Broadway & Seymour Inc. has joined a consortium of technology companies that want to help deliver cost-efficient and effective customer information systems for banks.

The consortium is known as ROSS-Relationship Optimization Solution Set - and was formed last year by Action Systems Inc., a Dallas-based consulting firm.

Hewlett-Packard Co. is the biggest high-tech name among the participants, but Action Systems also turned to other companies with expertise in data warehousing, data mining, and profitability management.

The consulting firm devised the coalition approach after it said it reached the limits of its low-technology methods for providing and using sales-enhancing data at branches and other points of contact. Broadway & Seymour, which specializes in branch automation and other customer contact software, adds a necessary component to the ROSS package, said Stephen M. Carpenter, president of Action Systems.

"We had a gap in that our system does not actually go all the way down to the point of customer contact," Mr. Carpenter said. "For us to replicate that would be reinventing a wheel."

The consortium was formed with an understanding that no one company can provide a bank with a complete solution. Officials said banks were increasingly encountering difficulties when attempting to harness the valuable customer data scattered through multiple back-office systems.

Broadway & Seymour's call center software, Touchpoint, can consolidate information from back-end legacy systems. A bank's customer service and sales departments would be more effective when given that enterprise-wide view of customer relationships.

"It made sense" to join ROSS, said Alan C. Stanford, chairman and chief executive officer of Broadway & Seymour. "It fits a basic need in our market, and I think together we are able to handle the complete solution."

Action Systems is designing its service architecture, called Enact, for five bank customers. Their names have not been disclosed. Enact gives banks a blueprint for the most efficacious combinations of software, systems, and business practices. Broadway & Seymour's marketing department will join other consortium salespeople in presentations to potential customers. The Charlotte, N.C., vendor will also develop Enact-oriented screens for bank customer service representatives to use at their workstations.

Banks are not required to buy software or services from any of the companies in the consortium, said Robert Hall, CEO of Action Systems. "It's not exclusive," he said. Action Systems would likely cultivate further relationships with other technology providers to enhance its offerings.

"We have committed to become seamless with the common customers," Mr. Hall said. "We want to understand what those customers' needs are and match them accordingly."

The consortium includes Thinking Machines Corp., a Boston-based developer of parallel processing systems; Exchange Applications, also in Boston, a developer of marketing systems; Information Advantage, Eden Prairie, Minn., which specializes in a technology called on-line analytical processing, or OLAP; and Profit Management Group, a Malvern, Pa., company that sells profitability and cost-analysis systems.

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