IBM and S1, a provider of customer interaction software for financial and payment services, have partnered to offer banks a virtual ‘branch in a box’ which is designed to eliminate the need to run costly individual PCs at each teller station within a bank branch.
The virtual PC environment runs on an IBM server running VMware ESXn. The PCs run S1 Enterprise Teller, a client teller application which fits into the technology because of the small required footprint of the smart-client.
S1 Enterprise Teller is accessed using a ClearCube I/Port, located at the teller station to communicate to the virtual PC via the branch LAN. The iPort serves as the hub for the keyboard, display, mouse, scanner printer and any other device typically associated with a teller station.
The firms say that a bank can then eliminate individual PCs and rely on a server that lasts nearly twice as long as a traditional server in the banking environment.
Drew Lamparello, director of product management, full service banking at S1, said that the S1-IBM Branch in a Box system will allow a bank’s IT organization to minimize the hardware required at each teller station, automate failover should a server fail, and reduce the headcount required to operate and maintain the branch network.
Virtualization is critical to streamlining operations across all industries, but is particularly valuable to the banking industry faced with significant support expenses, added Michael Mohrman, FSS banking alliance manager at IBM.