SAN ANTONIO —Credit union technologists and operations specialists are coming together this week in the Lone Star State for the second year in a row their CUNA Councils have combined annual conferences.
About 300 attendees have shown up for educational sessions and networking with the CUNA Technology Council and the CUNA Operations, Sales & Services Council at the Marriott Rivercenter in San Antonio.
What might have seemed like a disparate match in years past now seems like a natural fit, organizers said, as compliance and efficiency demands have lowered, if not obliterated, the silos between technology, business processes and member service.
“Compliance and information technology are two areas that are really blending now, and a lot of our IT activities are focused on risk, along with increasing efficiencies, really, wherever we can,” Robert Reh, CIO at the $366 million Nassau Financial FCU in New York and vice chair of the CUNA Technology Council, said Sunday night as the conference got under way. “That’s why we’ve brought together vendors who are directly supplying products and services that address these needs, and presenting sessions that discuss these issues.”
Tom Gessel, senior vice president/CTO at the $760 million TruWest CU in Tempe, Ariz., put the challenge this way: “We’re trying to balance things but a lot of the time we have to pull resources that we could be spending on things we need to be working on right now, like mobile and account opening and lending, and instead making sure we meet regulatory needs, such as the visibility requirements about balances and what’s actually available now because of the Durbin amendment.”
Heather Lally, senior manager of business process improvement at the $7.9 billion Alliant Credit Union in Chicago, is an example of that. Her CU has recently deployed the OnBase enterprise content management solution from Hyland Software, something that sounds like strictly back-office material.
Instead, making relevant information readily available to staffers actually improves their ability to serve members, Lally said.
“Automating these processes so our service representatives can focus on their consultative role helps them better educate our members on the services and products we have to offer them,” she said.
To Sam Kilmer, vice president of market development at Harland Financial Solutions in Lake Mary, Fla., it’s all part of the sea change in his industry.
“Ten years ago you would have never heard a CIO talk about business issues, using terms like services per household,” Kilmer said. “Now the CIOs and CTOs want to know about these kinds of business issues and the demands of the market.”