Better Performance Means Better
Customer Service"> IBM staged the hardware (that is, loaded the ITI application on it); ITI took care of the rest of the implementation. Inking the deal to purchase the iSeries in August 2004, the Bank of Utah was one of ITIs first platform users.Once the bank agreed to buy the iSeries, the migration project took off quickly. With help from ITI, implementation started in September 2004, and the system went into live production in the second week of that November. Once the banking application was loaded on the new box (which IBM took care of), "We generally schedule two preconversion trips where we come out and port the database over and do testing," Wegman said. Generally, testing takes three to six weeks. "From four to eight weeks later, well be positioned to do a live switchover," Wegman said. "We do training just before that." The aggressive schedule was needed because the mainframe was just about on its last legs. "We were running out of space rapidly," Parkinson said. "We needed to have it in before Thanksgiving. We didnt want interruptions to the customers while they were doing their holiday shopping." With the system now in production for more than a year, the bank has realized many benefits, Parkinson said. First and most important is that the bank can now offer customers the applications they have come to expect from all banks. The time spent on updates and backups has been greatly reduced, Baxter said, much to his relief. Nightly updates take less than an hour. Tape backups run only 10 to 20 minutes. Quarterly reports, previously a major ordeal, take just 40 minutes. Even better news: After more than a year, the box is running at only 3 percent capacity, making for a better experience for the bank personnel who serve customers. "The applications are launching much more quickly. The users can do inquiries more easily. Better performance for our front-line people hopefully translates to better service for the customer," said Baxter. Lauren Gibbons Paul is a freelance writer based in Waban, Mass. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org. Check out eWEEK.coms for the latest news, views and analysis on servers, switches and networking protocols for the enterprise and small businesses.
According to Wegman, eight banks moved to the iSeries in 2004, with 18 making the move last year and 16 currently in the queue for 2006. "iSeries performance is incredible and the value is outstanding," he said.