Magazine article American Banker

NationsBank in Pact with MCI to Upgrade Communications

Magazine article American Banker

NationsBank in Pact with MCI to Upgrade Communications

Article excerpt

NationsBank Corp. and MCI Communications Corp. have signed a network management and consulting agreement - a first for the two companies - that will improve the capabilities of the bank's communications network.

Under the three-year, multimillion-dollar contract, MCI is providing a package of services called Knowledge to NationsBank. The company is managing the bank's 22-site, nationwide data network using frame relay, a type of transmission technology that is good at handling high-speed data over widearea networks. Frame relay can support such high-bandwidth applications as imaging, bulk file transfers, and electronic transaction processing.

Through the use of client-server technology, the new network delivers desktop automation applications, data base information, and financial and news information from outside news wires to the bank's Institutional Group, a division that provides corporate banking, finance, and marketing services to corporations with at least $100 million in sales.

Lower Costs Expected

According to NationsBank officials, the new network will provide lower cost and higher performance than the traditional mainframe environment and point-to-point telephone services the bank previously used.

NationsBank, with $164 billion of assets, is the first customer to purchase the Knowledge services, supported by MCI's newly formed professional-services organization.

The services are designed to take over the management of an organization's network, leaving the organization free to focus on its primary business.

Management Duties Shifted

This arrangement is unusual, since banks traditionally employ large telecommunications staffs to manage their own networks, said Joseph Murphy, MCI director of managed services in the professional services group.

NationsBank is no exception, but under the contract some management duties once handled by the bank's telecom staff have been taken over by MCI, enabling the bank to reduce expenses in this area, said Paul A. …

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