Banks just wanna have flexibility

NAB recently struck a global software agreement with US developer BMC, with the intention of globally standardising the operating environments of the bank's mainframe systems. The standardisation would then enable smooth retrieval of data independently of location and time, the bank said.

BMC marketing director Simon Price said the installation of his company's software in NAB would not replace any systems in the bank. Rather, the software would quicken access to the bank's existing DB2 mainframe environment.

He said the rollout of his company's software was already completed in NAB's Australian operation, with rollouts to follow in the US and UK immediately.

Price said the emerging popularity of internet banking was "absolutely a driving force" behind a need for banks to ensure 24 hour, globally accessible mainframe systems. "People want to log on at 3:00am to transfer funds around," he mused, while citing statistics which stated that on average 75 per cent of all financial data was stored on mainframes.

NAB's global head of technology procurement, Ian Hughes, agreed the rapidly increasing uptake of online banking had encouraged banks to ensure mainframe data was accessible 24 hours a day. "What we're trying to do is put in place global contracts where we can access their (BMC's) products on a global basis," Hughes said.

Hughes would not reveal how many of the bank's operating systems would ultimately be endowed with the BMC software, nor would he reveal the cost of the implementation or speculate on any expected savings for NAB resulting from the installation.

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