by Art Gillis
Tomorrow, Fidelity National Information Services and Certegy will meet at the altar of mergers. So was it a coincidence that two officials from FNIS came to visit me today? Yes, and it was worth it. For this outspoken straight shooter, it was a display of "I tell it as I see it." I wasn't quite sure that these two companies were going to blossom all of a sudden just because they became one. My reasons were simple. Bankers just don't abandon their incumbent vendors overnight in order to achieve some mild benefits like dealing with one company. After a very nice two-hour lunch, it was clear to me that something else is working here. Things that benefit the bank customer and productivity improvements for the banks. And when I further pressed on how fast the revenue line would notice this marriage, I got the only answer that really counts. "We've signed up a lot of banks already." So from this not-so-humble consultant, I offer the following. Listen to your vendor. You might learn something as I did. And you might not have to get on an airplane to find out. And you might not have to give up a whole day, if you keep the small talk to a minimum.