Robert Peyton

Director of marketing

Pegasystems Inc

Cambridge, Mass

E-MAIL SYSTEMS HAVE, in fact, facilitated good communications but they don't always provide productivity gains. The good news about E-mail is makes it easier to communicate. The bad news is, with E-mail lots of people communicate needlessly, sending what amounts to "junk mall" through the bank's internal network and involving others in broader ways than necessary.

E-mail needs to be positioned more as a server to the business. Banks need to look at their application requirements and business processes so they understand where they really need to communicate user to user.

Their underlying E-mail system should be capable of moving and interpreting information -- images, voice, text, and data--between users. Banks also need to think about E-mail as a vehicle for facilitating and improving communications -- not only internally but externally to their customers as well. A problem that customers often have is not knowing who to reach. The customer may know what he or she needs to say and what needs to be done, but trying to break through the complexity of an organization can be daunting. A good E-mail system that can receive information from the customer, interpret it in some way, and mute it to the right person would improve customer service.

Charles S. Forbes

Principal

Earnings Performance Group

Short Hills, N.J.

A BANK CAN LEVERAGE its E-mail by using it to issue communications to the branch network rather than using fax machines. It can be particularly useful when sending out security alerts and bulletins. Banks can also use E-mail as a scoreboard for sales contests, to keep everyone posted on results. In addition, E-mail gives banks the ability to package and electronically send entire files throughout the organization. Some banks are using E-mail systems to mute research requests throughout the organization from the customer service to the appropriate research area. This is a use for Email, but we also have clients who are deploying a better technology, i.e., some sort of customer service tracking system which not only routes the request but also then ages it, follows it, and enables mot-cause analysis.

Daniel Wlbaum

Senior vice president

Florida information Services

Orlando

E-MAIL HAS BECOME A traditional means of communication at banks. One way to leverage an E-mail system is to use it for electronic meetings, particularly if a bank has offices all over the country. With the graphic capabilities becoming more sophisticated, you can put a presentation on screen with charts and graphs, distribute the presentation to the people attending the electronic meeting, and then discuss the presentation via phone conferencing. Banks can also leverage E-mail as a training tool much in the same way.

Mark Ramirez

Director of Marketing for Pro-Banx

Perot Systems

Dallas

LET'S SAY A LOAN OFFICER has a set of accounts and that loan officer is going to be out of the bank for a given period of time. He knows customers are going to be coming in to renew their loans. With E-mail, the loan officer could attach notes to the loan that indicate how to handle it, at what interest rate to renew, and what the terms are. This file could then be sent it to one or more of the loan officers who could potentially handle that account. When the customer comes in, the loan officer knows exactly what to do with the account.

Right now, in situations like this when the loan officer is out of the bank, a customer usually has to wait while someone is tracked down and reams of paper are sorted.

E-mail could also be used to alert employees to any major policy changes in the bank. For example, if the Fed funds change, the bank could immediately send an E-mail to all loan officers. They could clip the Reuters feed off the news wire and zap it out electronically to the loan officers. E-mail would function like a bulletin board. The problem with a traditional bulletin board is that you have to be disciplined enough to read it. The beauty of E-mail is you are forced to read it because it's in front of you.

Robert J. Brinson

President

The Halcyon Group

Folly Beach, S.C.

BANKS CAN LEVERAGE their E-mail systems by first looking at the whole picture of their operations. E-mail is simply the most visual of the available electronic communications capabilities. Others, of course, include document and image processing software, automated voice-response systems, and data base services. Applied in a systematic program, these capabilities can revolutionize the way a bank does busness.

Almost all banks already have made the investment requked to put networked PCs with E-mail on every desk. It's time for banks to build on these large investments in electronic communications. In our business, we are currently carrying the concept of electronic communications far beyond E-mail. We are developing products that willuse electronic interbank linkages to continuously update industry and community data bases. These products will beibe banks a far better and more timely understanding of the needs of the customers and the communities they serve.

Jeffrey S.Griffie

Executive vice president

Midlantic Corp

Edison, N.J.

E-MAIL HAS BECOME a way of life for our 5,000 associates. The ability to route electronic messages throughout our 340 banking locations has been growing in importance to improve customer service. With more and more of our associates in motion, and terminals available at all locations, it makes sense to take advantage of technology.

Midlantic Corp. currently consists of Midlantic National Bank in New Jersey and Cominental Bank in Pennsylvania. Aside from the 320 branches in southeastern Pennsylvania and New Jersey, them are other hub locations strategically located to service our customers. E-mail plays a major role in the support of ongoing communications. The current software system we use is Enterprise Systems. This software provides telecommunications linkages to all E-mail users. We currently move some 50,000 E-mail transactions daily, consisting of both "true message" and "customer service" messages which include tracking, booking reorders, loan application approval, and quality tracking. Although we will be replacing our current system with a newer software package, E-mail will remain strategic to our communications network.

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