11 Feb Unified Communications at Volksbank
Volksbank, the third best bank in the Romanian banking system, with assets of over 5.3 billion and a 6.79% market share, chose Cisco IP Telephony to reduce operational costs related to communications. The project was started by implementing the solution in several key locations in Volksbank Romania and an office in Cyprus. The solution was designed, customized and implemented by CRESCENDO team, along with the bank’s specialists.
In 2008, Volksbank owned an operational infrastructure with several challenges: systems taht had been developed in successive stages, with components that do not match each other; PBX in every agency, with limited possibility of extending them to the entire organization; high costs and low security for telephone conversations between bank agencies (being conducted through public telephone network); low utilization of existing Cisco equipment in bank infrastructure.
In addition, there were few business requirements: cost optimization, availability and securing of bank communications, increased customer satisfaction, increased productivity of Volksbank team.
Communication is vital in order to support the bank’s development strategy. The communication volume determines that the telephone costs take a representative part from the entire costs structure. Thus, deployment of a communication solution to streamline bank’s staff work and to facilitate considerably reducing of telephony and network management costs, has become a priority for Volksbank.
“Implementation of Cisco IP Telephony in several offices was the beginning to successfully resolving the problem of bank’s telephone high costs. Changing to IP telephony in these offices has enabled communication costs reduction of 40%”, CIO Volksbank Daniel Oana said.
Volksbank chose an unified communication integrated solution with the following components: Cisco IP Telephony, Cisco Unified Contact Center Enterprise, Call recording solution (Zoom CallRec).
Internal calls between headquarters and branch or between branches is now carried over the IP network, with no costs for transfer through external networks. Routing calls that are carried through transfer in external networks causes a considerable decrease of costs. Even the temporary mixed solution using traditional PBX equipment determines decrease of costs. Consolidating voice and data networks has reduced the managing cost of inherent settings change, caused by adding, moving or changing users.
“We acquired the voice recording solution CallRec from Zoom Company for the treasury agencies. Therefore now, currency sales/purchase orders sent to the bank treasury remain registered in customers’ history, thus it is eliminated risk of disproof”, Daniel Oana says.
CRESCENDO specialists have designed and implemented a security solution in accordance with bank policy in order to ensure a high level of IT&C security that could prevent possible attacks. Volksbank network administrators now have an overview of network incidents. This determined better time and solving of network incidents.
Implementation of the communication solution by CRESCENDO had some obvious advantages from the first moment. Thus, there has been greater service availability through the implementation of mechanisms such as: balancing services to many providers, “High Availability” hardware solutions, backup phone system in agencies, and permanent availability of communication services throughout the entire organization.
Second, this new solution succeeds to secure bank communication. Communications are protected by implementing multiple level security (both within the agency and between agencies). Communication security policy is in line with bank policy. The calls are recorded in critical departments (e.g. Treasury, Debt Collection).
Another benefit is there is a better customer communication by increasing availability of banking services to both external and internal customers, Self Service and Callback option.
All these were possible due to the solution’s functionality: intelligent call routing, efficient handling of inbound calls and automation of outbound campaigns, agents distributed virtually anywhere, and reports to measure contact center activity.
Another advantage of IP Telephony solution is increased productivity. Thus, the Debt Collection department became up to 35% more efficient; a new agency could be opened or relocated up to 15% faster; remote access to telephony for employees with high mobility (e.g. Cisco IP Communicator) from everywhere at anytime; and easier addition, removal or alteration of internal telephone stations.
The project required a total budget of up to 100,000 euros.
“Our goal is to gradually provide a consistent communication service throughout the organization. At the same time, economic circumstances force us to reduce operating costs, to centralize administration and increase the level of security for the entire bank. After careful analysis of the market, we chose solutions from CRESCENDO IT&C Solution House. They help us become more efficient and contribute to ensuring our customer satisfaction and loyalty”, Daniel Oana says.
About Cisco Unified Contact Center Enterprise solution:
Part of the Cisco Unified Communications portfolio, Unified Contact Center Enterprise solution is designed to meet the large contact centers and/or large companies who want a efficient customer service department.
Being highly scalable, the solution allows simultaneous connection of up to 6,000 agents and serves millions of calls every day. It also helps to increase customer satisfaction and agents productivity, both in inbound (received calls) by intelligent routing of calls to the most advised resource in the organization, wherever located, and outbound (outgoing calls) by automatically dialing preset customer lists, or all the phone numbers assigned to a person and call routing to the agent only when a human voice is recognized.
Due to integration capabilities at user level – with business software applications (ERP, CRM, BI or other applications), software applications dedicated to specific industries (e.g. Debt Collection) and/or web applications (chat, collaboration and e-mail) personalized interfaces could be developed in accordance to desired automations and to operations specific to each agent. Thus agents derive real-time access to all the information they need, regardless of its location (ERP, CRM, BI or other applications), regardless of the contact way (by phone, e-mail, fax, web etc.), or agent’s access way (on a desktop, laptop or mobile device connected locally or remotely).
Besides the immediate operational advantages, information stored in time is extremely valuable, because it can be analyzed and exploited both to increase customer satisfaction and for more efficient use of organizational resources, which results in increased company profitability.