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Vicki Gerson
Vicki Gerson
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Bank Inks Aps Deal

New York-based Amalgamated Bank signs a seven-year outsourcing agreement with Alltel Information Services to provide an integrated end-to-end banking application.

New York-based Amalgamated Bank has signed a seven-year outsourcing agreement with Alltel Information Services to provide an integrated end-to-end banking application.

The agreement extends a relationship that began in 1994, when Amalgamated outsourced its check processing operations to Little Rock, Ark.-based Alltel. In 1995, the bank extended the contract to cover data processing services, including loans and deposits.

The bank decided in April 2000-two years before its Alltel contract expired-to consider other vendors, including Metavante and Fiserv. But last April, it decided to stick with Alltel, and the contract was signed in October.

The conversion is expected to be completed this fall.

Amalgamated is currently running Systematics, a suite of mainframe banking applications that Alltel purchased a few years ago. Alltel recommended that the bank migrate to an AS/400-based platform, which runs Horizon, according to Debi Gupta, senior vice president in charge of IT and telecommunications at $2.8 billion Amalgamated Bank.

Horizon, a comprehensive set of scalable, integrated financial applications, is cheaper than traditional mainframe-oriented applications. Its applications include deposits, new accounts, teller operations, sales tracking, signature verifications, bond redemption, MICR check, collection management, mortgage, and commercial and consumer loan origination.

"Based upon predictions, we will be saving about 25 percent of what it cost us to run these services on the mainframe," Gupta said.

Once the conversion is completed, the Albany data center will host customer and transaction data, perform processing, manage the network and produce reports. Amalgamated Bank will initiate transactions and create new accounts or name changes.

Acquire, the data warehousing system, will reside at the bank. Scheduled to be installed early this year, Acquire will work with the Systematics system until the conversion is completed.

Converting from Systematics to Horizon was deemed less disruptive than other alternatives, because both systems are owned by the same company. Amalgamated will acquire an integrated product, with a newer design and greater functionality than it had before.

"The level of integration offered with Alltel's Integrated Financial Solutions products will aid our organization in delivering a higher level of customer relationship management services to our customers at a lower cost," said Gupta. "By partnering with Alltel in an IBM iSeries service bureau environment, we will automatically receive the latest version of Alltel's applications."

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