When a seasoned and expansion-oriented management team took the helm at Insight Bank in late 2008, one of the first systems identified for retooling was document sharing. "Our existing system was increasingly inadequate to support the swift growth that was taking root," explains Harvey Glick, the Columbus, Ohio-based bank's CEO and president. "We needed a secure and compliant method for our widely dispersed board members to share documents as well as for our loan committee, audit committee and others to efficiently collaborate."
After bringing a new IT director on board in early 2009, Insight evaluated the options. "First we considered using an off-the-shelf product," Glick recalls. "But, with a lean IT staff of one, customizing a packaged solution would have taken too much time away from other urgent projects. So we began investigating the cloud."
By May 2009, Insight ($106 million in total assets) had narrowed potential software-as-a-service vendors with the necessary SAS 70 security certification to two. "One of the vendors claimed it had SAS 70 certification," relates Troy Henley, Insight's IT director. "When we investigated, we discovered the certification was for a facility they weren't even using any longer. It was a good lesson -- always look under the hood when scouting a vendor's security claims."
The other SaaS solution proved cost-prohibitive, placing Insight on the verge of abandoning SaaS as an option. But then the bank discovered Mountain View, Calif.-based Egnyte. "Egnyte was cost-effective due to its scalability," Henley reports. "Plus, it had a higher level of security certification than the alternatives, offered more-granular access controls and was more intuitive for non-technical individuals to use."
Prior to inking a deal, Insight set up a brief test with members of its audit committee to verify the usability of Egnyte's cloud-based file server and access controls. "At that time, we were making so many other changes to banking applications that we didn't want to overwhelm our staff," Henley explains.
An Insight-branded Egnyte web portal was launched in July 2009, but the bank requested some customizations, Henley reports. "For example, we wanted to hide the 'Remember Me' login option to prevent user name and password cookies from being placed on unsecured PCs," he says. "Egnyte quickly released an update that permitted disabling that functionality."
Version control was another requested enhancement. "Egnyte released document 'check out/check in' capability within a few months of our adoption," acknowledges Henley. "This prevents multiple versions from being created and automatically attaches identification information to all modifications. Having this enhanced version-control functionality has reduced confusion as well as improved regulatory compliance."
Since the initial rollout, Insight has added a second portal and implemented desktop backup to the cloud. "We set up a separate site for archived and indexed mortgage documents, permitting our mortgage officers to quickly access the original paperwork," Henley states.
"And, due in part to cloud-based backup using Egnyte, we were able to cost-effectively establish a couple of mortgage satellite locations," Henley continues. "With Egnyte automatically and securely uploading everything in the 'My Documents' folder on those remote machines, it's eliminated the need for a local office server because our mortgage processing system and e-mail systems are also in the secure cloud."
Open to SaaS
Overall, Egnyte has freed up IT resources for Insight's myriad other technology projects and paved the way for adopting other cloud solutions, Henley reports. "We're now using a SaaS-delivered exception reporting solution," he notes. "And we may move [Microsoft] Exchange into the cloud. Our positive experience with Egnyte has definitely made management and board members more open to SaaS."
Most important, the savings and compliance benefits have been significant. "With Egnyte, we have a more secure system for one-sixth the cost of adopting an off-the-shelf solution," Henley asserts. He adds that the bank is saving several thousand dollars a year versus the upkeep and customization of its previous system.
Even Insight's regulator was impressed. "Our FDIC examiner was so impressed with the way that Egnyte's system simplified auditing that he said, 'I finally have a bank board solution to recommend to other institutions,' " recounts Henley. "Egnyte has more than accomplished what we were looking for." n --Anne Rawland Gabriel
INSTITUTION: Insight Bank (Columbus, Ohio).
ASSETS: $106 million.
BUSINESS CHALLENGE: Cost-effectively implement secure document sharing.
SOLUTION: Egnyte's (Mountain View, Calif.) SaaS-based file sharing, storage and backup solution.
Anne Rawland Gabriel is a technology writer and marketing communications consultant based in the Minneapolis/St. Paul metro area. Among other projects, she's a regular contributor to UBM Tech's Bank Systems & Technology, Insurance & Technology and Wall Street & Technology ... View Full Bio