Employee Efficiency in Banks

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					                                               Microsoft Optimization
                                               Customer Solution Case Study

                                               Credit Union Optimizes Infrastructure to Gain
                                               Efficiency, Attain Carbon-Neutral Status

Overview                                       ―The Microsoft stack offered so much value and
Country or Region: Canada
Industry: Financial services
                                               affordability that it‘s now our policy to look first to
                                               Microsoft-based solutions to satisfy our business
Customer Profile
Vancouver, British Columbia–based Vancity
is the largest credit union in Canada,         Tony Fernandes, Vice President, Technology Strategy, Inventure Solutions [IT arm of the Vancity
serving more than 380,000 members. It          Group]
has assets of more than U.S.$14 billion        Vancity, Canada‘s largest credit union, needed to increase
and 3,269 desktop and portable
computers.                                     efficiency. The credit union turned to technology to support its
                                               efforts and opted to standardize on Microsoft® technologies
Business Situation
Vancity competes with large banks that         because of their usability and value. By upgrading its Microsoft
have greater resources, so it strives to use   license agreement to the Enterprise Client Access License Suite,
technology to its fullest to maintain
competitive advantage, particularly when it    Vancity obtained a business productivity infrastructure that
comes to employee efficiency.                  provides collaboration and communication in a cost-effective
Solution                                       manner. For instance, the credit union uses Microsoft Office
The organization is taking advantage of a      SharePoint® Server 2007 to share electronic documents, reducing
Microsoft Enterprise Client Access License
Suite agreement to conserve resources as       paper consumption and making it easy for employees to quickly
it deploys an integrated communications        find the information that they need to serve members. Thanks to its
and collaboration framework.
                                               efforts, Vancity can not only better contribute to its environmental
Benefits                                       sustainability goals, but it also has been able to offer more IT
 More effective collaboration
 Improved service to members
                                               services without incurring additional costs.
 Greater environmental conservation
 Enhanced IT efficiency
 More IT services to offer for the same
Situation                                         and often included multiple versions of the
Vancity Credit Union was founded in 1946 to       same documents. Vancity wanted to help its
provide financial services to people from all     employees be more efficient by making it
walks of life and has maintained an ongoing       easier to find and share information, thus
commitment to improving the quality of life in    increasing the reuse of company knowledge
its community. Vancity customers, whom the        and ensuring that people were basing their
credit union refers to as members, have           decisions on consistent, accurate
numerous options when it comes to selecting       information.
a provider for their banking services. To
remain competitive with large banks and           Sustainable Practices to Save the
other institutions that have more financial       Environment and Save Workers’ Time
resources at their disposal, the credit union     Vancity differentiates itself from the
endeavors to deliver the same services with       competition by connecting with members
the highest level of customer service             better through its community and
possible.                                         environment programs. For instance, the
                                                  company heavily promotes its sustainable
Vancity set out to establish a leading position   practices, such as its encouragement of
in the industry by improving customer service     bicycle commuting for employees and its
and internal collaboration; promoting             carbon-neutral initiatives. The organization
efficient, carbon-neutral practices; and          considers its use of technology to be a
streamlining its IT environment and               significant contributor to its status as a
management to be able to offer additional IT      leader in environmental practices. ―We‘re big
services.                                         believers in ‗Green IT,‘‖ says Jesse Breaker,
                                                  Director, Technology Infrastructure for
Increased Responsiveness to Members               Inventure Solutions.
Through Team Collaboration
A key objective for Vancity is to provide its     Vancity saw several areas of opportunity for
employees with IT services and functionality      adopting IT solutions that could support
that empower them to respond better to            environmental initiatives while also
member requests. ―We face the same                increasing efficiency and conserving financial
challenges that banks everywhere must             resources. For example, the credit union
overcome,‖ says Tony Fernandes, Vice              wanted to find an alternative to its in-person
President, Technology Strategy for Inventure      training sessions, which it held at its training
Solutions, which is the IT arm of the Vancity     center and required employees to travel up to
Group. ―People are demanding more and             100 kilometers to attend. ―To make it worth
better services than ever before. We              the drive, we waited until we had a training
continually upgrade our internal IT               agenda that required at least half a day or
capabilities so that we can fulfill their         more, but that time spent away from the
experiences and expectations.‖                    branch offices was a productivity drain,‖ says
                                                  Breaker, ―and it also meant a lot of extra cars
Vancity also sought a better overall              on the road.‖
collaboration strategy and the tools to
support and foster it among workers. The          Another way in which Vancity looked to
credit union‘s previous environment provided      conserve resources was by reducing the
limited capacity for collaboration. Employees     amount of paper that it used for its board
used e-mail messages and public files to          meetings. ―Our meetings used to necessitate
share information, but the files grew larger      reams and reams of paper printed with
critical information and placed in binders that   The credit union determined that gradually
we handed out to all attendees,‖ says             adopting solutions from Microsoft would
Breaker. ―It was a considerable waste of          support those principles and that Microsoft‘s
paper because most of it was never used           long-term strategies for those solutions
again.‖                                           worked well with those of Vancity. Some of
                                                  the products and technologies that the credit
Simplified Infrastructure for Enhanced IT         union deployed included the Active Directory®
Services                                          service, Microsoft Operations Manager 2005,
To make it easier for employees to serve          Group Policy Objects, Microsoft Systems
members, Vancity also wanted to simplify its      Management Server 2003, Windows® Update
IT environment. In 2000, the Vancity              Services, and Microsoft Exchange Server
infrastructure included a Lotus mail system,      2007.
Lotus desktop suite, Novell systems, Oracle
systems, a few Microsoft® products, and           ―Microsoft provided us with the tools we
other systems. Each was a point solution that     needed to manage our environment more
had been implemented to meet separate             efficiently and enhance the services that we
needs over the years.                             deliver to our work force to make them
                                                  happier, more capable, and more
After looking at its heterogeneous IT             productive,‖ says Fernandes. ―But beyond
environment and evaluating its options,           that, we also felt comfortable adopting the
Vancity chose to standardize on Microsoft         Microsoft stack because the company shared
technologies. ―Over several years, we got rid     clear road maps as to where it was heading
of all the ‗noise‘ and focused on making          with its technologies.‖
Microsoft technologies our core IT
competency,‖ says Fernandes. ―The Microsoft       Since its decision to pursue a continual
stack offered so much value and affordability     infrastructure optimization initiative, Vancity
that it‘s now our policy to look first to         has been engaged in ongoing, long-term
Microsoft-based solutions to satisfy our          discussions with its Microsoft account team.
business needs.‖                                  Those discussions do not necessarily target
                                                  individual products or technologies. Rather,
Solution                                          they focus on larger ideas, such as how to
Since its decision to standardize on Microsoft    manage the Vancity environment more easily
technologies, Vancity has embraced its            and make changes more quickly.
standing as an IT leader in its industry and
continues to use technology as a strategic        ―We continually work with Microsoft to
asset to help the credit union gain efficiency    evaluate where we are, where we‘re going,
and create competitive advantage.                 and what we‘re trying to accomplish with our
                                                  business,‖ says Fernandes. ―Our Microsoft
Long-Term Commitment to Ongoing                   team is proactive about coming to us with
Infrastructure Optimization                       ideas, introducing us to relevant Microsoft
To achieve its goals of using technology to get   and partner solutions that can have a positive
ahead and support environmental practices,        impact on our particular business challenges,
Vancity began working with Microsoft in 2002      and maintaining good, healthy dialog.‖
to put forth and carry out a continual
optimization initiative for its business          One of the ideas brought forward was to
productivity infrastructure.                      consolidate the credit union‘s individual
                                                  Microsoft technology investments under an
―[W]e‘ve gone from                           Enterprise Agreement featuring the Microsoft     to follow along with electronic versions of the
                                             Enterprise Client Access License (ECAL) Suite.   presentations.
thinking of Microsoft as                     Vancity determined that the ECAL Suite
a departmental                               supported capabilities in which the company      In addition, the credit union improved its
                                             was interested, such as communication and        training procedures by taking advantage of
solutions player to                          collaboration, and provided a set of             the communications capabilities in Microsoft
considering Microsoft an                     technologies that aligned directly with its      Office Live Meeting. Now that training
                                             infrastructure optimization requirements,        sessions can take place virtually, employees
enterprise solutions                         such as the Microsoft Forefront® client          are no longer required to leave their branch
partner, one that makes                      security line of business security products.     offices to visit the training center. Therefore,
                                                                                              Vancity can offer shorter, more frequent
functionality affordable                     The ECAL Suite also delivered cost-saving        training sessions than the minimum half-day
for us.‖                                     benefits, particularly as Vancity embraced       sessions previously required to justify the
                                             more and more Microsoft solutions. ―We‘d         travel time and productivity interruption.
Tony Fernandes, Vice President, Technology   already experienced the benefits of multiple
Strategy, Inventure Solutions                Microsoft-based solutions, so when the ECAL      ―We‘ve been able to evolve toward a just-in-
                                             became available, we got together with our       time training model,‖ says Fernandes. For
                                             Microsoft team and looked at where we saw        instance, if the credit union is about to roll
                                             the potential for more benefits,‖ says           out an upgrade to one of its software
                                             Fernandes. ―Given where we‘re trying to go       systems, trainers schedule a half-hour Office
                                             and what we expect to accomplish over the        Live Meeting session to introduce applicable
                                             next few years, it made great financial sense    users to the new or different features. And
                                             to move from a regular enterprise agreement      because trainers can record their sessions
                                             to the ECAL.‖                                    and make them available on a SharePoint
                                                                                              site, employees can watch them from their
                                             Business Productivity Infrastructure in          offices or homes at the most convenient
                                             Use                                              time. Continues Fernandes, ―There‘s a
                                             As part of its push to optimize its              definite customer service impact now that our
                                             infrastructure and increase productivity,        people no longer have to be gone for half a
                                             Vancity deployed Microsoft Office                day or more at a time.‖
                                             SharePoint® Server 2007 to support
                                             knowledge sharing among its work force.          The organization also adopted Microsoft
                                             Responding to the new solution‘s ease of         Office Communications Server 2007, which
                                             use, employees enthusiastically adopted          provides presence functionality that has
                                             Office SharePoint Server 2007 to help them       helped the credit union extend its resources
                                             collaborate on temporary projects and long-      through real-time communications. For
                                             term activities, minimizing their practice of    example, Vancity operates an insurance
                                             using e-mail and public files to share large     company that has a large member base and
                                             documents.                                       approximately 100 other employees, many of
                                                                                              whom are stationed in the credit union‘s
                                             For example, Vancity ceased printing board       branch offices. The insurance company also
                                             meeting information for all employees,           has a call center staffed by five people who
                                             instead publishing it to a SharePoint site so    take incoming calls from members and
                                             that employees can download and read the         respond to their needs.
                                             material before a meeting. Employees then
                                             use their portable computers during meetings     Previously, members and potential members
                                                                                              had to wait in a phone queue for a call-center
―Presence effectively                        agent to be available. If the agent could not    but already we have nearly 50 top-level sites
                                             answer the member‘s question, that agent         with the new version, plus hundreds of lower-
extended the five-person                     had to reach out to colleagues at random         level sites. We‘ve empowered our users while
call center into a 105-                      throughout the branches to determine the         still maintaining IT control.‖
                                             answer, which meant either placing the
person operation, thus                       member on hold or hanging up and calling         Employees can get more work done in less
ensuring that we‘re                          back later.                                      time because they no longer have to hunt
                                                                                              through file shares and mailboxes to find
delivering faster, better                    Vancity deployed presence capabilities to its    what they need or compare multiple versions
service than before.‖                        full roster of insurance employees. Now          of the same document. Continues Lau,
                                             agents can quickly check employees‘              ―We‘re able to fine-tune the relevance of
Tony Fernandes, Vice President, Technology   presence icons to see who might be available     search results, and employees can search
Strategy, Inventure Solutions                in which branch to either take an incoming       across content from all team sites—both of
                                             call when the five call-center agents are busy   which help employees make the most of
                                             or provide specific help to a member with a      Vancity knowledge assets and respond to
                                             question that the agent cannot answer.           colleagues and members with better, more
                                                                                              accurate information.‖
                                             Vancity is taking advantage of infrastructure    Improved Service to Members
                                             optimization and the use of technology           All the new efficiencies that Vancity has
                                             solutions to enhance its communications and      implemented contribute to better service to
                                             collaboration capabilities and thereby           members. Employees spend less time away
                                             improve efficiency and customer service.         from the office for training, so they‘re more
                                             ―From an IT perspective, we‘ve been able to      available to handle member issues. They also
                                             drive down costs, boost efficiency, provide a    have tools that help them be more
                                             more stable and available environment to our     responsive to members.
                                             internal customers, and give them tools that
                                             help them think about approaching tasks in a     Presence functionality has improved the
                                             different way to perform better,‖ says           speed at which members receive answers to
                                             Fernandes. ―All of this contributes to           their inquiries. ―Presence effectively extended
                                             improved service to members and overall          the five-person call center into a 105-person
                                             efficiency.‖                                     operation, thus ensuring that we‘re delivering
                                                                                              faster, better service than before,‖ says
                                             More Effective Collaboration                     Fernandes. ―It‘s triggered a leap in
                                             Having given its work force tools to make it     productivity and a significant improvement in
                                             easier to both find and share information        our members‘ experience.‖
                                             throughout the organization, Vancity is
                                             experiencing the benefits of increased           Greater Environmental Conservation
                                             knowledge sharing and productivity. ―We had      By relying on technology to reduce paper
                                             had SharePoint Portal Server 2003 in place,      consumption and physical travel, Vancity is
                                             but the great collaboration capabilities of      living up to its environmentally responsible
                                             Office SharePoint Server 2007 and the ease       image. Its internal training department, for
                                             with which users can set up and manage           example, delivered approximately 290
                                             SharePoint sites resulted in an explosion of     training courses to staff during the credit
                                             use at Vancity,‖ says Denise Lau, Product        union‘s pilot program for Office Live Meeting,
                                             Manager for Inventure Solutions. ―We had a       saving staff from traveling more than
                                             total of 13 sites with the previous product,     139,000 kilometers to attend training
―By adopting Microsoft                           sessions. The company calculates an annual        program for our infrastructure resulted in a
                                                 cost avoidance figure of approximately            huge lift in our ability to do more with less,‖
technologies, we‘ve                              U.S.$145,000 in staff time and expensed           says Breaker. ―By adopting Microsoft
actually been able to                            mileage due to the use of Office Live Meeting.    technologies, we‘ve actually been able to
                                                 Additionally, Vancity has reduced the amount      reduce the number of people supporting our
reduce the number of                             of paper consumed per employee by 30              environment, even as we‘re doubling our
people supporting our                            percent, in part by using electronic              number of devices.‖
environment, even as                                                                               Not only can the IT staff support more
we‘re doubling our                               These and other technology-supported              devices, but it also can resolve IT issues more
                                                 sustainability programs at the credit union       quickly for its employees because of its
number of devices.‖                              helped Vancity achieve its goal of becoming       optimized infrastructure. The organization
Jesse Breaker, Director, Technology              the first North America–based financial           uses Office Live Meeting to work with users
Infrastructure, Inventure Solutions [IT arm of   institution to be carbon neutral,1 which          who call the help desk seeking assistance.
the Vancity Group]                               means that the carbon dioxide emissions that      Rather than traveling to the users‘ locations,
                                                 Vancity creates are now equal to the              as help-desk staff formerly did, Vancity now
                                                 emissions it has offset elsewhere.                initiates Office Live Meeting sessions and
                                                                                                   works with users right on their desktops to
                                                 Enhanced IT Efficiency                            answer their questions and show them how
                                                 As Vancity continues its infrastructure           to use products properly. ―We‘re serving our
                                                 optimization efforts, the credit union‘s IT       internal customers a lot more quickly than we
                                                 department is finding it easier to manage and     used to,‖ says Lau.
                                                 maintain its environment. In 2000, when
                                                 Vancity decided to migrate its desktop            More IT Services to Offer for the Same
                                                 productivity suite, the process took              Cost
                                                 approximately 400 hours. Several years later,     Overall, Vancity has been able to increase the
                                                 after optimizing its infrastructure to include    number of IT services that it offers while
                                                 Active Directory and a strong Group Policy        maintaining similar costs. ―Infrastructure
                                                 Object infrastructure, Vancity was able to        optimization at Vancity has been an
                                                 upgrade everyone in its work force to             evolutionary process during which we‘ve
                                                 Microsoft Office 2003 within a single             gradually implemented solutions that add
                                                 weekend. ―We had what we needed in place,         value through efficiency,‖ explains Breaker.
                                                 and we automated the entire upgrade, so no        ―The ECAL introduced us to even more
                                                 one had to drive around to visit all 57           solutions that really support where we want
                                                 branches,‖ says Breaker. ―It was a real           to go, particularly our efforts to move toward
                                                 success story.‖                                   a more Web-based environment.‖

                                                 The credit union also has been able to grow       Adds Fernandes, ―The cost of adding so much
                                                 without adding to the size of its IT support      functionality was prohibitive with other
                                                 staff. In 2005, Vancity had one support staff     vendors—we couldn‘t even entertain the
                                                 person per 306 devices; now, in 2008, each        thought. But we‘ve gone from thinking of
                                                 support person cares for 455 devices. ―The        Microsoft as a departmental solutions player
                                                 introduction of our continuous improvement        to considering Microsoft an enterprise
                                                                                                   solutions partner, one that makes
                                                                                                   functionality affordable for us.‖
 ―We save time, grief,                Better Vendor Support                               reduce the potential for mistakes. This also
                                      For Vancity, its consolidation efforts are          will contribute to better service for Vancity
and quite a bit of money              about more than cost savings. Previously,           members.‖
by having an optimized                with its hybrid environment, Vancity often had
                                      difficulty locating the source of a particular IT
infrastructure and ready              issue and solving it. Says Breaker, ―It was
support.‖                             hard to determine who to talk to and how to
                                      get help, particularly if the problem required
Jesse Breaker, Director, Technology   getting multiple vendors to work together.‖
Infrastructure, Inventure Solutions
                                      Continues Breaker, ―Today, we‘re able to fix
                                      most issues ourselves because the standard
                                      operating environment we use is Microsoft
                                      based. And for any issue that we are unable
                                      to resolve, we can contact Microsoft Premier
                                      Support Services and work with an engineer.

                                      ―Microsoft also can provide additional
                                      resources to work on a problem, depending
                                      on the business impact. It‘s a truly 180-
                                      degree turnaround in our experience. We
                                      save time, grief, and quite a bit of money by
                                      having an optimized infrastructure and ready

                                      Foundation for Added Value
                                      Vancity has embraced business productivity
                                      infrastructure optimization as an ongoing
                                      initiative, so the credit union has big plans to
                                      extend its collaboration environment for even
                                      greater efficiencies. For example, Vancity is in
                                      the planning process of migrating its intranet
                                      to a solution based on Office SharePoint
                                      Server 2007. Says Fernandes, ―We‘re
                                      creating new opportunities to connect more
                                      functionality to our intranet by taking
                                      advantage of Office SharePoint Server 2007
                                      so that the intranet extends beyond
                                      ‗brochureware‘ and becomes an active part
                                      of our service delivery.‖

                                      Continues Fernandes, ―Our longer-term goal
                                      with Office SharePoint Server 2007 is to
                                      replace the many screens that employees
                                      must continually jump between with one
                                      Web-enabled portal to make employees‘ lives
                                      easier, simplify their user experience, and
For More Information                                            Microsoft Optimization
For more information about Microsoft                            With Optimization, you can build a secure,
products and services, call the Microsoft                       well-managed, and dynamic core IT
Sales Information Center at (800) 426-                          infrastructure that can reduce overall IT
9400. In Canada, call the Microsoft                             costs, make better use of resources, and
Canada Information Centre at (877) 568-                         become a strategic asset for the business.
2495. Customers who are deaf or hard-of-                        The Microsoft Optimization model—with basic,
hearing can reach Microsoft text telephone                      standardized, rationalized, and dynamic
(TTY/TDD) services at (800) 892-5234 in                         levels—was developed by Microsoft using
the United States or (905) 568-9641 in                          industry best practices and Microsoft‘s own
Canada. Outside the 50 United States and                        experiences with enterprise customers. The
Canada, please contact your local                               Optimization model provides a maturity
Microsoft subsidiary. To access information                     framework that is flexible and easily used as
using the World Wide Web, go to:                                a benchmark for technical capability and
www.microsoft.com                                               business value.

For more information about Vancity                              For more information about the Microsoft
products and services, call (604) 877-                          Optimization model, go to:
7000, or visit the Web site at:                                 www.microsoft.com/optimization

                                                                 Software and Services                          Hardware
                                                                  Microsoft Server Product Portfolio              Dell PowerEdge 1950 and 2950 server
                                                                   − Microsoft Exchange Server 2007                 computers
                                                                  Microsoft Office                                Dell OptiPlex 750 and 755 desktop
                                                                   − Microsoft Office Professional 2007             computers
                                                                   − Microsoft Office Communications               Dell Latitude D630 portable computers
                                                                     Server 2007                                   HP ProLiant DL3xx Series and DL585
                                                                   − Microsoft Office SharePoint Server             server computers
                                                                     2007                                          HP 7600 and 7700 Series desktop
                                                                  Microsoft Forefront client security              computers
                                                                  Microsoft System Center
                                                                   − Microsoft System Center Configuration
                                                                     Manager 2007
                                                                   − Microsoft System Center Operations
This case study is for informational purposes only. MICROSOFT        Manager 2007

Document published June 2008

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