After a yearlong search, First Farmers and Merchants National Bank has signed a seven-year outsourcing agreement with M&I Data Services Inc.

First Farmers, based in Columbia, Tenn., is a 14-branch community bank with $450 million in assets.

Previously a Mellon/Fiserv customer, First Farmers will turn over its core data-processing services to M&I in October. In addition, First Farmers will install a range of M&I products, including Salespartner, a front-end system that enables bankers to pull up on screen a full range of a customer's accounts.

Evaline Lunn, senior vice president and director of operations for First Farmers, said it chose Salespartner to increase workflow, save time, and improve accuracy.

First Farmers will also be using M&I's Execuvision. The Windows-based software provides an overview of banking activity. It allows management to track product lines and forecast scenarios.

M&I Data Services is in Milwaukee. It is a unit of Marshall & Isley Corp.

First Farmers is M&I's first customer in Tennessee. M&I executives said that they are committed to expanding the company's presence in the Southeast.

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

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