Servantis Focusing on Software to Help Meet Consumer Regs

Article excerpt

NORCROSS, Ga -- Servantis Systems Inc. translates its Christian tenets into customer service.

The Bible verse "You that would be greatest, let him be servant to all" is prominently displayed in the company's offices and talked up by its executives.

SSI was founded in 1971 by Larry A. Dean, an Atlanta millionaire who instilled his strong Baptist philosophy in the company. Mr. Dean retired last month, but Bible readings for employees are still held on Wednesday mornings.

"This company is a result of Larry's personality and personal philosophy," said Howard Kossak, director of business development.

Exceptional customer service is SSI's primary mission, he said.

"It's a mania in this company, serving your customer."

To reflect this dedication to service, SSI changed its name from Stockholder Systems Inc. to Servantis Systems Inc. last month. It is best known for "PEP Plus," an automated check deposit system used by nearly 90% of U.S. banks.

For the past four years, communications giant Nynex Corp. owned SSI. But the New York investment firm of Welsh, Carson, Anderson & Stowe bought the bank software company in January.

Mr. Kossak said the strategy is to build up SSI's value in the next two to five years and then take it public. Part of the plan is getting more deeply involved in software designed to help banks comply with consumer regulations.

The company has built a reputation as a niche player in the software business, mainly in the line operations area. Many of SSI's 70 products have compliance built in. For example, WireNet keeps bankers up to date with money-laundering laws. SSI's Mortgage Originator and Mortgage Servicer help with fair-lending laws by tracking a bank's loans.

The company expanded its compliance focus in January when it bought the Baltimore-based regulatory software company Disc Inc.

Expansion Strategy

Mr. Kossak said SSI has decided to expand through mergers, acquisitions, and alliances rather than by developing new products. For example, SSI has decided not to develop its own Community Reinvestment Act program but is considering a partnership with Atlanta-based Advance Technology Consultants, which produces geocoding software. …