Marketing and promoting new technology has always been undemanding due to the growing trend in business and commerce of going electronic. However, not all technology is successful in their entry into the world of business.
One very good example of this incident is that of Integra and Intex’s Banking and Loan Insurance Software System (BLISS) project. Although the software was completed, it was never introduced to credit unions. What happened then? How come such a very innovative project became a wasted product? What were the mistakes made? Most significantly, what can the two businesses do to cope with the damaging effects the project has brought about?
The BLISS project was spearheaded by two firms, namely, Integra Financial Corporation and Intex Consulting. Integra Financial Corporation, a life insurance company based in Quebec, Canada, is active in insurance, trust services, securities brokerage and asset and portfolio management (Roy, 2003, p. 445). The corporation is responsible for approximately 8 billion dollars of assets while the work force consists of more than 2,200 permanent employees (Roy, 2003, p. 445).
On the other hand, the partner company, Intex Consulting is a firm that specializes in the installation and design of information systems. It is actually a Canadian branch of a large international information system integration firm who wishes to gain its prominent place in Canadian banking business (Roy, 2003, p. 445). The firm is widely known for its expertise in the U.S. banking industry concerning system integration and development (Roy, 2003, p. 447).
Although Integra has a competitive share in the insurance banking business, it does not have the whole of Canada. The company only emerges in Quebec due to one of its unique insurance plan. This plan is the Loan and Mortgage Insurance plan, also called the corporation’s “cash cow” (Roy, 2003, p. 446).
What makes it different from plans of other insurance corporations is its special software that enables a customized calculation of the expenses per client and directly links Integra’s database with the participating banking institutions. However, the software is limited for use only in Quebec where the banking institutions have somewhat similar structures. When it comes to the national market, Integra cannot venture into it since the different banking structures and institutions are diverging and dissimilar. Thus, the loan insurance plan was inapplicable.
This very challenge has allowed the search for a way to penetrate the loan insurance business in the national network. It is in this situation that contact was made with Intex Consulting regarding Integra’s dream software. Thus, after the meeting of the two business establishments, the BLISS project was born and launched in the beginning of 1996 (Roy, 2003, p. 448).
The primary goal of the joint project was to develop an appropriate technology solution to connect Integra’s loan insurance systems with its prospective clients’ banking and loan systems, particularly, a software system that can bridge the differences of the different structures of the diverse banking institutions and loan systems (Roy, 2003, p. 447).
Key persons in both companies were then appointed for the project’s completion. Everyone was eager to see the results and was very optimistic because at that time, the project was a major endeavor and a promising success.
Everyone saw the proposal as a means to expand the company. In addition, everyone was confident with the decision of pursuing the project. One would actually ask why but why not? Everyone believed that Integra is capable of doing so, due to its very long and successful experience in loan insurance business and that Intex has the guts of designing and developing an error-free software system since the firm is known for its competitiveness (Roy, 2003, p. 448).
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