IBM announces bank branch unified communications products

IBM Corp. and Cisco Systems Inc. have announced Front Office Solutions for Retail Banks, which includes hardware from both manufacturers and software from IBM’s Lotus and Tivoli divisions.

The offerings also include systems integration and consulting services from IBM. One module of Front Office Solutions, dubbed Optimized Branch Infrastructure, has a Web portal that combines voice, video, Web conferencing and wireless IP soft phones. It gives each user access to specific services and lets banks install servers, storage or switching hardware at either a branch or head office.

The Unified Communications Module, which also combines voice, video and Web conferencing and mobile IP phones, is designed to let product experts talk directly with customers. Another module designed for product experts is the Integrated Contact Center, which helps branch employees put customers in contact with experts to help them close sales. Another module is the Optimized Network, which uses wireless technology to provide voice, video and data services throughout a branch over a virtual private network.

Front Office Solutions for Retail Banks includes server, mainframe and storage-area networking hardware from IBM, including the System z mainframe, System p Unix server or System x Windows/Linux server, BladeCenter and Director products. They also include several IBM software products, including: Lotus Sametime, Notes and Domino; Tivoli Access, Compliance, Identity, Provisioning, Risk Managers, NetView and Netcool; and WebSphere Application Server. Cisco provides a variety of switching, routing, security, unified communications and call center products, including the Integrated Services Routers, Catalyst 6500 Series, Unified Communications Manger, Unified Contact Center Enterprise and Agent Desktop.

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