Magazine article American Banker

NationsBank Linking 25,000 PCs with OS/2-Based System

Magazine article American Banker

NationsBank Linking 25,000 PCs with OS/2-Based System

Article excerpt

NationsBank Corp. making network computing a reality by putting a new operating system from International Business Machines Corp. on 25,000 branch workstations.

The rollout, which began in February and is expected to be complete by yearend, involves IBM's Workspace On-Demand operating system. Released last August, Workspace On-Demand incorporates Internet browsers and uses Sun Microsystems Inc.'s Java programming language to ensure that applications can be delivered to all users, regardless of which computer systems they may be using.

Retail banking workstations in 3,000 NationsBank branches across 15 states will have a consistent look and feel. Users will have access to the same information, no matter where it resides within the bank's computing environment.

Because changes can be made once at the server level and distributed to all users-according to Java's "write once, run anywhere" motto-NationsBank also expects the system to be cheaper to manage. Finally, the bank expects training time and costs to be reduced because of users' familiarity with the browser interface.

The approach is an extension of IBM's OS/2 operating environment. Workspace On-Demand runs on the OS/2 Warp server, which can implement Windows NT, Java, OS/2, or DOS applications. NationsBank has embraced Java. "Not only does Workspace On-Demand get us where we want to be-to a thin- client, server-managed environment-but we can get there without having to make radical changes to our current infrastructure," said Jon Hamm, vice president at NationsBank.

He said workstation disk drive and memory upgrades were minimal, no new support structure was built, and the bank continues to use the same applications.

Other banks piloting IBM's Workspace On Demand are Bank of Montreal, a group of German banks called Fiducia, Chevy Chase Bank in Maryland, First Virginia Banks Inc. …

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