Connections Online January 2013 Newsletter
Section One: Announcements and Tips
San Francisco FCU Uses Cardwell’s Connections Online to Succeed in Lending Wins CU Journal 2012 Best Practices Award
Using Cardwell’s award-winning, work management tool Connections Online (COL), San Francisco Federal Credit Union ($814 million; 30,792 members; San Francisco, CA) has won Credit Union Journal’s 2012 Best Practices Award for its impressive lending performance and technology implementation, bringing its credit union up to speed with the latest financial services.
It started when San Francisco FCU’s current President/CEO, Steven Stapp arrived at the credit union in 2008, noticing a number of issues that needed addressing – one of those issues was its low loan-to-share ratio (35%). The credit union’s technology was also behind the times and it was losing new members at a -1% rate over the previous two years. In addition, it only had a year in advance business outlook instead of a more comprehensive three-to-five-year forecast. It was time for some change.
Stapp implemented COL in 2010 and this immediately helped the credit union complete a $5 million renovation and rebranding campaign, as well as upgrading its technology tools to include such contemporary services as online and mobile banking and bill pay. As a result, its mortgage lending is up 20% today and membership growth is now up 5%.
How did COL help San Francisco FCU achieve this turn around? Through its proactive and structured communications process, where everybody throughout the organization is kept current and accountable, it allowed the credit union to focus on its strengths and weaknesses. This focus has allowed San Francisco FCU to move its organization forward and put a plan in place to carry it out to completion with positive results.
COL allowed the credit union staff to post a plan online (in-house) for all to see. It subsequently prompted structured dialogs and discussions with designated staff members that quickly, yet methodically, moved the credit union toward its goals. For example, when staff addressed the lack of membership growth, they focused directly on it and would talk about it monthly. As a result, they created a 20-step plan of products, promotions, and community outreach to attract new members for the credit union’s much-needed growth. To date, their efforts are working tremendously to benefit both the credit union and its members.
To read more about how San Francisco FCU used COL to succeed and win CU Journal’s 2012 Best Practices Award, click here.
Connections Online Version 4.1
Our new version 4.1 is out of beta and in full production. You can access the new site with this link: https://col.connectionsonline.net
Please have your beta users use the new URL (link above). The beta version will still be accessible but will be used by our development team to test upcoming features. The 4.1 (COL URL) will use your production database (so you may have users on col.connectionsonline.net, beta.connectionsonline.net, and my.connectionsonline.net). We would like all users to use the URL https://col.connectionsonline.net and if you need (or want) to use 4.0 for any reason, you will see a link at the bottom of the page to open 4.0. We invite you to attend a scheduled 4.1 webinar (see webinar registration below). You will see that we have improved the efficiency of entering data by reducing the number of clicks to create and update the information in Connections as well as other improvements.
Note: Although we would like people to start using Version 4.1, Version 4.0 will continue to be available for use also. There is a link at the bottom of the Connections page where you can switch to the other version.
Archiving 4.0 (not available in 4.1 yet)
You will still be able to archive metrics [from Organization, Department and Individual Connection tabs] and projects from Organizations and Departments. Once an item is archived, you may delete it or reset the metric information on the main tab – and still be able to view the archived item by clicking the view archive symbol. The archived item will no longer be available for editing, and will be date stamped so you know when the item was archived.
Only the Site Administrator will have the authority to archive these elements. If the Site Administrator archives from the Site Admin tab, the Site Administrator will be able to archive the entire site at one time.
When you click the archive symbol on the archive module on the Site Admin page, it will take a few minutes to do the archiving before you will see the archived metric or projects on the Site Admin Archive Module. Also, once the archiving process has completed, when Users go to the specific Organization or Department tab and select the archive symbol, Users will see the newly archived metrics and projects. The list of metrics and projects will not necessarily appear as they do on the list on the main tab. However, you can use Control F (or the search function in Internet Explorer or Firefox) and type in the name of the metric or project and it will take you to that item where you can then open it from the archive window. Once the metric or project has been archived, Users can edit/delete the current metric/project on the main page (as the original is now archived).
Or the Site Administrator, upon request, may archive metrics or projects from across the application. Archiving done from the individual modules can be done by using the check mark, selecting the metric or project you want to archive, then click on the archive symbol. The selected items will be archived.
To view the elements of that module that have been archived, click the view archive symbol.
How to archive is also explained on page 87 of the Version 4.0 Site Admin Manual. Archiving needs to be done using 4.0 as Version 4.1 archiving is not available yet.
What gets archived
The items that get archived are the metrics and projects from Org and Dept tabs as well as individual personal metrics. The Site Admin person can also go to the actual dept or org and archive a single metric or single project by checking the check mark and clicking the archive function (that is if he/she doesn’t want to archive the entire site). Dialogs are already “archived” by being saved by date – they never come off unless they are deleted (and they should be saved in PDF or printed before completely deleted). Basic Roles are NOT archived per se or “saved” like dialogs. If you want to “save” a specific Basic Role, print, print to PDF, or save the Individual Connection report that has the current Basic Role. Also, your Individual Dialogs will have the Basic Role information as well as percentages.
What you should archive
We recommend that the site be archived at the end of the year using archiving in 4.0 (4.1 archiving isn’t ready yet – the user would also have to view any metric or project archived in 4.0 until 4.1 archiving is completed). After the site has been archived, look at the list of metrics on the main page – open the metric and delete past metric trend data – say anything in trend data 2011 and earlier. Then look at completed projects. Are there any that you would “reuse” the list of tasks? If so, create a status called “templates” and copy the project to “templates” -then delete projects that have been completed (you can always see them again by using the archive feature in 4.0 so the projects or metrics aren’t “forever deleted.”) Projects that have been completed with 2011 end dates should be deleted – also maybe even some from 2012 if you want to have a “shorter” page. Keep in mind an archived project cannot be brought back “alive” easily. (However, you could ‘undelete’ using the delete feature in 4.1 if you decided you wanted the project or metric back on the live page.)
Tip for the Month
Org Dept Simple Report
We have a simple report similar to the report from Version 3.2 for the Organization or Department Connections that allows people to export the Metric or Project list modules to either Excel or Word (some people want these modules in an MS Office format when preparing the Board package). This does not replace any report on the report module. Follow these instructions to use this report. On your Organization or Department Tab, on the Related Link Module, create a related link, title the link Org Dept Simple Report. In the link, copy and paste this link: https://report.connectionsonline.net/Org3.2.aspx?sid=#SESSION#&s=#SITE#
Connections Pages Running Slow?
This is probably due to extremely long lists of projects. The speed can be improved greatly by archiving the site (which includes all projects) and opening slow running pages, then deleting projects on the list under such categories as “completed” or “dropped” which are 2011 or earlier – you will have access to these projects through the archiving. Be sure to follow procedures outlined above for Archiving your site and print all projects that you want to delete before deleting them.
Speed Number to Load a COL Page
The number at the bottom of the any COL page that loads on the computer shows how long it took the server to make the web page from the time it received the request to the time it sent back the final bit of the response. It does not include the time it took the request to go from the client machine to the server, the time it took the response to travel from the server back to the client machine, or the time it took for the client machine to render the web page. The travel time is dependent on the Internet connection between the client and the server: number of hops, response time between each hop, max upload and download throughput, etc. The render time on the client side takes at least two times as long in IE8 than in any other browser that we support, for example.
When the number on the page is large, it is something we can work on speeding up. When the number on the page is small, almost all other speed issues are out of our control. Large is anything over 3000ms.
This document lists all of the recorded educational webinars available for your use. Categories include: Metrics, Project Management, Dialogs, Introducing Connections Online, and Performance Management. Please feel free to make this available to your users. http://link.connectionsonline.net/educ-webinars.doc
Client Care Notes
To view previous Connections Online Newsletters, go to http://www.connectionsonline.net/News/Newsletters.aspx
Monthly Calendar of Webinar Events Link
Click here to see our upcoming webinars or to register for a free training webinar.
Section Two: Webinars
Connections Online 4.1 Advanced Features Webinar
Tuesday, January 15th at 1:30 ET or Tuesday, February 12th at 1:30 ET
This 30-minute training webinar highlights advanced functionality of Connections Online 4.1 with Q&A.
Click here to register for January 15th
Click here to register for February 12th
Connections Online 4.1 Application Training Webinar
Thursday, January 17th at 1:30 ET or Tuesday, February 19th at 1:30 ET
This 60-minute training webinar dives deeper into an overall “how to use” Connections Online 4.1.
Click here to register for January 17th
Click here to register for February 19th
Connections Online 4.1 Security Training Webinar
Tuesday, January 22nd at 1:30 ET or Thursday, February 21st at 1:30 ET
This 60-minute training webinar is for Site Administrators – setting security on the site page and throughout the application.
Click here to register for January 22nd
Click here to register for February 21st
Past Educational Webinar Recordings For a listing of our past Educational Webinars, use this link: http://www.connectionsonline.net/news/events.aspx
If you know someone outside of your company who may be interested in learning more about Connections Online, we have an informational webinar scheduled on Thursday, January 24th at 1:30 ET and we also have one scheduled for Tuesday, February 26th at 1:30 ET..
Please pass this link on to them to register for January 24th - https://www2.gotomeeting.com/register/708823274
Or use this link to register for February 26th - https://www2.gotomeeting.com/register/839979090
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