After years of running Kirchman Corp. software in its individual bank affiliates, Union Planters Corp. announced this month it plans to install the same software for holding company operations.

The $6.4 billion-asset holding company agreed to licensed Orlando-based Kirchman's software, called Dimension 3000, a core banking system.

The deal builds on an existing relationship, according to Gregg Pace, vice chairman of Kirchman. Union Planters first started using Dimension 3000 six years ago, at the beginning an aggressive acquisitions program of community banks in the South.

The bank now has affiliates in Tennessee, Arkansas, Mississippi, and Alabama.

"All the banks that Union Planters acquired during this time had systems problems," said Mr. Pace, "We'd help them convert the banks and move them onto our software."

Today, Kirchman is helping Union Planters National Bank, the holding company's lead bank, standardize computer operations at 98 branches and 31 affiliate banks.

Mr. Pace said that Dimension 3000 is particularly suited for large bank holding companies that are in an acquisition mode.

As a fully integrated system, Dimension 3000 offers a centralized customer data base to which information only needs to entered once.

It provides the full set of banking modules from loan and transaction processing to an executive information system.

Mr. Pace said a new release of the system allows for "parallel processing," that allows the system to work faster by breaking up complex computing task into pieces that are worked on simultaneously.

Dimension 3000 runs on an International Business Machines Corp. mainframe or an IBM AS/400 mid-range system. Kirchman officials said other bank holding companies using Dimension 3000 include F & M National Corp. in Winchester, Va., and Fourth Financial Corp. in Wichita, Kansas.

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

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