ABA Banking Journal - September 2010 - (Page 20)
ABA Community BAnking | execUtIve POWeR tOOLs
don’t take their laptops anymore.” For reading email, and, with reference to cutting paper costs, reviewing and approving documents, Graves finds the devices excellent. The added versatility of the touchscreen interface for reading documents, publications, and using the internet, versus a smartphone, appeal to the bank. The next group the bank is considering giving iPads to is senior managers. Tech needs and the business case While the iPad no doubt has a “wow factor,” Graves indicates the business case had to work. A significant element is setting up the devices as “thin clients.” The iPad comes equipped to read email and to view (but not originate or manipulate) Word, Excel, and Adobe Acrobat documents. This fits the bank effort to trim its paper footprint, and it found ways to increase the device’s utility without having to pay further licensing fees for software. The
Bankers adopt the iPad
Read about how community bankers have started using iPads and similar devices even before their banks adopt the gadgets. Online at www.ababj.com At left, N.J. banker Frank Sorrentino III, a self-described “voracious reader,” uses his iPad constantly and is considering outfitting field lenders with them for presentations.
iPads—the bank purchased the version that has both WiFi and 3G— access the bank’s systems through a Citrix Access Gateway, or “CAG.” This provides an encrypted “tunnel” into the bank’s network. From there, the iPad user can access all the software they have on their own office computer, as well as all their office files. Essentially the user has
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a virtual desktop. Graves says this enables the bank to allow multiple types of devices to have access to its networks, while remaining secure. (Graves worked with Ben Kohn, the bank’s senior architect, and Tom McKowin, enterprise architect, on iPad connectivity.) Connections can be established in three ways. WiFi is preferred, for speed. Users can also obtain access through the built-in 3G. Finally, the bank purchased Intel My WiFi devices that enable a device to become its own “hot spot,” for areas where AT&T service is spotty. Graves says the iPads are cheaper than laptops for several reasons. One is their price—roughly $800. Another is the software issue; a laptop requires licensing costs as well as maintenance of that software, local to the machine. And portability and the lightweight nature of the iPad make security somewhat less of a concern for the bank than a laptop. Graves says that people, knowing how much they can do with the iPad, tend to carry it with them wherever they go, to appointments, business meals, and more. By contrast, a laptop more typically gets left in the car. n
20 | ABA BANKING JOURNAL | september 2010
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