BROOKFIELD, Wis. – On July 7, a new era for Fiserv was started – well it wasn’t that dramatic, but it is the day of a new start to Fiserv’s Web presence. The newly redesigned, re-engineered Fiserv site (www.fiserv.com) went live on that day, but it’s not done yet. In fact, it will never be done, said Brendan McMahon, president/CEO of Level 9 (www.l9.com), Fiserv’s Web site agency. McMahon believes that a good Web site is always a work in progress. “A good site design process is continuous. It represents an accurate snapshot of a company at a point in time,” he said. McMahon said Fiserv’s site has evolved from static pages, to pages that can be created on the fly by rule sets created by queries to an SQL-database. “It’s kind of a top-level selection of the best technologies. As much as possible, the information has been migrated into an SQL database, such that it can be brought into inclusion in a variety of contexts. Pieces of information are related together, a relationship database is created,” said McMahon. The site is nothing but a host of integrated layers, said McMahon. Core information is stored as data, forming the data layer. Fiserv employees can update this layer at any time using a secure browser-based administrative interface. The data layer is available to the applications running on the Web server. The apps are used to retrieve, process and package information, making up the application layer. The Web application environment is presented using Macromedia’s Cold Fusion. Next is the presentation layer. This is where the graphics and layout of the site are integrated with the information that the end-user is requesting. McMahon said a layered system is the way of the future and is important to maintain a current, dynamic site that the organization can control. Fiserv has established a sort of personnel infrastructure to keep the site current. For example, the career area of the site is updated by HR managers at any Fiserv office. In designing any Web site, an organization must determine who the visitors are going to be. In the case of Fiserv, Level 9 identified the visitors as investors (Fiserv is a public company), clients, and consultants for financials and other firms that Fiserv products and services are geared to. More is not always better when it comes to content, said McMahon. “They (Fiserv) are keenly aware of their clients, investors and employees. They know that consultants and executives go to their site as a key source of information for screening and confirmation. They understand the financial services industry. Presenting more would demonstrate otherwise,” said McMahon. McMahon said trimming down content and going easy on whizz-bang features may not be easy for CUs to do, but they should consider it “It’s not all about features, not all about stickiness. It’s about capturing the essence of the relationship that a credit union has with its members. The credit union needs to be very clear that it’s talking to its members, not providing weather reports,” said McMahon. The industry has sort of proven that already. A number of CU portal firms have failed in the last two years. McMahon said one of the most difficult things in redesigning the Fiserv site was encapsulating what Fiserv does, since it has gone in so many directions through its acquisition growth strategy. In fact, one of the main sections of the home page is dedicated to showing exactly what industries Fiserv serves – those being Financial Institutions, Insurance, Securities, Trust Services. -pgentile@cutimes.com