Doug Spickler does everything a 21st century domestic cash manager should be doing for his company, United Parcel Service Inc. He has reduced the number of money-center banks with which he deals to five core institutions. He has eliminated more than 100 of the company's bank accounts, although at 320 he still says he has more work to do. In 1998 he bought a SunGard Resource IQ, a treasury workstation that helped UPS get Y2K compliant and now allows it to communicate automatically with its banks and generate reports

The next step was obvious: Get on the information superhighway. His banks have been touting their new and increasingly robust Internet cash management channels, so he's heard all the selling points. It's cheaper and faster; it's the way of the future. He knows he'll use it eventually because banks will simply stop offering dial-up to customers.

And it's not that Spickler is at all hesitant; he would love to be connected to a browser for all his cash management needs. But Spickler also wants to keep using his treasury workstation, and most Internet platforms provided by the banks just don't interface with his SunGard or any other workstation. The irony: "All the money banks have poured into their Internet platforms doesn't help us" in cash management, he sighs. So his workstation continues to use the dial-in scripts available at four of his five core banks.

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