Simplicity takes top billing for business users at BMO

Business managers and analysts at BMO Financial Group used to spend much of their time shoveling through printed reports, so when the organization decided it needed more timely access to information, the main criteria for the solution was ease of use.

Using Information Builder’s WebFocus, the

bank built its own information console called the Web Monthly Progress Monitor (WebMPM), says Mel Rosenfeld, who heads up reporting for BMO’s personal and commercial client group.

“”For these people to run their businesses . . . they need some kind of financial reporting — how are they doing vis-a-vis targets, are they generating more profits or more losses — and they need it in a relatively timely manner,”” he says.

It was Rosenfeld’s group that was the primary business driver for WebMPM, which made of BMO’s financial reports are available via its intranet across Canada. Prior to having WebMPM, it would take around 12 working days after the end of the previous month for the financial results to be available in paper format.

“”There were two issues,”” says Rosenfeld. “”No. 1, complex physical delivery of a lot of documents. The second problem was timeliness.””

The WebMPM application was prototyped in two weeks and put into production a week later. Rapid deployment was made possible by reusing code to tap into the bank’s mainframe databases, says John Veltkamp, responsible for systems programming and design at the bank’s Technology and Solutions Group.

Most importantly, says Rosenfeld, WebMPM had to be straightforward for the users.

“”What they should be concentrating on is the type of computer work you need to service your clients,”” he says. “”We needed to give it to them in a vehicle that was quick, easy and intuitive to operate with.””

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Gary Hilson
Gary Hilson
Gary Hilson is a Toronto-based freelance writer who has written thousands of words for print and pixel in publications across North America. His areas of interest and expertise include software, enterprise and networking technology, memory systems, green energy, sustainable transportation, and research and education. His articles have been published by EE Times, SolarEnergy.Net, Network Computing, InformationWeek, Computing Canada, Computer Dealer News, Toronto Business Times and the Ottawa Citizen, among others.

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