A Tale of Two Companies, One a Bank, The Other a Software Vendor

Reference this page -yeah the Bank has its own page now- … from the link at the right, because this is the last main page post that will talk about First Source Bank:

Before I tell the probable First Source Bank employee what I think of her suggestion that I ‘just leave’ First Source and find another bank, I’d like to pause a moment and give a comparision between my bank and Blackboard, two companies with whom I do business on a regular basis.

  Blackboard First Source
Amount of Money Involved $$$$$$$ $
# of personal contacts I’ve had with named employees in the last month 10 8
Response to issue report Accept customer’s report. Hang in there until it is resolved. Close loop with all customers affected by issue. Deny issue exists. Minimize scope of issue (how many customers affected and/or impact on single customer). Inconsistent communication.
Effort expended to keep client’s business & to satisfy client’s need Accepts client input into system requirements Avoids engaging with customers.
Conducts client surveys and reports improvement results back to clients Yes No
Has a Client Advisory Group Yes No


Am I being ridiculous comparing a bank with a software vendor? Comparing personal banking needs and a higher education institution’s license with a software vendor? I don’t think so.

As any consistent reader of this blog knows, Blackboard doesn’t do everything right. And Notre Dame hasn’t been 100 % satisfied with their product OR their service.  But, as the First Source Bank employee may be hinting when saying to me “Just leave,” there are often compelling reasons for staying. Especially if the company you do business with is listening. Blackboard is. First Source Bank gives no indication of it. (Except by the comments of irate employees).

And in all cases, just in case they’re not listening: prepare an exit strategy. It looks like my bank exit strategy may not be living in my back pocket much longer…

4 thoughts on “A Tale of Two Companies, One a Bank, The Other a Software Vendor

  1. Blackboard provides an “assembly required” product and just following the directions rarely seems to yield the desired results. The “service” is filling in the gaps.
    Your bank provides a true service by providing you a more secure place to handle your finances than digging a hole or building a trap door while also allowing easy access to the money.

  2. Interesting analogy.
    The Bank runs a software as service. Blackboard could host software for us as well, doing the required assembly. Even footing now?
    The Bank doesn’t have supportive processes in place for dealing with flaws in their software service, outages in their service, upgrades to their service, client desired enhancements, and communication out to constitutents of all of the above.
    Blackboard does.
    The Bank keeps my data. Blackboard keeps my data. The Bank also keeps a very real asset for me, to which I expect access at all times (or at least a long long warning for even short periods in which I may not have access).

  3. Except when Blackboard doesn’t.
    I have a filter in my email to forward communication about about everything you describe to another client. 🙂 Three TSMs so far are unable to figure out why I am getting this instead of them.
    Interestingly enough, a college at this other client has a college who is abandoning Blackboard’s Academic Suite ASP because of poor performance, frequent outages, and frustration with getting enhancements. They are migrating to WebCT CE now and Vista 8 with the rest of the university.

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