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INDIANAPOLIS – FORUM Solutions CEO Doug True said he knew the CUSO had really arrived after putting on its first users conference. “Our partners asked for it, we were originally planning on doing it in 2005, our partners (credit unions) said we’d like you to do it this year,” said True. The four-year old technology CUSO serves 30 credit unions. Its core product is its TAPSr lending software. More than 100 credit union representatives attended the first annual FORUM Solutions TAPSr Lending Symposium, November 4-5, 2004, in Indianapolis at the CU’s newly-opened conference center. Mike Doland, Senior Vice President and CFO for ABNB Credit Union, was presented with the TAPSr Lending “Best Practice” Award. ABNB maintains an active indirect lending program that requires the processing of 600-plus applications on a monthly basis. Attendees were given their first look at TAPSr “Enterprise Lending” software. The new software is available in both ASP (hosted) or “in-house” versions. True said the software features a more robust lending “decision engine” and business rule design including third-party interfaces such as Dealer Track and CUDL. True said this software can help get CUs into what he calls lifestyle lending. For example a credit union can set up a unique decision engine for a veterinarian, or a plastic surgeon. “There’s tremendous opportunity in lifestyle lending, especially with some of these elective surgeries. Gastric bypass for example is not typically covered under insurance,” he said. With lifestyle lending, the doctor can offer patients a CU financing option right from their office using an online application. Scott Hodgins, Senior Director for Cornerstone Advisors, gave the keynote address at the symposium. Hodgins’ company produces the popular Gonzo Banker (www.gonzobanker.com) online newsletter. He told the audience that “credit unions have the opportunity to move faster than most almost any financial competitor, but most have not developed the skills and infrastructure to execute quickly and effectively.” He said CUs must do the following to thrive in the future: *Define competitive niche and get specific about services, *Develop products, sales tools and skills to earn broader relationships, *Build a flexible, cost-effective distribution system designed to support a strategy; *Explore simple opportunities in small business services, *Build the IT and project management staffs to help IT succeed, *Build an integration “roadmap” and find the best mix between “suite” and “best-of-breed” applications, *Reinvent the future strategy regarding human capital, *Get serious about efficiency and reinvest savings into value and enhanced capabilities for the member. [email protected]

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