Portal Solutions Open Doors for Financial Services Company

Western Corporate Federal Credit Union's CIO sees financial services moving toward self-service portals.

Chris Barber, senior vice president and CIO at Western Corporate Federal Credit Union, could see financial services moving toward self-service portals.

For his company to thrive in the marketplace of the future, Barber knew he would have to convince WesCorps executives that that was where the company needed to go.

But after two failed portal projects, he also knew his job was not going to be easy.

WesCorp, of San Dimas, Calif., manages $25 billion in assets and has more than 500 employees.

It acts as a credit unions credit union, providing institutional investing services for more than 1,000 member credit unions.

It was looking to take the business to a new service level by building a way for employees and customers to interact with the company through a central portal.

"As our business grew and more of our members turned to e-channels instead of telephone and fax, we saw the need for more power on back-end transactional systems," Barber said.

"To scale to that level would be expensive. We needed a vendor to provide a portal product to support e-needs and to allow a back-end, tiered type of structure."

It was up to Barber and John May, director of systems integration, to work together to shepherd the portal project through executive approval and to convince the executive team that purchasing a solution from a portal technology vendor was the best way to achieve the companys strategic goals.

/zimages/3/28571.gifRead more here about Micromuse revamping its portal tools.

Barber put May in charge of presenting the argument to executives.

"John did a presentation to executive staff where he discussed the benefits of pushing members to self-service versus having individual call center people do the work," Barber said.

"[He told them that] the technology solution was going to be more attractive to members and more cost-effective from an organizational standpoint."

"Initially, there was pushback," Barber said. "This was the biggest expenditure we ever had, and initial reaction was, Wow, thats expensive."

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