MILWAUKEE - M&I Data Services Inc. has established a purchasing program designed to expand the range of products and services it provides to its bank customers.

The program, called Partnership Plus, enables M&I to form alliances with vendors that, in turn, help provide turnkey services to M&I customers.

The program offers a number of distinct benefits, said Michael Hayford, a senior vice president for M&I.

"It gives (customers) the simplicity of one-vendor convenience, lower pricing, easy ordering, quick response, and personal service," he said. "In all, it expands the range of services we are able to offer our customers."

M&I, a division of the Marshall & Ilsley Corp., has formed its first alliance - with Wallace Computer Services Inc., one of the nation's largest manufacturers and distributors of information management products and services.

Under the alliance, M&I software users receive special volume discount pricing on preformatted custom and stock forms, envelopes, ribbons, and other computer supplies that can be used with M&I banking software.

M&I plans to form additional alliances with other vendors that can add value to its customer relationships, said Mr. Hayford.

"We are now in the process of evaluating partnerships with several vendors who can offer our customers the products they need to efficiently run their businesses," he said.

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