David Brooks, VP of Account Management
If asked “what is the first thing that comes to mind when you think of Account Management?” most of you will probably say Quarterly Reviews. That is perfectly understandable; it is one of the most visible and valuable interactions you have with your Account Manager; however your Account Manager has many other valuable services to offer. Your Account Manager is a gateway to numerous services both inside and outside of Safe Systems. So, lets take a few minutes to explore a few of those services your Account Manager can help you with.
Let’s begin by looking inside Safe Systems. A couple of services come to mind right away – Technology/Information Security Committee meeting attendance and New Product Research. These are probably the two most underutilized offerings that are a part of every Safe Systems’ contract. Every bank MUST have a Technology Committee and an Information Security Committee. Many of our banks have combined these committees because the membership of each committee usually overlaps and, let’s face it, we all go to too many meetings as it is. Your Account Manager is available to attend these meetings either in person or via conference call. One approach that works well for several of the banks I work with is that they schedule their meetings to follow my Quarterly Reviews. That way I am already scheduled to be onsite and the quarterly provides some good information to pass onto the committee. Your Account Manager can also present information on the latest compliance and exam trends; for example, this quarter we have been focusing on the latest FFIEC Exam handbook on Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery Planning. If you have a topic for discussion or a project that is more technical in nature, your Account Manager can coordinate with one of our Senior Technical resources to be available to attend your meeting.
Coordinating with Senior Technical resources is a good transition to our next Safe System service, New Product Research. Most Community Banks do not have staffing to have their own Research and Development department; but with Safe Systems, you do! As your bank grows and matures, you will develop the need for new products and services. As you know, Safe Systems only works with community Financial Institutions; therefore, we have in-depth knowledge of numerous products and services. Chances are, if you need advice on a product, we probably already have some level of experience installing and supporting it. We also have a dedicated group exploring new products and services to make sure we stay up-to-date on the latest technology trends. For example, our Research and Development department has been testing and building networks utilizing server virtualization and remote data vaulting. For our Gold and Platinum customers, we do preliminary research on new products (i.e. products we have not researched before) upon request. The best way to utilize this service is to check with your Account Manager before spending a lot of your valuable time researching new products or services. Your Account Manager will do some initial discovery to make sure they put you in touch with the right resources to answer your questions.
Now what about services outside Safe Systems? You may not be aware that your Account Manager can be a gateway to a number of products and services via our strategic partnerships with many industry leaders. The first that comes to mind is Gladiator Technology Services. Your Account Manager also represents Gladiator Technology, whose products and services include: security monitoring, email encryption, email antivirus and SPAM gateway, policy development, and online information security awareness training. Beyond Gladiator, we have partnerships for phone systems and VOIP, Core Processor reviews and negotiations, vulnerability assessments, offline data backup and vaulting, intranets, business continuity and disaster recovery planning and testing, and modular building and offsite recovery services. We understand the time it takes to evaluate new products and services; that is why we have developed so many of these partnerships. We know that you cannot outsource responsibility and that the FFIEC requires you to do your own due diligence when selecting new products and services. In many cases, we can provide you with multiple options. We also understand reputation risk; just as your reputation is one of your most valuable assets, so is ours. We go through an extensive qualification process before a vendor is added to our list of strategic partners since we view them as an extension of Safe Systems.
As you can see, your Account Manager can be a gateway to many products and services both inside and outside Safe Systems. Before you take on the task of researching a new product or service contact your Account Manager, they will be able to give you a jump start “so you don’t have to reinvent the wheel,” as the old saying goes.
Thanks for your time, see you next quarter!