First Coffee for 16 June 2006: Radio KCRM, First Internet Bank's CRM, Execs Like Network Convergence

David Sims : First Coffee
David Sims
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First Coffee for 16 June 2006: Radio KCRM, First Internet Bank's CRM, Execs Like Network Convergence

By David Sims

The news as of the dawning of the Infomayshun Age here at Radio KCRM 98.6 on your dial and in your heart. Coffee’s the usual iced caffeine IV drip, and the theme song is Adam Carroll’s “Ol’ Milwaukee’s Best:”


If you have embarrassing snapshots of your days in the vanguard of the Age of Aquarius you can safely and quietly donate them to the Smithsonian as we are smack squarely in the Age of Infomayshun campers, which leads to all sorts of wonderful things like BlackBerries, CRM, wireless connections in the men’s room and that little treasure trove of Infomayshun we got after exterminating the rats in the Zarkman’s not-so-safe house last week, Infomayshun which has led to the wiping out of 104 more terrorist rats in 452 raids nationwide, capturing at least 28 large arms caches and over 750 prisoners.


If you blinked you missed that news, they tried to rush it past the blizzard of headlines about how Zarqawi’s death doesn’t change anything, same ol’ bleak outlook, nothing to see here folks, unwinnable quagmire, move along, please.


So while Zark’s off with his 72 past Second Runner-Ups of the Miss Virginia pageant we’re using the captured Infomayshun to roll up some more rats. Radio KCRM looks forward to the Infomayshun from Iraq being a bit duller in the upcoming days and all bad news being even more hysterically hyped.


Of course not everybody appreciates the Age of Infomayshun. The very same MSM which rushed obviously clumsily faked Texas Air National Guard memos onto your prime time TV screen before the ink was dry and held them there for days is being oh so carefully diligent to let you, Infomayshun Consumer, know that these wonderful documents showing how dispirited, desperate, pinched and otherwise losing al-Qaeda is in Iraq MIGHT NOT BE 100% GENUINE! WE MUST WITHHOLD JUDGMENT UNTIL SUCH TIME AS INFOMAYSHUN CAN BE AUTHENTICATED! THEY SHOW A WEAKENING INSURGENCY, NEWS WHICH WILL UNDO ALL THE UNWINNABLE QUAGMIRE PROPAGANDA WE’VE BEEN SHOVELING DOWN YOUR THROATS FOR THE PAST SEVERAL MONTHS, DO NOT BELIEVE, DO NOT BELIEVE, DANGER, WILL ROBINSON, DANGER! LISTEN TO DAN RATHER INSTEAD oh damn.


Oh, and in related news, Radio KCRM is announcing that he’s giving up day-to-day control of his far-flung media empire to concentrate on running his charitable foundation. Donations to start one are greatly appreciated and will not all be spent on beer.


Open Solutions Inc., which makes its bread selling integrated enabling technologies for financial service providers across the United States and Canada, has announced that Indianapolis-based First Internet Bank has selected The Complete Banking Solution to address its enterprise-wide data processing needs.


Radio KCRM wonders if it could also address the First Internet Bank’s acronym, gotta bet a better one out there somewhere. Hey, and Wachovia needs to change their pronunciation from “walk ovah yah” to “watch ovah yah.” One sounds like Vinnie and Guido threatening you in a back alley (anybody ever been in a front alley?), the other sounds like guys you’d almost believe were “legitimate Italian businessmen.”


The $430 million Internet-based bank has approximately 40,000 accounts and serves customers throughout the U.S.


"We wanted to create a bank based solely on the Internet – one without branches that could fully serve customers' needs nationwide almost entirely online," said Nicole Lorch, vice president of Marketing and Technology at F.I.B. Lorch noted an Internet-only bank has lower overhead. Indeed. It also has far more limited customer service options, and Americans generally like seeing faces when they bank, as F.I.B.’s learning.


Nevertheless, F.I.B. chose to migrate from their existing RDS system, which Open Solutions had acquired in 2004, to Open Solutions' relational core data processing platform, since “choosing Open Solutions' relational platform will enable us to offer a variety of competitive products and services to our customers,” Lorch said.


The Complete Banking Solution has Internet banking, business intelligence, financial accounting applications, electronic imaging, payment and interactive voice response products. In addition to the CBS, F.I.B. will implement “numerous complementary products from Open Solutions,” Lorch said.


With $430 million in assets, First Internet Bank of Indiana is the first state-chartered, FDIC-insured institution to operate solely via the Internet and has customers in all 50 states. Services include interest-bearing checking accounts, regular and money market savings accounts with industry-leading interest rates, CDs, IRAs, credit cards, and check cards that can be used instead of cash or checks.


F.I.B. is a wholly owned subsidiary of First Internet Bancorp, a single-bank holding company, privately capitalized with over 300 private and corporate investors. The Bancorp became effective March 21, 2006.


On hidden camera, in a nationwide taste test four out of five doctors and 73% of senior executives say that better collaboration with customers, suppliers, and partners is the most important business benefit to be gained from network convergence, according to a global survey conducted by the Economist Intelligence Unit for AT&T.


The survey of 236 senior executives worldwide found that companies are pinning high hopes on investments in converged IP networks to help them improve customer service and the quality of their customer relationships.


According to the respondents, companies are planning to bring customer service into an IP environment. Currently, just 8 percent of companies run their contact centers on an IP network, but this figure is expected to leap to 39 percent within the next two years.


The trend among firms to adopt a multichannel approach to customer service will also gain substantial momentum over the next two years, if Madame Sosostris’s crystal ball has anything to say about it, with nearly half of the companies surveyed planning to communicate with customers via video link, compared with just 9 percent today.


In addition, 42 percent of all executives said that their firms will use Web chat or messaging, and 39 percent will use mobile text, versus today's 16 percent and 21 percent, respectively.


The research also reveals that customer service technologies will be important in helping firms improve innovation and product/service quality. For example, information obtained from customers through contact centers and other communications channels will soon be processed by new analytics tools providing agents with higher-quality knowledge and feedback that will help improve the entire customer service experience.


Bill Archer, president of AT&T's operations for Europe, the Middle East and Africa says this survey shows that “while IP creates a scalable, robust, and global platform for integrated CRM technologies, a firm's customer service will still only be as good as the humans delivering it."


Archer said that while the demand for technical aptitude will increase, “strong interpersonal skills will remain important as ever, for three-quarters or more of firms in the survey, voice and face-to-face communication will remain major channels of customer communication.”


Free copies of the EIU research white paper "Customer Service in an IP World" can be downloaded from the AT&T Web site at:


As part of the research for the paper, the Economist Intelligence Unit conducted an online worldwide survey of 236 executives. The majority of respondents came from Asia Pacific (39%), North America (30%) and Europe (25%). Other respondents came from Latin America the Middle East and Africa.


Ever wonder why you don’t see any Latin America-Middle East-Oceania directorships? “Hi, Bert Walters, I’m the LAME-O director for Acme Anvils and – oh, sorry about that cough there…”


The other 27 percent of senior executives were split evenly between “tastes great” and “less filling.”


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