"It's a vicious circle," says e-portals founder and CEO Hal Hovland. "Events like Barings, Enron, Northern Rock and SociÃ©tÃ© GÃ©nÃ©rale have led inevitably to increasing regulatory controls. This results in yet more data and reports being generated, which in turn makes it more difficult for senior managers to see through to the key parameters in the timescales needed to manage their exposures. Paradoxically, the regulations can increase the risk because senior managers are burdened with increasing responsibility but often lack the tools to discharge their responsibility effectively."
e-portals has responded by developing Exposure Alert(tm), a set of self-contained graphical desktop components that are hooked in to core financial data, and track values against user-defined limits. Compatible with all financial software (several high-profile solution providers have already partnered with e-portals), the alerts can be customised depending on the priorities of the organisation.
"We espouse the idea of a Minimum Attention User Interface (MAUI)," explains Hovland. "For executives with constantly competing calls on their attention it is vital that our software is inconspicuous until it has something to say. We employ leading-edge Microsoft WindowsÂ® technology to create small-footprint alerts that show continuously monitored information and then deploy attention-grabbing graphics when a limit is breached, at which time pop-up windows provide more detailed views of the underlying data. For executives who are away from the office, the alerts can optionally send emails and text messages."
Although the focus of e-portals is on the financial sector, Hovland is confident that the technology has a far wider appeal: "Information overload is endemic so we have assembled a team that will enable us to take Exposure Alert(tm) to a wider market." The e-portals Board includes banking industry guru Trevor Cass as well as respected consultant Mario Rosi and Internet entrepreneur Roy Sheridan.