Transaction Information Systems is introducing an interactive technology laboratory, called FLITE, to help mid- to large-sized financial services companies plan, design and implement interactive financial products and services.

The lab, to be housed on two floors in midtown Manhattan and officially launched in mid-September, is designed to ease mounting pressure to deliver competitive products in the face of shrinking product cycle times and greater competition spurred by deregulation and other industry changes, says TIS president Bob Gold. A formidable task indeed; and while the concept of leveraging technology to further business goals has been used often in product introductions, says Gold, most IT products are being pushed without demonstrating the real strategic business value of their implementation. The result, he says, is often an unintegrated architecture comprised of disparate systems upon which new components cannot easily be added.

To solve this problem, FLITE gathers a team of more than 60 software engineers and strategists, many of whom come from financial services. Bankers from all business units can come into the lab to see how different IT solutions might work in their organization. They can either view TIS solutions, or they can work with the FLITE lab to customize solutions specifically tailored to their business strategies. They can then view a prototype of the solution to determine its effectiveness. "Launch pad" areas will be set up to allow banks to do market research and work alongside their customers and partners to co-develop solutions. One of the first demo areas to be rolled out will demonstrate TIS middleware that allows a call center rep to take information from a PC customer and push information to the customer's desktop. Another solution on demo is an assisted sales architecture which combines call center and Web technology. --prince

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