WASHINGTON - Like most credit unions, Bank-Fund Staff Federal Credit Union is awash in paper, from multi-page member account statements to mortgage loan applications. But if most credit unions find that managing paper files is at best a hassle, at Bank-Fund, it was a nightmare. Bank-Fund has $2 billion in assets and serves 53,000 members. Its membership consists primarily of employees of the World Bank and International Monetary Fund. In 2001, Bank-Fund implemented an OnBase content-management system from Hyland Software Inc., substituting networked electronic filing and retrieval for sneakernet and file cabinets. At last count, Bank Fund had some 10 million documents in its OnBase system. The sort of content management systems that have become the backbone of enterprise knowledge-based information systems are starting to become part of credit union information networks - and none too soon. Systems such as Hyland Software's OnBase enable credit unions to create a secure electronic document repository that organizes and controls access to sensitive member data. The credit union already had two rather primitive document management systems, mostly for reports, said Timothy Elmore, director of systems for Bank-Fund. "Our credit-card group was interested in getting still another one. I sure didn't want to have a network of information management systems, if we can avoid it. I'd rather have one good central system. Our core processing vendor, Ultradata, had just started a relationship with Hyland. I took a chance and called up Hyland and said I was interested in learning more. Our strategy was we were just going to look at it as a third system for the credit cards but hoped that it was rich enough and flexible enough that it would allow us to ultimately transition everything onto that system." It turned out that Bank-Fund's credit-card group didn't have the manpower to upload all the credit-card files, each of which could contain up to 40 pages that had to be manually scanned in. "But we decided to proceed anyhow," Elmore said, "and start migrating things off our other systems onto this one." It took Bank-Fund eight months to deploy to the OnBase system, five months of which were spent on conversion of the documents in its back files. Done in-house, back-file conversion included the importing of 1.8 million COLD (Computer Operable Laser Disk) reports, 400,000 COLD statements, and 55,000 signature cards. OnBase is a modular system consisting of some 80 applications, from input modules such as COLD, which takes text-based documents and makes them viewable by credit-union staff, to integration modules that link the OnBase system with such core systems as Centera, Novell GroupWise e-mail, and ESRI ArcIMS. So far, Bank-Fund has implemented 13 components: four input modules (Desktop Document Imaging, Document Import Processor, Batch OCR, E-Forms); four management modules (COLD/ERM, EDM Services, DVD Authoring, Workflow); two distribution modules (Check Image Processor, OnBase Print to OnBase Driver); one infrastructure module (Exception Reporting); and two integration modules (E-mail integration for Microsoft Outlook, Monarch Interface). "One of the most forward-thinking things they've done is implement our workflow product," said Jason King, Hyland Software's director of financial services. "It is really the last phase of enterprise document management. Workflow is really an engine that takes a document and routes it to the appropriate staff member, has the staff member view the document and make decisions on the document. In the credit union space, typically our customers are doing a limited amount of stuff with our system. They're doing that COLD processing of text-based reports and maybe document imaging of loan data, but Bank-Fund really takes it to the next step." -email@example.com
Advanced Content Management Systems Bring Enterprise Functionality to Credit Unions
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