Unisys Corp. has introduced a suite of products intended to help bankers sharpen their customer focus without losing sight of existing technology.
The new set of products, called Bankview, consists of applications software for customer information and management decision support, along with development tools and professional services designed to integrate those applications with traditional transaction and accounting systems.
Both Bankview products, Customerview and Managerview, can operate on networks of personal computers, or in a true client-server environment, with a file server acting as a traffic cop between user workstations and mainframe applications.
"There are a lot of banks looking for guidance in the area of client-server computing," said David Klebba, program manager for retail banking at Unisys. "We've brought some R&D into this so banks can get a jump start into the new client-server environments."
Mr. Klebba said the Bankview project began about a year ago as part of Unisys' effort to provide improved customer information systems to its clients.
Working with a research firm, Mentis Corp., Salisbury, Md., Unisys interviewed representatives of approximately 35 banks worldwide. "We developed the consensus opinion that there needs to be a new approach," Mr. Klebba said.
Unisys continues to offer mainframe-based software that handles the retrieval and organization of customer and operational data.
Mr. Klebba calls the new approach "noninvasive," meaning the client-server applications can be implemented without rewriting or otherwise uprooting existing applications.
In addition, the two applications are based on so-called open systems, meaning they can be implemented in a branch or department, or throughout an organization, according to Mr. Klebba.
Because of their open systems compliance, the Bankview products are not confined to Unisys hardware environments. "Information can be extracted rom a number of other systems, including IBM mainframes, Digital, Tandem. In fact, that's probably where the biggest portion of the market is," Mr. Klebba said. He added that Bankview products are also compatible with most popular relational data base systems.
Both applications under the Bankview banner were developed internally by Unisys.
The Customerview portion extracts information from multiple sources and places that information in predefined formats to provide a more complete view of a cutomer's relationship with a bank.
Unisys sees the Cutomerview being used in branch banking, marketing, corporate banking, and other areas.
The company tested the product in the corporate banking department of a U.S. institution that Mr. Klebba declined to name.
Managerview provides managers at each level in a bank's organizational structure with the information needed to enhance decision-making.
It also extracts information from multiple sources, and each implementation is custom-designed for an institution using the other Bankview development tools.
"We're finding most activity in the larger, mid-tier the larger institutions," Mr. Klebba noted. All Bankview products are available now. Product licensing begins at $45,000, based on the number of users.
A Better View of Banks
Using the latest open systems technology, Unisys Corp.'s Bankview products provide a "noninvasive" path to client-server computing.
Provides "intelligence" about a financial institution's customer base by extracting information from multiple sources.
Provides customized decision support data for managers at all levels within a bank's organization.