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FIRST CLIENT SIGNS UP FOR MKI’S NEW FACILITIES MANAGEMENT SERVICE

Riggs Bank N.A. in London is the first financial institution to sign up for Midas-Kapiti International’s (MKI) new Facilities Management service. Launched recently, the service is designed to provide users of the company’s Midas and Equation banking solutions with the opportunity to outsource the operational management of their hardware and banking software applications.

MKI FM has been launched in partnership with Syan and its subsidiary, Protocol Solutions and includes the provision of a complete systems infrastructure, covering the design, procurement and build of the system. As well as hardware and application software management, other services offered by MKI FM include Help Desk facilities, communications management and Disaster Recovery.

Saffron Rainey, the manager responsible for MKI’s FM service, explains, "Hardware can be located either at the client’s site or at the UK Data Centre used by MKI FM, whichever is the most convenient. A second Data Centre is also available, to provide Disaster Recovery facilities should the need arise. The two Data Centres, which form the hub of the service, offer secure, controlled environments operating 24 hours a day, 365 days a year."

Depending on the contractual agreement reached with a client, MKI’s Facilities Management offering provides a wide range of services; these include the guaranteed availability of the system and applications throughout the working day; end-of-day processing and reporting; help desk facilities, with links to MKI’s application support centres; routine back-ups and storage, plus performance management.

Saffron Rainey points out, "Outsourcing the operational management of hardware and software applications can provide banks with numerous benefits. As well as enabling managers to focus on the bank’s core business and revenue generation, outsourcing also provides enhanced technical management, a superior hardware environment, rigorous operational controls and guaranteed systems availability, as defined in the Service Level Agreement. Other advantages include reduced operating costs, integrated Disaster Recovery facilities and reduced requirements for I.T. staff and skills training."

Riggs Bank NA is the first financial institution to sign up with MKI FM and its alliance partner Syan, for an IT outsourcing service on behalf of the bank’s international private banking offices, which recently opened in London and the Channel Islands. The five year agreement covers the management of an automated front-to-back office solution comprising IBM AS/400-based banking operations servers, clustered Microsoft Windows NT application servers and Citrix 'thin client' technology, together with a sophisticated communications network. The bank’s AS/400 will be sited at the UK Data Centre, linked by managed network to NT-based servers at the bank’s London office.

The managed service being provided to Riggs comprises AS/400 facilities management, including Disaster Recovery, Help Desk and NT server management, plus desktop and applications management. The system configuration is eminently scalable, ensuring that any expansion of the bank’s operations is not limited by technology, while advanced security identification features allow the bank to deploy a sophisticated network architecture.