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Banking on Windows DNA

Ohio Savings Bank is using Microsoft's architectural and technology framework for financial institutions to link its various customer systems.

    Microsoft's DNA is replicating within the Ohio Savings Bank.

    The software titan announced today that the Ohio Savings Bank is using Microsoft's architectural and technology framework for financial institutions to link its various customer systems like automatic teller machines, Internet banking, and customer call centers.

    "Our computer architecture will be based on components in the middle tier of an n-tier architecture, meaning it will be relatively easy to reproduce the same information across all our delivery channels," said Peter Goldberg, vice president at Ohio Savings Bank.

    "A customer who performs a telephone banking transaction and then reviews his or her account history via our Internet site or in one of our branches will see that transaction already performed. This will basically redesign everything we do on the customer servicing side of our computers, but still allow us to link back to our existing mainframe applications."

    Trying to fulfill its pledge to be the plumbing behind corporate computing systems, Microsoft came up with the concept of distributed Internet application (DNA) architectures about two years ago. The program, which offers software and consulting services, is centered around a number of specific industries such as the banking industry. It is a platform for building and linking information systems based on Microsoft front and back office products like Windows 98, Windows NT, and other products.

    Last month, a number of financial service organizations including Travelers, Crestar Bank, and Sanford Bernstein announced adoption of Windows DNA for linking new applications to their legacy systems.

    Ohio Savings Bank is set to go live on its new system this week. The $5.5 billion bank has 45 branches in Ohio and Florida.

    The first phase of implementation is linking Ohio Savings' telephone banking center with some of the firm's back-end operations. For the project, Ohio Saving's 250 seats of the Windows NT Server and Windows NT Workstation operating system are linked to back-end data systems so that employees can access all relevant information on a customer.

    "The Total Relationship System will allow for screen pops; profitability analysis; online, real-time transactions; and contact management information. A browser-based user-help system tells a personal banking specialist exactly how to better service a customer, for example, in looking up products or rates, or how to efficiently execute a stop payment," Goldberg said. "And TRS is based entirely on Windows, so the learning curve for our people on the new operating environment is really short."

    The next phase is to roll out the relationship system to branch offices and the remaining back-end areas.