Thai Farmers Bank in Bangkok, Thailand, has selected Software Alliance's Reliance 2000 Integrated Banking System to serve as the foundation for an aggressive reengineering effort.

Reliance 2000 is an integrated, real-time banking system composed of five core components: deposits, loans, customer information, cards, and branch delivery.

The 400-branch bank also hired consulting company Booz, Allen & Hamilton Inc. to help develop a strategic plan.

According to Software Alliance president, Todd RulonMiller, the Thai Farmers Bank reengineering project is the first of its kind in Thailand.

Reengineering Effort

"It's a stem-to-stem, top-tobottom shake up of everything the bank has been doing," said Mr. Rulon-Miller. "Reengineering is new in Thailand. Even the fact that they brought in a consuiting firm was rare."

Banthoon Lamsarn, the bank president, is spearheading the effort, focusing on work processes in five areas of the bank: customer service, foreign exchanges, money transfer, credit card issuance, and debt restructuring.

Mr. Lamsam, a graduated of Harvard Business School, hired Booz, Allen & Hamilton to help develop a strategic plan.

His plan is to eliminate manual processes, bring employees closer to the customer, and give employees more direct decisionmaking power in these areas.

Subsidiary to Serve Bank

The $17 billion-asset Thai Farmers will be served by Software Alliance's new subsidiary, SAC Asia Pacific Sdn. Bhd.,in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

With 400 branches, Thai Farmers is the second-largest commercial bank in Thailand. Software Alliance is a technology and information services company based in Berkeley, Calif.

Ms. Sullivan is a freelance writer based in New York.

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