NSS Corp. a supplier of branch automation solutions, has formed a new division. the Performance Support Group, to provide training programs to banks.

NSS, based in Bedford. N.H., previously offered these services to existing clients. The company decided on a broader marketing program after conducting a survey that indicated some demand among banks for the kinds of services it offered, according to Meg Petersen, the manager of the new group.

"Twenty-eight percent of the 300 domestic financial institutions we surveyed said they had plans to use training programs next year in the sales area," said Ms. Petersen. "Among that group, there was a strong interest in computer-based training, video, and multimedia."

The Performance Support Group offers customized training in such areas as new systems support. sales and marketing, and customer service, she said.

"We come into a bank and first analyze where the bank is and make recommendations on the tools that the bank might consider using," she said.

These tools include computer-based training programs that use software simulation models to help employees learn how to operate a new system.

Our research indicates computer-based training programs offer significant advantages over instructor-led training," Ms. Petersen said. "First, computer-based training is about one-quarter the delivery cost. It's self-paced and available 24 hours a day. This gives bank management and employees flexibility with regard to scheduling."

|Full Range of Tools'

In addition, Ms. Petersen said that the Performance Support Group develops on-line help programs to support a bank's existing software and then writes the code to the bank's specifications.

But should a bank opt for instructor-led training sessions, the group can organize these types of sessions as well.

"Presenting a full range of tools is central to our mission of offering customized, holistic solutions to banks," said Ms. Petersen.

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