ATLANTA, Oct. 29, 1996 — Reflecting a growing industry need to stay competitive and current, two community financial institutions with combined assets of more than $2.5 billion have decided to standardize their entire operations on the Microsoft® Windows NT® Server network operating system. The decisions by the Richmond Savings credit union of Vancouver, British Columbia, and the Hartford, Conn.-based Savings Bank of Manchester were announced here today during the America
s Community Bankers annual convention at the Atlanta Marriott Marquis.
Windows NT will enable these two banks to conduct all their branch operations and home banking on a single, unified computer platform, allowing them to add services, analyze data and embrace the Internet and intranet paradigms at will,
said Mike Dusche, banking industry manager at Microsoft.
For their part, bank officials praised the open design, security and number of applications available for the Microsoft platform. Officials also said Windows NT would allow them to cut overhead costs and increase services.
I look upon Windows NT as our Christmas tree,
said Kirk Lawrie, president and CEO of Richmond Savings.
There are so many more ornaments available for this tree than for any other.
ís adoption of Windows NT brings Microsoft into an affiliation with the third-largest credit union in Canada (the country makes no distinction between community banks and credit unions), whose assets total $1.7 billion. For the last nine years, the credit union has relied on MS-DOS® operating system-based computers running financial systems from Vancouver-based Prologic Corp., a Microsoft Solution Provider.
s end, Richmond
s entire operation, and all its Prologic software, will run from a single Windows NT-based server using a Microsoft SQL Server
database. The credit union will also convert its Novell communications network to one that uses Windows NT technology, and will replace approximately 465 MS-DOS-based PCs with those running either the
Windows® 95 or the Windows NT Workstation operating systems.
Satisfied with the security of Internet-based banking, Richmond
s Lawrie said the credit union will have its online financial services in place within one year. Satisfying the savvy online customer will be paramount, he said.
We might not need as many brick-and-mortar banks, but we
ll still need bankers,
Lawrie also said the move to Windows NT will allow the credit union to expand its product offerings substantially, and he predicted it will fuel a 25- to 30-basis-point increase in return on average assets by fiscal 1998.
With nearly $1 billion in assets, Savings Bank of Manchester will christen its relationship with Microsoft by moving its core banking functions to the Windows NT platform. It will then use Microsoft Internet Information Server (IIS) to bring its product offerings online. Customers can access financial services using Microsoft Internet Explorer and bank from home using the Microsoft Money personal financial manager.
The bank will replace its mainframe computer with several Windows NT-based servers and link the servers to approximately 350 PCs running the Windows NT operating system and networking software. To distribute software across this network, the bank will rely on Microsoft Systems Management Server. It expects to complete its conversion to Windows NT next year. Open Solutions Inc., a Glastonbury, Conn.-based Microsoft Solution Provider, will oversee the transition.
The move to Microsoft technologies will cut the bank
s information-systems overhead significantly, said its president, Richard P. Meduski.
Bank officials said they expect Microsoft technologies to keep them current in an increasingly crowded and competitive financial services market.
The ability to acquire technology such as Windows NT means that a small community bank can offer new technology such as PC banking affordably. It allows us to compete with the big banks or other financial institutions on a very sophisticated basis,
The winners in this competition will be the customers, said Microsoft
As technology continues to become the great equalizer for small banks, the playing field will continue to become more level. That will lead to increased benefits for customers as institutions compete solely on the basis of service, and increased efficiencies for banks themselves.
Founded in 1975, Microsoft (NASDAQ ‘MSFT’) is the worldwide leader in software for personal computers. The company offers a wide range of products and services for business and personal use, each designed with the mission of making it easier and more enjoyable for people to take advantage of the full power of personal computing every day.
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