Scanfree have been shortlisted for an exciting opportunity in London’s financial services sector. Financial Service remains the largest industry in London, and over the years Scanfree have been fortunate enough to be involved in a few projects in the City. But our experience with financial services goes back much further.
While banking functions are much the same, parochial banking in the States, at least at that time, was different from banking here. In the UK we have primarily the very large banks, NatWest, HSBC, Barclays, and a few smaller banks and building societies. The US has very large banks of course, but the country is covered by smaller, regional banks. Even some “large” banks do not cover the entire country. And many banks and credit unions (similar to a building society) only have a one branch, or just a few.
One of my earliest installations in this industry was for Mountain States Bank out in Colorado. It’s now a part of the much larger UMB Bank, one of the largest banks in the nation, but at the time it was two sleepy branches nestled in the middle of the Rocky Mountains. Not much happened around that part of the mountains and I get the feeling the locals liked it that way. The Glenwood Canyon and the surrounding areas are beautiful places to visit, by the way – and an outstanding place to drive. But I digress…
Mountain States had a small document management installation, what would have been called a document imaging system at the time. They had a single scan station at one branch, and were rightly proud of the T1 line they had run out into the mountains, which also linked both branches. A total of 3 bank managers had access to the system and were struggling to piece it all together. As with any company, they had become accustomed to the standard practice, and this idea of being paperless was really a light-years leap for them, despite the T1 line. I distinctly remember a conversation about whether opening image files could launch viruses. (Note: At the time this was actually unheard-of. Viruses needed to be executable in some manner. Can JPEG’s have embedded viruses now? That’s a story for some other blog or forum.)
I was with Mountain States Bank for just a few short hours, but from walking into a group of people very hesitant to change, I was able to walk out with some wholehearted believers. It was simple, really – we just showed them what they would be able to do. It was as easy as: scan it here at branch 1 and the manager at branch 2 can see it within seconds.
Things have changed dramatically since then, of course, and Mountain States and other banks and financial services institutions are using significantly more advanced capture and routing technologies. But the essence is still the same: Once companies learn what they can do with sophisticated capture and document management technology, there’s is always that eyebrow-raising moment…
oh, I see what that means. I can do my job better, and it’s become a lot easier.
New technology is so often seen as a threat or a challenge, but with every document management installation we’ve been involved in, there’s always that moment of realization.
People generally want to do their best. Give them the tools and see what they can become.
By removing the tedious, menial tasks, the people at Mountain States were given the freedom to concentrate on serving their customers. Whether it’s removing “filing” from the equation, making it easier to get to the data you need when you need it, or building full forms recognition and processing engines to drive data integration.
And that’s just one reason I’ve stayed in this industry so long: when you’re working with an end-user, and you get that moment of realization. It’s a genuine pleasure to help other people work smarter.
Which brings me back to the shortlist opportunity. Shortlisting in and of itself means very little, of course, but I am confident our solutions can tick all the boxes. And no one will work as hard as Scanfree to ensure a successful project launch. We just need to make it an easy choice, and before autumn has ended we’ll witness one or two more of those moments of realization. I’m looking forward to doing it all again.