Kent Reliance Building Society Improve Document Management by Migration from OfficeVision to Interform

Ever since IBM announced that OS/400 V4.5 was the last release of operating system to support their OfficeVision product, companies have been searching for an alternative solution. Many took the decision to continue using OfficeVision until it became critical to update the OS version of their IBM System i (AS400). IBM may have announced a clear migration path but many companies took the opportunity to evaluate third party products which in some cases offer additional features and benefits whilst reducing costs.

Patrick Race Managing Director of SpaceTec said “Although the IBM announcement to discontinue support for OfficeVision after OS/V4.5 was a number of years ago, we are finding that many of our customers are only just tackling the issue. Companies preferred to continue using OfficeVision, until it became absolutely necessary to upgrade the Operating System beyond V4.5. Many of our customers have invested a great deal of time and money into their legacy systems and they need to make sure that any new applications are the right one and not just a quick fix.”

Kent Reliance Building Society was one such company. Utilising OfficeVision for the production of all their documents meant that migrating to a new solution and converting existing documents could be costly in terms of labour and time. As winners of many awards for their services and the technology behind it, it was imperative to maintain their operating standards. “We could only do this by ensuring any changes to the technology went smoothly and were unseen to our customers. This was a big challenge as we need to ensure a seemless change from OfficeVision to a new application.” said David Clare, Development Manager at Kent Reliance Building Society

For Kent Reliance Building Society finding a replacement solution was only the tip of the iceberg. It was crucial that the solution would take existing documents and templates and convert these with the minimum amount of time and cost. They had very specific requirements for all their documents and no resources available to spend months on the conversion which could also impact Customer Service. Kent Reliance Building Society contacted SpaceTec as the UK provider of InterForm400 software. They were also evaluating solutions from other suppliers but it soon became very clear that SpaceTec had the only application that would offer a complete solution..

“We needed not only a replacement solution but also one which would convert all our current documents and offer a print feature. With SpaceTec and InterForm400 we could do all this with the one vendor. ” said David.

A single vendor application meant that the solution could be implemented quickly with no issues regarding compatibility of different modules. SpaceTec have implemented InterForm400 for many customers in just the same position and knew that they could meet all Kent Reliance Building Society requirements.

“We wanted to show Kent Reliance Building Society how InterForm400 would meet their requirements in terms of converting documents, providing a stable product to move forward with and the flexibility of the print feature. To prove this we provided them with contact details for Newcastle Building Society (who use InterForm400 for exactly the same reasons as Kent Reliance) to act as a reference site,” said Race. “The result was that Kent Reliance Building Society were able to see how quickly and accurately InterForm400 could be deployed and implemented”

New rules devised by the FSA regulatory body meant that mortgage lenders and advisors had to take a different approach to the procedures and documents they were currently using. For Kent Reliance Building Society this required an overhaul to their systems, procedures and marketing literature. After a brief discussion with SpaceTec it became obvious that they would be able to use the already installed InterForm400 to make the necessary changes. “Having InterForm400 already installed saved us a great deal of time when we were faced with the issue of making changes to comply with the new FSA Regulation rulings. two days consultation from SpaceTec showed us how we could address the problem using InterForm400. The reality was that we completed a large percentage of the changes and were able to swiftly move ahead,” said David

“SpaceTec have a number of customers who have taken the route of migrating from OfficeVision to InterForm400. We are finding that InterForm400 is proving very popular as a replacement for OfficeVision,” said Race. “The product is very stable and offers many additional features. Combine this with the knowledge that the product is constantly evolving and it becomes a solid, reliable investment.”

“We have a good relationship with SpaceTec,” said David. “They are always available to help and support us where necessary. When the FSA issue occurred they were very confident of the ability of InterForm400 and were able to prove this to us quickly.”

Kent Reliance Building Society
Kent Reliance is the only building society based in Kent. Incorporating the Chatham Reliance (established 1898) Dover District (established 1861) Herne Bay (established 1888) and Kent and Canterbury (established 1847), Kent Reliance is proud of having served the people of Kent for over 150 years.

With assets of over £1 billion, and with a network of branches and agencies throughout the county, they are continuing that proud tradition of service. But now the products and service that have made them the natural choice in Kent for mortgages and savings are available to borrowers and savers nationwide.

As a building society they are run for the benefit of their members, and based on this commitment they have built a reputation for personal service, generous interest rates, and solid financial expertise.

Today, their members enjoy all the benefits of a locally based building society plus the advantages of an efficient, competitive and specialist financial institution.