Interesting feedback from Ross Mayfield at the Collaborative Technologies Conference in Boston. I wish I had a chance to be there, unfortunately my schedule didn't quite live up to the collaborative world this conference espouses.
Unlike some other types of business, the assembly-lines of financial services companies are essential to 80% of work, like signing up a new customer. I'm currently working on the best approaches for fitting collaborative technology into these structured business processes to handle the other 20%.
For example, when Amex wanted to sign me up for a corporate card, their usual highly organized process could not cope - I was a Brit with no credit history in Boston. Amex processes had to revert to significant amounts of paperwork, faxing, and phone calls to complete my account opening.
The 20% that has to be handled in this way represents a huge cost for the company. My hope is that collaborative technologies can reduce that cost and make the whole process more pleasant for the customer. I will be writing more about this as I formulate some real-world New Account Opening use cases.