SeedMuse Technologies


Problem: A financial institution was employing UNIX servers to provide DOS-based Customer Service Management (CSM) and Teller (TLR) applications. However, all the needs of their 587 branches, in four states, were not being met by those existing applications. The institution also anticipated Year 2000 incompatibilities. A UNIX vendor had proposed a new system at a total cost of $11 million. Our professionals found a better solution.

Solution

Based on a Technology Assessment, including full analysis of their server and workstation environment, our conclusion was that a migration from UNIX to NT servers was required in order to permit the use of MS Windows-based applications for CSM and TLR functions. We fulfilled all project responsibilities, from inception to planned rollout, including initial needs assessment, existing environment analysis, development of Request for Proposal, vendor selection, application customization, and standardization for all servers and workstations. The cost of the entire system, including rollout and user training, was $4.3 million -- saving $6.7 million over the proposed UNIX-vendor solution.

Details

The financial institution's existing environment included:
  • IBM Mainframe host for all transactions, using a data center in Michigan
  • UNIX servers for local branches
  • Token Ring for local branches
  • SNA communication between host and branch servers
  • 3270 emulation for local branch workstations
  • DOS-based workstations running DOS applications (not Y2K compliant)
  • Local branch servers running NCR UNIX (not Y2K certified)

The original UNIX-vendor solution proposed replacing all servers, applications, and operating systems. However, we discovered that the existing servers were more than adequate for a Windows NT installation. Also, all workstations were capable of using Windows 95 operating system. In addition to implementing new operating systems on the existing hardware, we established a Visual Basic application to provide all existing CSM and TLR functionality, plus new features for future growth. Upon completion, the new environment was fully Y2K compatible, and included these elements:
  • MS NT 4.0
  • MS SNA Server
  • MS SMS
  • MS SQL
  • Norton Anti-Virus
  • One Domain with 4 Organizational Units
  • MS Windows 95, MS SNA Client, and MS 3270 emulation software for workstations
  • New custom Visual Basic application for CSM and TLR which maintained host integration
  • Retention of existing server and workstation hardware, networks, and printers

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