|Central Technology Services, the processing center
for Central Bancompany, combined check imaging processing software
from Wausau Financial Systems with storage technology from DISC, Inc.
to meet the needs of its 12 affiliate banks.
Formed in the 1970's, Central Bancompany Inc. in Jefferson City,
Missouri is a holding company for 12 banks representing over $4.7
billion in assets. Looking for ways to provide better service and
improve its competitive position, it established Central Technology
Services (CTS) in 1999. CTS acts as a service bureau, providing
centralized operations and technology systems to all banks in the
holding company. To provide greater efficiency in its operations,
CTS expanded its imaging technology with additional products and
services from Wausau Financial Systems (WFS) to work with its existing
storage systems from DISC, Inc.
Affiliate members of Central Bancompany provide a wide range of
products designed to meet the financial demands of individuals and
businesses, including checking and savings accounts, mortgages,
loans and investment services. Member banks extend into almost every
part of Missouri. By centralizing processing, the management of
Central Bancompany plans to achieve economies of scale and allow
both small and large banks to take advantage of the latest technology.
Consolidating operations also leaves each bank to concentrate on
offering personalized services to customers.
Central Bancompany plans to consolidate long-term document storage
and image capture of all check processing in its Jefferson City
facility. Under this plan, the company's five item capture sites
will be scaled down to two. At the same time, each member bank will
begin moving its processing to CTS over the next six to nine months.
When check-processing is fully consolidated from all 12 banks, CTS
is anticipating a peak of 700,000 items per day. In addition, Central
Bancompany plans an overall growth rate of about five to six percent
Two years ago, Central Bancompany installed a DISC optical storage
library at Central Bank in Jefferson City to handle the increased
volume required for long-term check image storage. Item image capture
was performed for any of the banks requesting check storage and
image statements. The checks were initially captured on an IBM 3890
using SuperMICR software to lift the MICR (Magnetic Ink Character
Recognition) information for Central Bancompany's internal application
processor. The majority of items were stored on microfilm. Using
this system, all checks had to be passed through two sorters, one
to file the MICR line and a second to lift the image for long-term
storage and retrieval. This significantly increased the amount of
time needed to process checks. Central Bank had previously installed
software from WPS, but it was used solely for back-end image capture,
archiving and image statements. Knowing that an imaging system would
reduce processing time, CTS decided to evaluate its existing image
archive structure utilizing the optical disk storage library from
DISC, Inc. manufactures an extensive family of high performance
automated storage libraries for 5.25-inch optical disk technology.
CTS is using the Orion D1050, the largest 5.25-inch library in the
industry, capable of accommodating from four to thirty-two drives.
The optical drives support media that stores 5.2 GB on each platter,
or approximately 250,000 front and back check images. By accommodating
more drives in one system, the D1050 allows more users access to
data while increasing system fault tolerance.
Storage libraries from DISC store both media and drives within
a two-dimensional array, decreasing the distance between media and
drives and ensuring fast exchange times. Also, a single DISC unit
can contain two independent libraries, allowing for large storage
capacity, up to 5.4 terabytes, in a small footprint and increasing
Central Bancompany chose magneto-optical storage technology over
microfilm and others because it is the best medium for large document
databases. In addition to offering the fastest data access, it can
accommodate large numbers of users. On the other hand, microfilm
storage creates delays in accessing information, requires expanding
storage space, increases the chances of misfiled documents and allows
only single user access to specific documents.
With the DISC system, the company was also able to take advantage
of new advances in the development of optical storage technology.
When first installed, the storage system used 1.3 gigabyte (GB)
drives. These were replaced with 2.6 GB drives, then 5.2 GB drives.
Storage capacity is expected to increase by 9.1 GB, allowing the
company to double and triple capacity with little cost and full
Finding an imaging system that was compatible with the existing
image archive system supported by the DISC storage library was critical
to management's plan to eliminate microfilm storage. "Our goal
is to migrate to full optical storage," said Penny Kleffner,
project coordinator. "This will make the information available
to everyone throughout the company."
After extensive investigation, CTS chose OPTIMA from WFS, a scalable
Windows NT-based imaging system supporting storage technology from
DISC, Inc. OPTIMA is a powerful, full-featured Proof-of-Deposit
system with prime-pass image life capabilities. With OPTIMA, items
are captured by an image camera on prime pass. This means no time
consuming re-pass to obtain the images, so normal workflow is uninterrupted.
The system's image quality is exceptional, even for hard-to-image
check styles. Images are then passed to the OPTIMA IMS (Image Management
System) for storage and online research and retrieval. In addition,
to complete compatibility with the DISC D1050, the system operates
seamlessly with the transport platforms chosen by CTS, the NCR 7795,
7790 and 7780.
Although compatibility was its major criteria, CTS was also looking
for a technology leader with a proven track record in the financial
industry. CTS chose WFS because of prior experience and its reputation
in the industry.
Implementation and Long-Term Benefits
Implementation of the prime-pass image capture system is occurring
in two phases. In the first phase, CTS moved all in-clearing capture
from the IBM system to OPTIMA. At this point, CTS is still using
the IBM system for Proof-of-Deposit (POD). The second phase, starting
in September and implemented over the next six months, will include
full image POD capture. CTS expects that the new system will allow
them to handle increasing volume without increasing staff at the
For CTS, an important advantage of OPTIMA is its ability to exchange
information with any type of hardware, such as the DISC storage
library. This allows the CTS staff to use the hardware they are
most comfortable with. Another advantage is its ease-of-use. OPTIMA
uses familiar point and click menus, graphical screen prompts and
flexible mouse and keystroke commands.
"By using Wausau's OPTIMA with DISC's optical storage library,
we've accelerated the research process on the items that we are
currently imaging," said Kleffner. "As we expand the use
of the OPTIMA application to include full Image Proof of Deposit
(POD), we will gain additional benefits from having all items imaged
and stored on optical storage. That's the true value for the future."
For more information call:
Wausau Financial Systems, Inc.
9 Indianhead Drive, Mosinee, WI 54455