Magazine article American Banker

Chase Invests in 'Team' Software: Aims to Provide Employees with Fast Access to Data

Magazine article American Banker

Chase Invests in 'Team' Software: Aims to Provide Employees with Fast Access to Data

Article excerpt

Chase Manhattan Corp. is spending millions of dollars in its effort to become the first bank to give innovative work group software to thousands of its imployees.

Officials contend that the sofware from Lotus Development Corp., Cambridge, Mass., called Notes, will give the bank a competitive edge by making employees more productive, better informed, and better team players.

"Its a substantial investment to provide our people with the technology and information they need to be more knowledgeable than the competition," said Craig Goldman, the company's chief information officer in New York.

Chase started installing Notes two years ago and now has more employees using it, by far, than any other bank, according to computer industry officials.

Others Conduct Tests

At least nine other banks have tested the software, or launched pilot installations, including BankAmerica Corp., Barclays, Bankers Trust, Citicorp, and Royal Bank of Canada.

Nearly 1,500 Chase employees use the software now, including president Arthur Ryan, said Michael A. Mandelbaum, a vice president and Notes specialist at the bank.

Mr. Madelbsaum said thousands more Chase employees are scheduled to get the software over several months.

Chase officials wouldn't disclose how much they's invested in the product, but, based on current retail prices, the total investment thus far may exceed $2 million, not counting staff training and additional programming by the bank's staff.

But even though Chase officials are confident that the software will make the bank more competitive, they admit they currently lack hard data to justify the enthusiasm.

"The tangible returns have been difficult to focus on and identity," Mr. Goldman said.

Notes software is a unique product that, in issence, transforms personal computers - when linked together - into masive, easy to use, electronic filing cabinets.

People use Notes software to store text and electronic copies of paper documents in a multitude of electronic "folders."

Notes distributes these electronic file folders throughout an organization, and decides which users can open them and which can't. …

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