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Knowledge management in financial services: Collecting and sharing information and analyzing data and social media content are among the benefits.

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Financial services firms are using knowledge management solutions for data sharing across the organization, to permit authorized access to sensitive information while blocking unauthorized access and to analyze potential investments.

Civista Bank, a 130-year-old financial institution, had always conducted business the old-fashioned way, with paper documents for teller window transactions, mortgages, statements and the vast array of other services the financial institution offers.While that was fine when the financial institution was small, the growth over the last several years made paper-based systems too cumbersome, says Debora Kline, the bank’s senior VP for strategic initiatives.

“We knew that over time, the benefits of electronic data capture would outweigh the costs,” Kline says, "so when we neared $1 billion in assets (Civista’s assets now stand at $1.3 billion), we started to look for a system for electronic data capture.”

The initial search started about five years ago, then became more critical in 2014 as the bank neared that $1 billion threshold. In addition to a system that would handle imaging and electronic data capture for retail and consumer lending, Civista was looking for a system that would handle its commercial lending. OnBase by Hyland met all the requirements in a single system, relieving the bank of any need to purchase separate systems for separate operations. Kline says, “One thing that we liked about it was that it was more than just an imaging system.”

Civista chose the solution at the end of 2015 and went live with it in September 2016. The installation was delayed for a few months while the bank completed the acquisition of another financial institution, Kline explains.

The biggest challenge in using the system hasn’t been the technology itself, but the change management the bank required internally, Kline says. Civista employees and managers needed to change the way they were doing business—relying on the OnBase solution for information, rather than requesting and waiting for paper documents.

Since going live with OnBase, Civista has seen a 50 percent reduction in documents, a 25 percent reduction in paper costs and a reduction in the number of employees hired to support the bank’s continued expansion, according to Kline. “We repurposed the people who were re-entering data and we are now hiring at a slower rate,” she says.

Additionally, the OnBase solution provides tellers with immediate access to customer signatures and other documents, helping tellers more quickly identify customers.

The next step in the multiphase implementation will be to upgrade to the newest version of OnBase, create new forms that will auto-populate with customer information and use it to improve workflow. Once a step in a process is completed, the new version will push the document to the next step (e.g., the next level for approval).

Ensuring secure access

Financial services firms from banks to accounting suppliers and payroll companies need to have access to sensitive personal information to do their jobs, but they have to make sure that this knowledge stays private and doesn’t fall into the wrong hands.

Such was the case with Pasona N A, a firm that provides accounting and other administrative services to large and medium-sized enterprises. It had thousands of sensitive files with employee data, including personally identifiable information (PII) that must be accessed by certain internal employees as well as with customers and end workers, explains Sayaka Doi, Pasona professional services director.

“It is my responsibility to not only ensure our systems are appropriate and available, but also that they are secure,” Doi says. “I wanted to see if I could enhance security capabilities for file collaboration, which represents a good part of our business. I also wanted to achieve this in a way that would be cost-effective and have broad application. We exchange files not only via email, but also through file collaboration platforms such as Dropbox (dropbox.com), so we were also considering the security of files shared in any way.”

The legacy file sharing through Dropbox and other means wasn’t secure enough for Doi to be comfortable, so she sought and was given permission in April 2015 by the company president to seek another solution. She chose FinalCode two months later.

“Key considerations for us in the selection process were usability, low implementation and administration effort, and the means to have file security easily extended to users, such as customers, outside of the Pasona N A organization,” Doi says. “We looked into cloud-based file sharing products and other approaches that applied encryption based on password protection. Pasona N A felt that the security controls outside the service were not strong enough. We also investigated a password-protected file encryption vendor that supported Adobe Acrobat but did not apply strong usage control or track files. We determined that FinalCode would be the most appropriate solution, offering greater flexibility for implementation and use, with broader and more effective defenses.”

As a cloud-based solution, the FinalCode installation was relatively simple, so it was installed by the end of that summer.

“We literally rolled out the system and communicated to internal and external users in a matter of weeks, without any issues or roadblocks,” Doi says. “User and customer satisfaction is highly important for any security application that can affect workflow and how we conduct business. The FinalCode platform was really that simple to implement. After an internal process and communications review, and informing internal and external users of our data privacy policy and new file security tool, we have not experienced any unusual help desk call volume and have had no significant issues. It just works.”

Doi says that FinalCode has ensured files are secure while allowing the access that users need from multiple devices. In the future, the company plans to expand the use of FinalCode to more of its North American operations and to a much broader external user install base.

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