Darren Bridges, President

Having been in the banking and technology industries for many years, I’ve experienced that change has always been understood as the nature of the business. We’ve witnessed the general opinion change through the years from “the Internet is not necessary in my bank” to the overall understanding that a disconnection in Internet connectivity results in an inability to provide many bank services. Changes in technology have brought improvements as well as complications to the way banks do business. Regardless of industry, with regard to technology, change has always been a constant.

The banking world in general has been subjected to some changes in recent months as well. Consistent front-page news regarding our industry has no doubt made us all take stock of the way that we do business. In the past few months, we have witnessed a slowdown in the number of new bank openings and in existing bank expansion, by way of new branch additions. Fortunately for Safe Systems, these changes have occurred at a time when we began a shift of our internal infrastructure away from the primary focus on installation-based services to the enhancement of our support services. This shift is consistent with the evolution of our industry from a break-fix approach to a proactive managed service solution. From a business perspective, we have seen our support sales increase by over 37% since the launch of our new service model NetComply, which has offset the expected drop in installation service as well as provide a platform for long term continued growth, profitability and the development of new services.

Amidst all the changes, know that we fully understand the role that we play as your technology partner and will consistently provide the quality of service that you have always expected. Our top goal is to help you manage your bank’s technology. As a part of this focus, we want you to see a team based approach from all areas of our internal resources in the coming months. We want to enhance our company’s role as a member of your team – whether that means sitting at the table helping you make the most out of your technology budget, reviewing external assessment documents, addressing any policy related questions, or addressing system issues that occur. We all understand there will be a continued emphasis from a regulatory compliance standpoint in the coming months as new guidelines go into effect. Know that we are, and have been, working proactively to help dissect what the new guidelines means to each of you. You will soon see regulatory guidance information built into your Quarterly and Annual Review Reports. The success of our Business Continuity services is proof that our clients are maintaining a focus on internal housekeeping requirements from a technology and regulatory standpoint.

Internally, we have also spent a great deal of time proactively preparing solutions for both new guidelines and best practices for our clients. For example, we have recently completed a project to develop a vaulted backup solution, partly as the result of an increased emphasis on data protection and a need for offline data recovery. Currently in the internal research pipeline is a project for server virtualization, which will enable you to do more with less hardware as well as be better prepared for real-time failover from hardware outages. Make sure to read more about these topics in the articles written by our product experts.

Though change is always inevitable, one thing will always remain a constant: we exist to serve you, the community banking industry. We have been doing that for over fifteen years and we don’t plan on stopping any time soon. Our motto has always been “letting bankers be bankers'” that is to say, let us help bear the burden of assuring you are prepared for the constant changes caused by updates in regulatory compliance, best practices, red flag guidelines, as well as updates and improvements to technologies. We thank you for your continued patronage. As always, if there is any way in which we could better serve you, please don’t hesitate to contact me. Your feedback and input is invaluable.

Darren Signature
Darren Bridges

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