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Nationwide has implemented a systems management server (SMS) for installing, configuring and maintaining software and hardware across its distributed network of 1,000 administration centres and branch offices as part of a corporate migration from Windows NT 4.0 and SMS 1.2 to Windows 2000 and SMS 2.0.
The management system will give Nationwide's IT department centralised control over the use and performance of more than 17,000 PCs and distributed servers. It will make the roll out and monitoring of software and hardware easier and enable network bandwidth to be used more efficiently. The system should also help Nationwide to provide better support for remote workers.
"It is difficult to imagine how we would manage our increasingly complex environment without this tool," said Arthur Amos, head of technology support at Nationwide.
"We carry out nightly software distribution to our admin centre and branch users. With SMS 2.0 we receive automatic notification of any failed jobs. This leads to less follow-up action and eases the pressure on our support teams," he said.
Amos anticipates cost savings through a re-examination of Nationwide's desktop software use and licensing arrangements. It will also negate the need for physical visits to install software updates on its Windows NT-based cashpoint terminals. "Combining these two advantages will save more than £400,000 per annum," Arnos said.
Nationwide has a good track record in innovative IT projects. It launched the first internet banking service in the UK and Europe's first Pocket PC PDA mobile banking service. Last year it announced plans to implement biometric signature and verification technology for some services across its network of UK branches in early 2003.