October 22, 2012

In addition to these education-related features, the next generation of J.P. Morgan ACCESS includes integrated payment and reporting capabilities. From an administrative standpoint, user set-up and entitlement management have been reduced from hours or even days to minutes by simplifying the process and providing a unique grouping capability allowing multiple changes to be made simultaneously, according to J.P. Morgan. Administrators are able to view all user entitlements from a single screen -- by user, account, or product, providing a better and more streamlined experience.

[Want more information about J.P. Morgan's payments strategy? Read this Q&A with Christine Doria, managing director, global product executive, USD clearing, J.P. Morgan Treasury Services.]

These improvements and new capabilities came about through a complete reengineering of ACCESS, according to O'Connor. "We started literally with blank sheet of paper," he relates. "The real driving emphasis was about saving clients' time, which is their most valuable asset." Again invoking the consumerization theme, O'Connor points out that even though J.P. Morgan's corporate clients are treasurers, CFOs and others involved in financial activities, they are not bankers. "Banking is not their day job, it's manufacturing something or creating something, which results in a financial transaction. Our design goal was really to make that experience very time-considered. We didn't want clients to have to spend time learning or teaching – we want this to be as easy as using a smart phone."

Accordingly, the ACCESS relaunch involved "a complete rewrite of our infrastructure from the front to the back," O'Connor reports. "We've extracted the complexities, and systematically moved them into our infrastructure -- thereby presenting the client with an extremely simple user interface."

The bank relied on agile methodologies to get there -- another aspect of the focus on client feedback and interaction, O'Connor says. "We have transitioned to a more agile methodology, [which requires us to] listen to our clients and engineer that into the platform," he notes. "That was one of the significant sea changes in our approach, as opposed to the traditional monolithic approach. This is something far more contemporary. Agile is more team- and role-based, with the product developer and team working in bite-size events, breaking down the business problem into components, testing, designing and installing." The result is "an incredibly state-of-the-art infrastructure" that is flexible and that facilitates integration with clients' information and system, according to O'Connor.

Next-gen ACCESS has been in production over the past 18 months, O'Connor reports. "It is generally available now; we have been slowly introducing it to clients on a thoughtful basis." But development of the portal won't stop with the relaunch. "It will continue to be invested in as new applications and tools become available," O'Connor says. "We have a well-articulated roadmap from here to there." All 25,000 current J.P. Morgan ACCESS clients representing approximately 155,000 users worldwide will be upgraded to the next-generation platform, the bank reports.

Katherine Burger is Editorial Director of Bank Systems & Technology and Insurance & Technology, members of UBM TechWeb's InformationWeek Financial Services. She assumed leadership of Bank Systems & Technology in 2003 and of Insurance & ...