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Investors Federal chops leased data line cost 50%.

Investors Federal Savings Bank, headquartered in Richmond, Va., operates 47 retail branches, 42 automatic teller machines, and 50 security terminals on their data network.

The Bank completed the installation of ATMs on the network this past February. This, along with the reduction of lines by half, resulted in an additional monthly savings of $3,329. Investors' original network, before March 1989, consisted of UDS, AT&T Dataphone and Burroughs modems running 1200 b/s multi-point for ATMs.

UDS is, without question, a good modem but lacks the comprehensive diagnostics and flexibility for the changes this network was about to undergo.

The security system was a hodgepodge of dial-up and leased line connections acquired through acquisitions and mergers. Monitoring was done at several locations throughout the state.

Investors decided to centralize alarm monitoring and convert from their GEAC mainframe to an IBM running Systematics software. This posed an interesting scenario for the data communications network.

After looking at many available options, Investors chose the AT&T Paradyne 3455 Multiple Virtual Modem (MVM) with the 6500 Analysis Network Management System.

Modem installation began in February 1989, replacing the UDS modems on existing lines and running GEAC on port two. Modem installation was completed that March. In April, an IBM 3720 front end processor was installed in the computer room at the Stony Point Operations Center and connected to Data Systems (now BISYS) mainframe by way of a leased digital 56 kb/s line.

Six months later, installation of Novell LANs using ICOT 3270 gateways operating over MVM's port one at 4800 b/s was completed in all branches.

Software in the PC based workstation was modified to allow users access to both the GEAC and IBM mainframes from all remote branch terminals.

This dual host access was necessary during conversion and was accomplished without adding any additional data network or equipment.

In January 1990, installation of a Diebold security system on port three began. Because Investors had received the MVMs without async chip sets, we elected to run port three at 2400 b/s sync, and operate the Diebold controller and terminals at 300 b/s async. This eight-to-one oversample worked well and is still operating in that configuration.

Installation of the security system was completed on the data network in August 1990, resulting in a monthly saving of $3,412 in leased line cost and allowing one consistent central monitoring point.

Little Rock, Ark.-based Systematics Inc. was selected as an outsourcing vendor for Investors data processing and began operations, programming, conversion, and data network management on site for Investors Savings Bank in December 1989.

In July 1990, the 3720 at Stony Point was replaced by a 3725 FEP at Branchway connected to the network at Stony Point by way of an existing data T1. That November, the master modems were relocated from Stony Point to Branchway. Then the 3725 was connected directly to the master modems and the GEAC mainframe was disconnected.

With port two now vacant we set out to install the async chip sets in ports two and three. We received them from Paradyne at no additional cost (per contract) shortly after the installation of the modems.

By April 1991, all retail branches were upgraded on port one from 4800 b/s to 9600 b/s. We completed the installation of the chip sets, reduced the number of lines by two and began the installation of ATMs on port two at 2400 b/s async.
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Title Annotation:Modem Update; Investors Federal Savings Bank
Author:Hall, Roger
Publication:Communications News
Date:Oct 1, 1992
Words:577
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