Darren BridgesDarren Bridges, President

As a college student back in the early 80’s my summer job was as a teller at a community bank in downtown Macon, Georgia.  Through that job I was fortunate to meet many of the local business leaders and saw first-hand the important role the community financial institution played in overall community prosperity.  That institution I worked for was a vital part of the central nervous system of the city – helping those who were creating opportunity for others.   That role has become an increasingly difficult one in recent years with overall troubled economic conditions and increased regulatory scrutiny, but it clearly remains vital to the local communities and plays a large role in overall economic recovery.   Our goal at Safe Systems has always been to provide our clients with relief and assistance by providing services and solutions that align with the ever-changing needs of our industry.  We have spent the past several months focused on those needs and on improving our company to provide added value in an environment that is simultaneously strapped with a difficult economy, increased technology threats and evolving regulatory guidance.

In the first quarter of 2011, we completed a major upgrade to our NetComply service.  We previewed the update at our national users conference last year and the responses have been positive to the enhancements.  The upgraded platform will provide the framework for many future enhancements on our NetComply product roadmap.  The first of which is CAPS, our enhanced patch management system, capable of providing more comprehensive updates to an expanded list of common workstation and server applications.  This enhancement will address the increasing number of vulnerabilities found in the variety of critical third-party applications.

From a regulatory compliance perspective, we continue to see great response and activity from our blog complianceguru.com.   This has proven to be a great resource for up-to-date posts, articles, surveys and discussions regarding the ever-changing world of regulatory compliance.  We have also recently added a couple of compliance offerings to our suite of services.  Our Virtual CIO (vCIO) service is designed to help financial institutions adequately address the increased burden of ensuring regulatory adherence and documentation.  This service is a direct result of client feedback regarding concerns with the additional workload needed to properly address compliance adherence.   It is designed to address several critical areas where the institution may be at risk.

Additionally, the current economic environment has led to a significant increase in financial institution acquisition activity.  This type of activity has created the need for consulting services geared to make this a more organized and planned process.   Via our M&A IT Assessment Service, our team can assist your institution with ensuring that the merger is a successful one from a strategic, technical, and compliance perspective.  We have spent many years evaluating financial institution technical environments and can provide the expertise necessary in assisting your financial institution in this complex process.

The catalyst for many of these new services was in part due to feedback that we received in these areas at our annual Safe Systems National Users Conferences.   Our marketing team has been hard at work planning the 2012 conference.   Next year’s conference will be held at beautiful Chateau Élan just north of Atlanta.  We are looking forward to a great crowd and we have chosen a site in closer proximity to our corporate headquarters as a plan to incorporate more of our existing staff into the program.  Our conference next year will be May 15-17, so mark your calendars!

Finally, I am personally pleased to announce that our founder and Chairman, Danny Johnston, will be returning to a more active role in Safe Systems effective September 1st.  As many of you know, Danny joined Jack Henry and Associates (JHA) directly after the Gladiator Technology acquisition in 2007.  In his role as a Group President of ProfitStars, a division of JHA, his focus was integrating Gladiator into JHA and also running several business units within the company.  As a result, his involvement with Safe Systems over the past four years, out of SEC rule necessity, has been limited primarily to one of periodic financial review during our board meetings. He fulfilled his responsibilities to ProfitStars and  JHA on August 31st and now looks forward to returning to Safe Systems and being more involved in the enhancements of our services and solutions.  In addition, he will manage our continued partnership with Gladiator as their services are an important component in our comprehensive IT offerings to you, our customers and partners.  Danny is an industry veteran and we look forward to the value and leadership that his return will make for Safe Systems and our client base.

As we begin to make that final push to the end of the year, we’d like to take the opportunity to thank you for your continued support, trust and loyalty.   We pledge to continue to develop and improve our services and support with our ultimate goal in mind: to allow you to stay focused on helping your communities grow and thrive.  Having been in this industry for many years, it’s my personal and professional opinion that that is key to better days ahead for everyone.

Thank you!

Darren Signature

Darren Bridges

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