Author Archives: John Demke

Many Happy Returns Concludes

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

Spokane Valley, WA – 02/06/2019 –  ESP’s program for End-Of-Year tax documentation has concluded for the year. All in all, it was our most successful year ever.

Over the course of about three weeks, ESP Printing Services produced 45,000 tax mailings all while performing other regular print jobs such as Notice Printing and monthly statements.

In order to provide more timely completion of Many Happy Returns, ESP Print Services implemented a new program. By creating a sign-off calendar, ESP guaranteed a specific delivery date if the credit union completed their part of the process by a given date. It was incredibly successful with 100% of all deadlines met by ESP.

Brandon Frisch, Print Services Manager, stated his goal this year was to sew up a few previous issues, improve quality and to manage expectations on the part of clients and ESP.

“If you signed off by a certain date we guaranteed that the tax documents would be delivered by a specific date.”

– Brandon Frisch

Next year, Print Services will implement a few small changes to further improve the process and ensure guaranteed delivery dates.

Success: Audio Banking Migration

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

Spokane Valley, WA – 02/04/2019 – ESP, Inc. has now successfully ported all of the Tropo-based audio banking clients to the new Twilio-based solution. When CISCO announced at the end of 2018 that they were sunsetting the Tropo product line, we knew many of your credit union members depend upon phone banking; we had to find a solution. Our talented development team got to work immediately to find a solution that could continue the audio response solution without interuption.

When this project started, our team knew it would need to be successful on the first try with building a solution, whilst having no previous exposure to the new platform. After conducting extensive research on several possible platforms, we settled on a vendor that was technologically advanced and offered us a high degree of responsiveness.

Twyla Morales, Product Deployment Specialist at ESP, was the project manager of the hosted audio migration. In order to ensure a smooth transition with all 27 credit unions, she decided to conduct the migration in three phases in order to provide focused customer service to each client. Part of her job consisted of porting phone numbers from the existing vendor to the new vendor in a very specific time period.

This new vendor allows ESP an unprecedented level and access and control over the application. This gives us the ability to quick respond to and address issues as they arise, without relying on a third-party for implementation.

“We’re more educated into how the process works. Our previous vendor was more of a hands-off situation. They did all the work, while we awaited their changes on their timetable. With our new vendor, we are much more in control of the process which equates to enabling us to be more responsive to our credit unions.”

– Twyla Morales

Another key member of the migration team was George Saprito, a developer here at ESP. George was tasked with providing a seamless user experience for our Audio Banking users. Using the existing solution as a template, he coded the new solution to be totally familiar to those members that rely on phone banking. Start to finish the project took four months.

From the discovery phase and primary development through four rounds of exhaustive internal testing, our team did it all in-house. At the start of this project, ESP Development had zero experience coding on the new platform, but George was quickly up to speed. He noted the soundness of this new system.

“This new platform offers us a new level of stability. Plus, there’s a new set of features that we can tap into the future. It will easily allow us to program new features including multi-lingual capability.

– George Saprito

Another key part of this process will include a feedback survey. We want to know how well we did and how we can improve on this process in the future.

“We understand that third-party service changes are part of life in the modern era of acquisitions and mergers. There is always a chance that a company like Tropo, in this example, will get bought by a big company like CISCO. Tropo had a great product and was an upstart in the industry, so it wasn’t really a surprise when we got the notification. I am thrilled with our team, how they came together with a solid replacement for the Tropo service, created a plan that ensured no member impact, and delivered the seamless replacement on-time to our Client base.

– Matt Lefler

In all, the process, planning, coding, testing and porting a new solution in such a short span of time is remarkable. We are looking to this process as a standard for our development in the future.

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Szabo New Conversion Coordinator

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

Spokane Valley, WA – 02/04/2019 – ESP taps Lexi Szabo as new Conversion Coordinator.

She started as a receptionist in the Summer of 2015. After being promoted to Client Services Representative, her ethic of high-level customer service garnered her three ESP Employee of the Year recognition awards.

Lexi Szabo, Conversion Coordinator

Lexi will be managing core conversions from beginning to end. A big part of her new position will be the coordination of communication between the client, their vendors and ESP. This ensures that all parties are on the same page and are in agreement for the portions of conversion they are responsible for.

“My intention is to continue refining what we’ve done in the past and make the process seamless for our new clients – making every step of the way clearly defined for everybody involved.”

– Lexi Szabo

True to form, Lexi immediately began the process of a core conversion upon her promotion. She’s currently working on a conversion that will develop her skills in project management, communication, and team building.

According to her manager, Shelly Rogers, her attention to detail, extensive client knowledge, her grasp of FORZA, and her tenacity are some of the qualities that garnered this promotion.

“She will undoubtedly provide outstanding customer service to our current clients and converting clients.”

– Shelly Rogers

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2018 Employee Awards

(L to R) Rob Murray; Shaquille Worthy, Encouraging Word Award; Lexi Szabo, Employee of the Year; Shaun Murray; Alexander Ray, Outside the Box Thinker Award; Matt Lefler, Calm in the Eye of the Storm Award; Kelly Salvino, The Risk Taker Award

ESP was proud to honor some special employees at the annual holiday party. Winners were voted on by fellow employees for their excellence in customer service and teamwork. 

These outstanding honorees had stiff competition from their ESP co-workers. In several instances, only a few votes separated the winner from the first runner-up. Many employees were nominated in each of the five categories. ESP is proud of all its employees and having such a tight race is recognition of how well the entire staff is striving to perform their jobs throughout the year.

Winners were recognized from several departments including Client Services, Programming and Technical Support. They included Shaquille Worthy, Alexander Ray, Kellie Salvino, and Matt Lefler. Lexi Szabo pulled a hat-trick with her third win, in as many years, of Employee of the Year.

If you wonder how ESP is able to maintain such a high level of customer service, it is because of our stellar employees. Next year the voting will undoubtedly be close again as our staff strives for a higher standard of service.

Nordstrom FCU Chooses ESP

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

Nordstrom FCU Chooses ESP

Spokane Valley, WA – 11/26/2018 – Nordstrom Federal Credit Union (FCU) located in Seattle, WA has chosen Enhanced Software Products, Inc. to be their core processing service provider.

Nordstrom FCU is member-owned and has been serving Nordstrom store employees since 1936. They are dedicated to providing superior service and financial products. Their members enjoy perks such as custom-tailored loan terms, competitive dividend rates, and convenient online banking services.

Shelli Millhuff, President and CEO of Nordstrom FCU, began her search for a core processor that would bring her credit union into the 21st Century. She required a system that was relevant and could help meet member needs with better technology and increased customer service.

Among Millhuff’s goals were: ease of use for both employees and members; quality service delivered in a timely manner; and the ability to integrate third-party vendors including MeridianLink and Kasasa. ESP’s FORZA3™ core processing platform fit the bill.

On the week of conversion, the team from ESP was onsite and had all of the necessary documents and processes needed to validate prior to flipping the conversion switch.

“The Conversion Team was fantastic! They were very organized and walked us through exactly what was going to happen. Once we flipped the switch, they were there holding our hands, communicating with our previous core. The next morning they were there bright and early validating that all the data had came over and had us up and running within 24 hours.” – S. Millhuff

Developing a strong business relationship with their core vendor became the tipping point in Nordstrom FCU’s decision to convert. With their previous core, Nordstrom FCU felt like they were being overlooked because of their size. They felt support became increasingly more difficult to obtain.

“ESP is exactly what this credit union needed – from the beginning of the conversation through conversion and then after going fully online.  The service you get from ESP is phenomenal. It absolutely proved we made the right decision. – S. Millhuff

Lacking IT staff was no longer an issue as Nordstrom found value in the immediate answers provided by ESP’s staff. 24/7/365 access to trained support gave them the flexibility and confidence to convert with their current staffing levels. 

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About ESP, Inc.

ESP, Inc. is a provider of customer-centered core processing and technology solutions strictly for credit unions. Our solutions are designed to accomplish three main goals – to grow your credit union, to make your staff more efficient, and to empower your members. We accomplish this through our powerful FORZA3™ core processing software. Learn more at www.espsolution.net.

Press Contact

John Demke
Marketing Guru
800-456-5750
jdemke@espsolution.net

ESP to Deploy Redgate Software

Spokane Valley, WA – 03/28/2018 – Enhanced Software Products, Inc. (ESP) will deploy Redgate database management software to increase development efficiency.

Red Gate Software Ltd touts itself as “the leading provider of software for professionals working on the Microsoft data platform.”

ESP is currently implementing two Redgate modules: SQL Compare and SQL Doc.

SQL Compare allows developers to push database differences between separate databases and update them. This permits ESP programmers to quickly compare existing and future updates and find and correct errors that may occur, saving valuable time and prevent the repetition of tasks.

SQL Doc is software that enables programmers to add documentation at the field and object levels. In the future, new members of ESP’s Development team will be able to quickly get up to speed on the functionality of database entries and start coding. As this tool is more fully utilized in creating a “data dictionary“, the steep learning curve that exists will become non-existent.

Sean Hibbler, the Senior FORZA Developer at ESP, states that these software modules will “simply let us do our jobs better and with greater efficiency.”

ESP clients will be seeing the effects of this software in subsequent updates of FORZA.


About ESP, Inc.

ESP, Inc. is a provider of customer-centered core processing and technology solutions strictly for credit unions. Our solutions are designed to accomplish three main goals – to grow your credit union, to make your staff more efficient, and to empower your members. We accomplish this through our powerful FORZA3™ core processing software. Learn more at www.espsolution.net.

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If you would like more information on this topic please call John Demke at 800-456-5750, or email at jdemke@espsolution.net.

Three CUs Renew With ESP

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

Three CUs Renew With ESP

Spokane Valley, WA – 07/24/2017 – ESP is proud to announce that three credit unions have agreed to renew their core processing contracts already this year. Rockford Bell Credit Union, Toledo Postal Employees Credit Union, and Cottonwood Community Federal Credit Union have chosen to continue serving their members on the FORZA3™ platform.

Rockford Bell Credit Union of Loves Park, IL was organized in 1935 by employees of Illinois Bell Telephone Company. They prospered for many years with their commitment to community support. In the 1980s, after the breakup of Bell Telephone, Rockford Bell Credit Union began to accept other employee groups.

With assets of $30,000,000 and over 4,300 members, Rockford Bell CU serves eight counties in northwestern Illinois and over thirty-five different employee groups. They operate two full-time locations at Loves Park and Mt. Morris. ESP, Inc. has been providing core processing services since 2004.

Toledo Postal Employees Credit Union was formed in 1932, strictly for postal employees living in Toledo, OH. In subsequent years, the credit union was opened to all classified postal employees in zip codes surrounding Toledo and later to include family members.

1,100 members currently access their single branch inside the Toledo Post Office. They have been a client of ESP since 1996.

Cottonwood Community Federal Credit Union Cottonwood, ID was organized in 1942 so that the community could save together and provide low-cost loans to credit union members. They now serve all of Idaho and Lewis Counties providing service to low-income areas and people without adequate access to credit union services.

The credit union consists of 4,600 members with $78,000,000 in assets. Members receive service at three branch locations in the West Central portion of the state. They have been a client of ESP since 2012.

ESP is honored by these credit union’s continued partnership and will serve them long into the future.


About ESP, Inc.

ESP, Inc. is a provider of customer-centered core processing and technology solutions strictly for credit unions. Our solutions are designed to accomplish three main goals – to grow your credit union, to make your staff more efficient, and to empower your members. We accomplish this through our powerful FORZA3™ core processing software. Learn more at www.espsolution.net.

Press Contact

John Demke
Marketing Guru
800-456-5750
jdemke@espsolution.net

ESP Expands Sig Pad Solutions

ESP is currently developing drivers to integrate new signature pads into the FORZA3™ core processing platform. Our clients have requested that we build this functionality to give them more flexibility in their options.

Recent technology advancements in signature pad hardware and design are precipitating this development. Modern “sig pads” can incorporate color displays, hardened glass writing surfaces, and advanced security measures.

New pads that we are coding for include the Wacom STU-530 and the Topaz T-LBK57GC and T-S460 models.

Wacom STU-530

Topaz T-LBK57GC

Topaz T-S460

Jeff Tartt, an ESP developer on this project, was enthusiastic about coding this solution and offering more functionality to our clients. Our newest clients want to use their existing sig pads and we were more than willing to fulfill their request.

“Working on hardware solutions is great. Our clients requested that they have more options with their sig pad choices. We were all onboard for accommodating their wishes.” — Jeff Tartt

Demo of the Wacom STU-530

Demo of the Wacom STU-530

The drivers for these new signature pads are planned to be available for our next update of FORZA3™. Look for them in the near future.

If you’d like to know more about the signature pads available, please feel free to call us and ask for Sales at 800-456-5750.

ESP Receives Externship Recognition

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

ESP Receives Externship Recognition

Spokane Valley, WA – 06/14/2017 – ESP, Inc. was recently presented with a plaque of recognition for participating in Spokane Public Schools CTE Teacher Externship.

In the Summer of 2016, ESP acted as a host for a Career and Technical Education (CTE) teacher from Spokane Public Schools. This newly developed program gives real-world experience to educators by placing them in a local business for a few hours or days to learn the ins and outs of current industry practices.

Will H. Saret, Director of Career and Technical Education for Spokane Public Schools, thanked local businesses for their participation in the program and stressed how effective the program is in the lives of teachers and students.

“Teachers gained knowledge of how their classroom content could lead to work in [a specific industry.] These connections with real-world information have proven instrumental in how teachers and, most importantly, students see the relevance of their education.” – Will H. Saret

(L to R) Matt Lefler; Alex Ray

Matt Lefler, who oversees ESP’s Operations, views the opportunity to host an externship as a win-win – the extern learns about the industry they are researching and ESP gets to educate the extern on what the industry is looking for in terms of qualified job candidates.

“We strive to support our local community – especially education. We are always looking to pass on our knowledge. Hopefully, through this cooperation, we can give insight as to what employers are seeking from educators.” – Matt Lefler

The externship was directly facilitated by ESP’s Alex Ray. As Network Security Engineer, Alex demonstrated daily tasks, incident response, and the hardware infrastructure used to provide core processing services to clients. Of particular emphasis was the post-mortem process on service issues to prevent problems in the future. On the value of a professional externship for educators he stated:

“Teachers should definitely experience an externship within a business sector before actually advising students on their future career paths.” – Alex Ray

Terry Yeigh, a teacher of Computer Science at Rogers High School in Spokane, WA spent at day at the ESP facilities where he job shadowed Alex Rey. He learned practical experience in network management and was able to take that experience back to his classroom. The practical experience he gathered was directly applicable to the course he teaches in Cyber Security.

“Eventhough I realize how important cybersecurity is in the banking industry, just seeing it in action and knowing how much responsibility Alex had was pretty overwhelming. I was amazed at the amount of software tools Alex uses to make sure the network is secure.” – Terry Yeigh

One of the primary takeaways Terry had from this experience is that there is a future for his students within in the local economy for dedicated IT professionals.

 “Showing students that we have Alex – an expert in his field, who is working with cybersecurity for a small company, definitley shows them that there is opportunty out there.” – Terry Yeigh

Terry wholeheartedly endorses the externship program and suggests other educators try it for themselves. He was also asked in several meetings to speak on his experience with ESP. He related that actually seeing a professional in the banking industry working to secure servers and their data was the capstone of his experience.

ESP looks forward to working with more educators in the future.


About ESP, Inc.

ESP, Inc. is a provider of customer-centered core processing and technology solutions strictly for credit unions. Our solutions are designed to accomplish three main goals – to grow your credit union, to make your staff more efficient, and to empower your members. We accomplish this through our powerful FORZA3™ core processing software. Learn more at www.espsolution.net.

Press Contact

John Demke
Marketing Guru
800-456-5750
jdemke@espsolution.net

ESP Joins Connections Training

ESP had the pleasure to participate in Connections Credit Union’s Annual All-Staff Training.  Approximately 60 staff members attended the training in Twin Falls, ID.

ESP Client Services staffers Christy Harmon and Lexi Szabo presented training in breakout sessions on Teller Processing and Loan Management. Course content included helpful tricks and tips to get the most out of ESP’s core processing platform, FORZA3™.

 

Lexi Szabo addresses questions at Connections Credit Union's Annual All-Staff Training.

Lexi Szabo addresses questions at Connections Credit Union’s Annual All-Staff Training.

Szabo, a Client Services Representative, spends a majority of her time here in Spokane answering customer service calls for our clients. She connects frequently with our client credit unions via phone where she finds answers to their questions about the implementation of FORZA3™.

 

It’s great connecting to our clients! It’s nice for them to put a face to an ESP employee. – Lexi Szabo

As a part of this training, Connections CU also gave ESP vital feedback on its products and services. We will be efforting these new solutions in the near future for all of our credit union clients.