By MARC RAPPORT CU Times Technology Correspondent HANSCOM AIR FORCE BASE, Mass. — Something as insignificant as a zero isn’t so unimportant when it comes to logging into an online banking site. Just ask Scott Heinz. The Web marketing specialist at Hanscom Federal Credit Union says its new system would not accept member numbers beginning with zeroes, a problem it was able to quickly recognize as widespread and handle thanks to the knowledge-management system it uses from SilverCloud Software. Isolating such issues, coming up with an answer and posting it in the “external answer center” the $541 million credit union offers to members banking online through its Web site at, helped make the transition this past summer to a new Internet banking vendor–in this case Cavion Plus–go smoothly, Heinz says. Hanscom FCU is one of about 130 credit unions now running the New Hampshire-based company’s knowledge management software. Hanscom runs it as an ASP, through a sub-domain that ensures the site looks and feels like the member is still “at” the credit union. In addition to providing a growing list of answers to members’ questions, the software sends an e-mail to the appropriate staffer when the question is not in the knowledge base, Heinz says, and has tracking tools that allow the credit union to quickly spot issues, such as the problem with leading zeroes. “It really helps us be responsive,” he says. “And sometimes it surprises us a little. For instance, we put our routing number in there as an afterthought and then found out that it was one of the most frequently asked questions we have up there.” SilverCloud has been involved with credit unions from the beginning, when a group of credit unions were its beta customers. About a fourth of its clients now run it as an ASP, the rest in-house, says Scott Cornell, SilverCloud’s director of marketing. He says the software currently directly answers an average of 95% of member questions. About 80% of the client base deploys the system as both an external site for members and internally for staff use, Cornell says. An upgrade now being rolled out is aimed at bolstering that internal usability by “helping credit unions get a whole new handle on accessing and maintaining information on policies, procedures, compliance and product information,” he says. Heinz says Hanscom currently uses SilverCloud for external use only, providing a link to it for staffers because “it does contain a lot of information needed on both sides” and is planning to make the switch to internal use, too. “The upgrades, especially in document searchability, are something we’ve been waiting for,” he says. “The software already has a huge impact for us on a daily basis and this should help even more.” — [email protected]

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