NCR Corp. has announced an agreement with Gasper Corp. to jointly market a suite of self-service terminal management software in the United States.

Dayton, Ohio-based Gasper provides terminal management software to more than 150 companies worldwide. Banks and networks primarily use Gasper software to monitor their automated teller machine networks.

Connected to the host application, the Gasper software resides in a central location called a "help desk" and alerts the user to any problems within the network.

NCR's newest generation of self-service ATM terminals is the NCR 5600 family. In coordination with the Gasper system, these new terminals generate status messages that are more predictive than reactive.

"This new generation of ATMs have the capability to predict the state of their own health. They have more intelligence," said Dave Gasper, president of Gasper Corp. He explained that one common ATM problem is caused by receipt printer ribbons running out of ink -- usually after 13,000 items. The new ATMs can be programmed to forward a message to the terminal management system -- say at the 10,000-receipt mark -- to inform the bank the ribbon needs to be replaced.

A similar methodology is applied to pieces of equipment in the ATM that need periodic replacement.

Two-Way Communication

With the new NCR terminals, the Gasper software opens up a two-way channel of communication. Instead of waiting for a message to generate from the network, the user is able to perform diagnostics from a ccntral location and evaluate the performance of machines in the field.

The system also provides automatic dispatching to service teams through voice, paper, or electronic notification.

According to Ron Oden, manager of an 839-unit ATM network for NBD Corp., this auto-dispatch feature is one of the most attractive aspects of the Gasper software. "Out main objective is making sure that the ATMs are up for customer use. We have to think of that ATM as a branch, a place where customers can expect to accomplish certain tasks. The faster we can get people out of there to repair a problem, the better," he said.

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