The business unit within International Business Machines Corp. responsible for branch banking software was recently certified under international quality standards for design and service.

The group, Branch Delivery Systems Software Development/Services, headquartered in Charlotte, N.C., oversees software for IBM's consumer transaction products and the 4700 series of branch automation hardware and applications.

Complying with the standards, known as ISO 9000, is an ongoing effort within IBM, company officials said.

ISO 9000 certification is increasingly becoming a prerequisite for product acceptance in the international marketplace.

A Benchmark for Quality

The ISO 9000 standards were established in 1987, and are currently used as a quality benchmark in more than 50 countries.

IBM's branch automation software group received ISO 9001 registration, the most comprehensive of the five ISO 9000 standards.

Instead of creating new opportunities, "to some extent, this preserves our current markets," said Jon Shoemaker, manager of branch delivery system software development.

Mr. Shoemaker said the European Economic Community requires ISO 9000 certification, and that the standard is used in other parts of the world as well.

The certification process involves a review of contracting, management, inspection, customer service, and document control procedures by an outside auditor.

Mr. Shoemaker said the process took nearly a year and involved all of the nearly 100 employees within the group.

Hardware Certification Next

"The auditors certify the organization and the processes used, rather than the products themselves," said Mr. Shoemaker.

The first product to be shipped with ISO 9000 certification is the latest release of IBM's CT/2 product, a teller and platform automation application tool.

Mr. Shoemaker said the manufacturing unit for branch banking products has already received ISO 9000 certification, and the hardware development group will be certified by the end of the year.

Six-Month Review

Once registered, companies are audited every three years and reviewed every six months.

Other manufacturers of banking automation equipment, including NCR Corp. and Unisys Corp., either have received ISO 9000 certification or are in the process of doing so.

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