Hi Arthur,

Got to hand it to you, this report is pretty damn good. I have been around the bend a few times with Tower trying to get similar data, but it takes a long time, and I am not sure how it was developed in the end. I have not gotten through it all, but I am impressed with the data I have seen.

- an executive at Sun Microsystems


Just a quick note to congratulate you on another fine report. It has been our pleasure getting to know you better and hearing your insights. I wanted to relay a story of a sell-side analyst of a major wall street firm who when we were discussing the best, most complete information about service providers to the banking industry, we discussed your name. After additional and probably exhaustive research, he let me know that yours was the best single source for such information. I thought that was very powerful especially for a guy down in Texas.

- Chairman and CEO of a major bank core solutions company


Thanks a lot - I'll welcome any insights you feel sending my way - it is good to be in touch with thoughtful people - they are rare these days.

- a Wall Street analyst

Dear Art,

Just browsing your report at this point, it looks very informative. I enjoyed meeting you after all these years of reading about you in the professional journals. I've been a great fan of your frank and straightforward writing.

- CIO, tenth largest bank in the U.S.

An analyst report that's actually fun to read - Every year since perhaps the beginning of time, banking technology analyst Art Gillis has put out a number-crunching research report called Automation in Banking. This year's report, at 503 pages, isn't something you'd want to read at the beach (he estimates it would take 26 hours). But what I like is the straight-talking, no-nonsense way he writes the executive summary. Two examples (separate quotes) provide a glimpse of Art's inimitable style: Banks continue to consolidate almost by some secret mandate issued by the Fed. Every year, there’s a net reduction of about 2.5%. I say net because in 2005, there were 181 de novos. So in 2005, 609 customers of vendors went away. ...[T]ech vendors lose customers every year for no fault of their own. [T]he market for core systems is softening. Unless a whole new concept of core processing is introduced, most banks will stick with what they have. Remember, “Innovative” is not the typical banker’s middle name. The expression, ‘Good enough for government work,’ is beginning to apply to banking as well. When was the last time you read a market-research report which such plainspoken candor? If only Gartner and IDC could do this! You can tell that this report wasn't cobbled together by committee, or edited to death, or written in turgid analyst-ese. With Art, you know you're getting the straight dope. He's an independent analyst in every sense of the word.

- Mitch Betts, Editor COMPUTERWORLD


Thank you for taking the time to visit with me and share your thoughts today. It was a valuable conversation, I appreciate your candor and willingness to give me your views based on limited information. You have certainly affirmed the direction of going toward check imaging, even recognizing the up front costs are significant.

- a banker in Kentucky

Hi Art!

Received your latest report last week. Good timing, it was just before I went on vacation. Brought it with me and read it all on the beach today. Excellent as always. In addition to the usual data updates, I always look forward to the “Artisms.” Haven't decided which was my favorite this year, but I have narrowed it to two:

“Visionaries make for good magazine covers.”

“Cloth is still a required commodity because nudity never got to be a popular lifestyle.”

- CEO of a popular bank core solutions company

Thanks for the report. Having worked for IBM, and focused on the Finance industry, I think your assessments are right on target.

- EVP at a major bank outsource company


I've enjoyed your thought provoking writings for many years at several institutions and positions. Please add me to your mailing list.

- CIO at a bank in Spokane, WA

Hey Art

I read your report and just wanted to say AMEN to it. I thought your comments were very insightful and telling of the struggles that we face every day as community bankers. Adapting the new technology is a real challenge sometimes for our staff and it certainly shows in these comments.

- SVP at a mid-size bank in West Virginia

Good Morning Art,

Just reviewed your latest report and am requesting permission to copy pages 26-35 for use by our staff to do an internal review of our products. Nice job as usual on the book. It usually takes me two or three settings to review the full content and I can tell that this book will not be an exception.

- Chairman of a bank tech company

Your report gets a lot of use by many people throughout the year, so from our perspective it is a good investment. Also my team enjoys working with you!!!

- President of the largest U.S. bank tech company

I enjoy your comments and analysis immensely, and you have keen observations and great sense of humor. Your reports are the only reports I know which give me good laugh and intellectual satisfaction at the same time.

- Co-CEO of a Japanese consulting & research firm

Dear Mr. Gillis,

On behalf of the Defense Finance and Accounting Service, I want to thank you for Automation in Banking. The information on service bureaus and turnkey systems providers is particularly helpful and adds a new dimension to our plans for direct deposit and electronic commerce for vendor payments. Our goal is to ultimately sign as many of our suppliers as possible onto both direct deposit and electronic commerce. The success of these efforts is partially dependent on how well financial institutions, and their service bureaus and turnkey providers, offer products that can support these initiative. The insight we gained from Automation in Banking will enable us to create an effective program.

- Director, Contract Pay and Disbursing Directorate,

Defense Finance and Accounting Service, Department of Defense

Dear Mr. Gillis,

I have just completed reviewing Automation in Banking and found it to be very insightful, accurate and useful. It will be particularly helpful to me as I develop my strategic plans for next year and beyond. Your graphic of "My Idea of a Complete Banking System" is one of the best depictions of an integrated financial information system addressing a multifunctional and multi-need organization that I have seen.

- VP Business Development of the largest bank tech company in the U.S.

Dear Art,

Just received Automation in Banking. Thanks for another superb job of researching, analyzing, and reducing to readable form! Of the zillions of pieces of mail that cross my desk each year, yours in the ONLY one that gets opened and read (first of many passes) immediately.

- EVP a savings bank in Massachusetts

Dear Mr. Gillis,

Your publications are always an excellent source for community banks seeking knowledge about information systems technology. Ken and the community bankers of our nation are very appreciative of the fact that you count the financial institutions under $75 million.

- Bank Operations Liaison, Independent Community Bankers Association

Dear Arthur:

Without your time and effort the attached report could not have been completed. I thank you for your assistance.

- First Vice President, Merrill Lynch


I received a copy of your report. It was outstanding. Please add me to the Gillis Database so I can receive future issues.

- Senior Vice President, Marketing, Logica

Dear Arthur:

I just read your report. Wonderful - just WONDERFUL!. Keep up the good work, good writing and telling it like it is.

- Larry Welke, ICP Software Directory

Dear Art:

Congratulations on another well written report. I bet that it has not circulated more than a day now, and I have already heard a few people speaking of it.

- Director of Operations, thirteenth largest bank in the U.S.

Dear Mr. Gillis:

Thank you again for allowing us to reprint material from your report for our new "Bank Operations" curriculum.

- Project Manager Educational Development, American Bankers Association

Hi Art,

Thank you for all the background on your report. I know there’s an audience for your work because the blogs you write for us get consistently good page views. I’ve noticed that you say what you really think about vendors and I value that.

I think of you as a member of our team, an esteemed one. There’s no need for you to be humble. You have a lot of experience in the banking and technology industries and it shows in your work, as well as a unique, conversational style that our readers relate to. We’re fortunate to have you blogging for us.

- Editor, Bank Systems & Technology

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