "Our employees really appreciate that, upon log-in, we have content set in three vertical columns of navigation and navigation across the top and bottom of the screen."

The navigation content includes real-time feeds from the Federal Reserve and banking industry, a weather channel, and credit union news. Employees can also find board of directors and monthly performance reports, as well as human resources forms. Content serves to keep employees interested in using the Intranet, Reis said.

"Employees need new content to keep coming back," he continued. "We want employees to browse, so that they can discover the Intranet's capabilities."

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