Electronic Data Systems Corp. is marketing software to make its community banking systems easier to use.
Capitalizing on a trend toward "client-server" computing, EDS will begin selling in the first quarter software named On Call that takes information" from EDS' mainframe computers and puts it on a network of personal computers at a community bank.
The Plano, Tex.-based vendor, which is among the leading computer servicers for community banks, is also marketing a new document image processing system that works with On Call.
Big Gains Seen
EDS has contract negotiations under way with many banks to install the software, said Kathy Garnett, communication and support manager for the vendor's community bank business.
But Tanglewood Bank, a $205-million asset institution in Houston that helped EDS design the software, is the only institution using the system.
"It has helped us tremendously," said Jerome Simon, a Tanglewood executive vice president.
"Our productivity and efficiency bankwide has increased dramatically as a result of our going on the system."
Tanglewood installed the On Call software in July 1992, and it is now running on the 63 PCs used by the bank's 66 employees.
The On Call software currently acts only as a "central information file" that stores on PCs the records of all the customer loans and accounts maintained on EDS' mainframe computers.
This information is in a relational data base management system that makes it possible for bankers to analyze customer files, and run reports, from their own PCs.
The document image management system complements On Call by making it possible to see electronic copies of customer signature cards, letters, and loan documentation, on the same Microsoft Windows PCs bankers use to get into the customer information file.
The bank installed the document imaging system in the summer, and is now in the midst of scanning loan documents, Mr. Simon said.
The bank has spent a "couple of hundred thousand dollars" on new computer equipment, and has invested a great deal of time helping EDS work out software bugs, Mr. Simon said.
But the payoff is that the new system "is just a lot easier to use" than the PC mimickry of video terminals the bank has employed since 1987 to see customer records on EDS mainframes, he said.
Other service bureau vendors are building similar Windows systems. But Mr. Simon said he believed that "EDS was just way ahead of anybody else in designing something user-friendly."
Over time, EDS plans to deliver other services through the On Call software, including an "executive information system" with charts and analyses of bank operations.
EDS also plans to introduce an audio response capability that will let banks' customers dial into PCs at the bank to obtain account information, instead of calling EDS' mainframes, said Robert Shields, an EDS manager of delivery services for community banks.