February 12, 2014

As he enters his second year as CIO of Webster Bank, Colin Eccles continues to help steer the bank on its roadmap of using technology to drive efficiency and improve the customer experience.

Eccles says not only is using technology to create efficiency a focus at the Waterbury, Conn.-based bank, but also driving down the cost of technology as well. He says Webster is pursuing self-service initiatives, such as taking transactions out of the branch and moving them to the ATM channel, with products like image-enabled ATMs. Webster is also looking to streamline its data management; just prior to his joining, the bank entered into a co-location agreement for its data centers.

Also part of its drive for efficiency, Eccles says the bank is ramping up its electronic content management capabilities. "We still have a lot of paper-based processes," he adds. "We are continuing to look at all of our processes and where we can pursue electronic. We're in the process of imaging all our loan files, and looking at things like e-signatures."

Eccles joined Webster Bank in January 2013; he also previously served as CIO of Oregon-based Umpqua Bank from 2009-12 as well. Eccles assumed responsibility for the combined technology and bank operations functions at Webster. "It was a great attraction for me to run right into this role," he adds.

He says another big goal for Webster Bank is driving down he cost of technology ownership. To that end, Eccles says the bank has outsourced all its infrastructure support to FIS, while expanding the total relationship with the vendor. FIS manages all of the bank's technology infrastructure that sits in the colocation data structures.

Eccles says that pursuing efficiency and electronic content management aren't just money-saving initiatives, but help improve the overall customer experience as well.

"The more electronic you are and the more efficient process you have the better the customer experience," he says. "Being here at Webster it is very important to us to focus on the customer experience and drive more self service, such as with image enabled ATMs and mobile RDC. When we can take the basic transactions out of our branches, that sets up branch employees focused on growing the customer relationship and selling products and services."

Regarding mobile banking, Eccles says Webster Bank has signed a contract with Monitise to enhance its mobile experience, and has a multi-year roadmap to enhance its mobile experience. "[Mobile} is a big priority for us," he adds.

Another big project for Eccles and his team is migrating the bank out of Windows XP and onto Windows 7, as well as migrating to a virtual desktop environment "wherever we can."

Eccles says overall it is an exciting time at Webster Bank with the various projects going on, and helping the bank realize its multi-year roadmap.

"It's been an incredible year. A lot has been accomplished and a lot more will be accomplished in the years ahead," Eccles says.

[See Also: Life Without Channels: How to Provide a Seamless Customer Experience]

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Bryan Yurcan is associate editor for Bank Systems and Technology. He has worked in various editorial capacities for newspapers and magazines for the past 8 years. After beginning his career as ...