I know I said it the other day in another blog -- "Nicholas Carr, eat your heart out" -- but now comes a company that's pretty much saying it on TV. Although the TV commercial apparently isn't that new, I noticed that Bank of America is running ads on OLNTV's Tour De France coverage (not much can stop Lance Armstrong from winning his seventh Tour at this point) that, in no uncertain terms, attempts to point out that IT is one of the financial giant's key differentiators. Thanks to my digital video recorder, I was able to transcribe the message as conveyed by supposed BofA employee Lance Truman (against the backdrop of check sorting equipment and other apparently digital assets). Here's what he said:
What I seek every single day is perfection. I want you to guess how many checks we process each day. Try more than 40 million -- more than any other company in America. But what is truly impressive is the accuracy with which we take care of them. I'm Lance Truman. I'm a banker. And I'm proud to be a part of Bank of America. If you weren't a perfectionist, you couldn't do this job. One error in a million is simply unacceptable. So, at Bank of America, we customize our own equipment. We engineer our own software. Create our own quality control systems. To us, this is like an assembly line that is mission critical meaning zero defects. This isn't about processing nearly 11 billion checks a year flawlessly. It's a matter of accurately handling one single check, and then repeating it 11 billion times. (at the end is a voiceover that says "Bank of America: Higher standards.")
Customized equipment? Customized software? All in the name of what IT is really about: risk management. After I noticed the commercial, I waited patiently for it to come on again on another day so I could "TiVo" it, but it wasn't showing up. So, while snooping around BoA's public relations department in a failed attempt to get a transcription, at least one spokesperson said "Why, of course our IT matters to us. Where would we be without it?" Fortunately, the commercial came on again and I was able to transcribe it. So, how much does IT mattter to you? Totally? Some? Not at all? Use our TalkbackComments feature below to answer me and the best entry by close of business Friday gets a brand new yellow Lance Armstong Foundation Livestrong bracelet. I have more to give away so stay tuned.