CFI ProServices Inc. and the Bisys Group Inc. have signed an interface and marketing agreement that will let them benefit from each other's market positions, products, and expertise.

Under the deal, CFI and Bisys will develop interfaces between Bisys host computers and CFI's Laser Pro loan closing software and Deposit Pro operations software.

Bisys will also help CFI market these products to customers.

Matthew Chapman, chairman and chief executive officer of Portland, Ore.- based CFI said the agreement positions his company to do business with the hundreds of financial institutions served by Bisys.

The Little Falls, N.J.-based outsourcing company sells processing services to more than 450 commercial and savings banks, thrifts, and mortgage banks in the United States.

Integration of systems has been a core competency of CFI, which has linked many of its products to host processors. As a result of acquiring Texas/Southwest Technology Group Inc., a Houston-based client/server company, Bisys has recently converted its systems to client/server architecture.

With the growth of hybrid mainframe and client/server environments in banks - in which several architectures are melded - the need to integrate systems becomes greater, said Greg Myers, a CFI spokesman. He added that the company would continue to partner with and acquire technology companies.

The agreement enables Bisys to integrate CFI's loan software into its recently introduced suite of commercial lending products and services for large banks and commercially chartered community banks.

The suite, consisting of DOS-based software from a number of vendors, offers banks a complete commercial lending program.

It also provides a central data warehouse from which people in various lending areas can pull information to perform tasks.

"The objective is to reduce the labor-intensity of commercial lending, which is usually a fractured process with bits and pieces of information in diverse areas," said Walter Wright, Bisys product manager for loan origination systems.

"Lenders need to make decisions rapidly," he said, "and at the same time, (need to) make prudent, solid decisions. Without automation, you can't get both speed and quality."

The Bisys suite aims to solve this quandary by consolidating information into a data base, keeping all participants in the lending process informed, and reducing redundant tasks.

Bisys also acts as a single source of support for all products in the software line, Mr. Wright said.

In addition to the products from CFI, the software line includes a commercial credit management package from Baker Hill Corp., Carmel, Ind.

Bisys plans to add software from other vendors for portfolio review and small business credit scoring.

Also in the suite is Bisys' Total Credit Manager consumer loan underwriting product.

A Bisys client in Texas will be the pilot site for the company's new commercial software line, said Mr. Wright. Three other financial institutions have accepted proposals, he said, but no installation schedule has been set.

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