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Issue of September 2004 
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NCR's NOC

Your ATM's a NOC away

Managing a large number of nationwide ATMs can be a daunting task for a bank whose core business is finance. Let a service provider manage, monitor, and replenish the nationwide ATMs while the bank does what it does best–make money. by Soutiman Das Gupta

Picture a large public or private bank in India with several hundred, or a few thousand nationwide ATMs. How does the CIO of on organization like that monitor, manage, replenish cash, and maintain such a large number of devices? The efforts that will be necessary in order to keep a constant check on the health of the device, fix errors, manage security, and replenish cash are Herculean.

Banks like to do what they love doing best–make money. Not many banks would like to employ a large team of IT personnel, equip them with updated hardware, software, and knowhow about ATM management, and run the show of nationwide ATM management.

It's a good idea to outsource the management operations of the ATMs to an external organization, have them deliver a range of services at a flat fee.

NCR's WCS

NCR Corporation India Private Limited has a number of business units like Financial Services Division, Retail Solutions Division, Teradata, Systemedia, and the Worldwide Customer Services (WCS) division. The WCS focuses on solution portfolios regarding implementation and maintenance.

WCS manages global IT infrastructures and helps to perform functions from consulting to site design, and from staging and implementation, to complete

systems management. These services focus on the vital systems, networks, software, and security and include operations management, consulting, deployment, and maintenance.

WCS provides these services directly to global businesses as well as through partnerships with leading technology, network and systems suppliers including Cisco Systems, Nortel Networks,Dell Computer, and Sun Microsystems.

The WCS management centre today monitors and manages around 3500 ATMs across India. It has 800 locations from where support is provided to customers.

The NOC at the WCS

In order to provide a range of services to the self service & retail development market, NCR has built an enterprise Network Operating Centre (NOC). The NOC caters to all support-related function of the self service and retail channels (like ATMs) and offers proprietary software and new technologies to its customers.

Services at the NOC

NCR's managed services focus on supporting IT infrastructure operations–from ATMs and kiosks to PCs, servers and networks. NCR aims to provide the services and intelligence to reduce operational cost and risk.

The company provides a range of services that are managed out of the NOC. The range of services includes:

Management Services—This includes day-to-day management and operation of select IT assets and processes. NCR's management services focus on IT systems, networks, ATMs, kiosks and help desks.

Cash and Consumables Replenishment—NCR minimizes outages and maximizes channel availability by ensuring improved management and control of assets with the help of sophisticated settlement tools and a single point of contact for all replenishment and deposit activity.

Currency management—By reviewing demand patterns, cash carrier parameters, and cost factors, the company constructs a custom model of the cash for each self-service terminal location.

Incident Management - NCR's Incident management solution facilitates automatic problem detection, pro-active problem resolution, process improvement, and consistent service delivery.

Infrastructure Consulting—An array of advisory services for the design and operation of IT environments for store automation, ATMs, data warehousing, and other IT systems.

Deployment and Integration— Leveraging NCR's global presence and experience to customize and implement IT solutions, including procurement, staging, and installation.

Maintenance services

The company aims to ensure high availability for IT systems with multi-vendor hardware maintenance and software support.

First Line maintenance— Problems like dirty self service terminals, blocked transportation, which prevent distribution of consumables and jammed cards, paper and currency are settled by first line maintenance. In addition, complicated self-service terminals can be pre-empted using effective First Line maintenance, thus encouraging frequent usage and maximizing the channel's revenue potential.

Multi-Vendor Maintenance - NCR has access to the appropriate software patches that quickly resolve most failures. If the hardware needs to be mended, NCR supplies all the parts, labor, and materials necessary to restore the equipment to a fully operational condition. This maximizes infrastructure uptime, and preserves revenues and profits.

The company currently maintains support for more than 25,000 multi-vendor products from hundreds of manufacturers. NCR also performs over 18,000 service actions per day around the world, and supports 21 languages at its regional customer care centers.

Cash Management

Too little cash in your machines means customer dissatisfaction, and too much means that the money lies idle without earning interest. The challenge is to optimize total channel cash availability, while minimizing the cost of managing currency.

Handling cash is a major operational cost in managing a self-service network, and the larger and more versatile your network becomes, the greater will be the related problems and the costs. On average, 75% of the cash withdrawn is through ATMs, and nothing angers consumers like a cash machine without cash.

NCR's Cash Management Services promises to coordinate, manage, and report all cash and consumables within the network. By providing a single point of contact, a single periodic invoice, and a clear target of liability, the company helps relieve the CIO of responsibility for replenishment, and tries to simplify the business processes around it.

Along with physical replenishment, the company performs services like retrieving retained cards and mutilated cash, changing security tapes, and cleaning the interior and exterior of the ATM as administrative maintenance functions.

Cash Management services include ATM balancing. This service reconciles the records of cash remaining, dispensed, and deposited with the verified total of cash in the machine, employing a unique Electronic Settlement Reporting system.

Optimizing distribution

By reviewing currency demand patterns, cash carrier parameters and cost factors, NCR constructs a custom model of the cash demand for each self-service terminal location. This allows the company to determine the most cost-effective distribution of cash resources. Efficient cash distribution optimizes replenishment scheduling. This in turn reduces transportation and holding costs—which has a noticeable impact on overall operational costs.

Effective currency management can reduce channel cash by as much as 40 percent. That means almost half the cash in a bank's self-service channel—cash currently sitting idle—could be making money for the organization.

Business benefits

NCR's solutions aim to provide the following benefits to organizations that use its services:

  • Maximize the efficiency and cost-effectiveness of IT resources so that the business can focus on more vital issues.
  • Better align new strategic business initiatives due to the organization's ability to respond quicker.
  • Centralize the administration of the IT portfolio–for added productivity and reduced downtime.
  • Leverage NCR's resources to save time and cost of re-training or recruitment.
  • Provide predictable costs with productivity improvements for the business (cost and service levels).
NCR's cash management services overview

  • Scheduling cash delivery and replenishment
  • Modeling cash replenishment requirements based on historical and current usage trends
  • Forecasting future cash requirements
  • Optimizing cash float
  • Improving cash utilization
  • Minimizing self-service terminal cash outages
  • Handling seasonal adjustments for replenishment
  • Providing clear, concise management reports

Soutiman Das Gupta can be reached at soutimand@networkmagazineindia.com

 
     
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