2 page Case Study
Posted: 12/13/2013
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Westpac Group Wealth Advisors Use Mobile Platform to Help Customers Bank at the Speed of Life

BT Financial Group Australia, a division of Westpac Group, wanted to differentiate its financial planning services. It provided its financial planners with tablets running Windows 8 Enterprise and a custom built touch-enabled app so they can meet more customers outside the branch office with the potential to increase sales. Using the tablet to facilitate engaging, productive consultations improves the sales process and helps differentiates Westpac from its competitors.

Business Needs
BT Financial Group Australia (BTFG) is the wealth management arm of Westpac. BTFG creates financial products to help its customers achieve their financial goals by administering, managing, and protecting their assets. “Today, customers are banking online and coming into our branches less frequently,” says Richard Holmes, Chief Information Officer of BT Financial Group and Westpac Retail Business Banking. “We have to reevaluate how we can achieve a more personal, deeper engagement with our customers.”

As the General Manager for Bank Financial Planning at BT Financial Group, Michael Chesworth oversees approximately 600 financial planners. “We have to meet our customers in their homes, their offices, or their favorite coffee shops,” he says. “So, we need to equip our financial planners with tools that enable more mobile productivity. Our customers have very good technology at home, yet we were sitting in front of them with outdated laptops and paper and pens.”

BTFG financial planners used an internationally recognized paper-based discovery tool called Your World to help customers define their financial goals and assess their insurance needs. “We used Your World to connect and engage with the customer, and then we had to pull out another document to collect data,” says Shimon Meinrath, a Senior Financial Planner at BT Financial Group Australia. “I expended a lot of energy on gathering data instead of engaging with the customer. And to print out financial plans, I carried a bulky laptop and a printer. Finding cables and outlets got in the way of the conversation.”

BTFG wanted to reduce the inefficiencies of paper-based business. “Storing customer documents in filing cabinets all over Australia is not efficient,” says Chesworth. “It also causes me problems from a monitoring and compliance point of view.”

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* I want all my financial planners to carry Windows tablets to enable deeper customer engagement. This will translate into more effective conversation to ensure we meet and surpass the needs of our customers. *

Michael Chesworth
General Manager, Bank Financial Planning, Westpac/
BT Financial Group

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Solution
BT Financial Group Australia selected the Windows 8 Enterprise operating system as the foundation for a mobility platform that’s freeing its financial planners from the branch office to engage with customers when and where they want. “Windows 8 delivers the power of a PC with the mobility of a tablet,” says Holmes. “This is the first step toward achieving complete digital customer management. We have scanned our paper files, so now everything is electronic.”

The company needed a mobile device that connects to its applications, enterprise systems, and intranet, and that it could manage with its existing solutions. “A tablet running Windows 8 was the right choice for BTFG,” says Holmes.

BTFG technology teams worked alongside Microsoft Services Consulting to build a touch-enabled line-of-business app that replicates the paper-based financial planning process. The Your World app will connect to BTFG systems so planners will be able to retrieve existing customer data. Financial planners are using the app on the Lenovo ThinkPad Helix Ultrabook. For 10 management staff, BTFG chose the Surface Pro by Microsoft.

“Microsoft Services Consulting assisted us in architecting and implementing the supporting infrastructure for deploying on the new Windows platform,” says Holmes. “The expertise provided by Microsoft Services Consulting was pivotal: their support helped accelerate the deployment and ensured all recommended practices were implemented to mitigate any risk to the success of the project.”

BTFG conducted a pilot with financial planners, deploying the Your World app on Windows 8 to 100 of the top planners in November 2013. Throughout 2014, it will continue to deploy tablets to all customer-facing staff. “Everyone is clamoring to get on that list because they can see the value of sitting in front of the customer with their Lenovo Helix tablet and Your World Windows modern app,” says Chesworth.

Benefits
BT Financial Group is using Windows 8 Enterprise to foster more meaningful, personal customer engagements beyond the confines of the branch office. Used to help its customer “bank at the speed of life,” BTFG is already achieving significant benefits from Windows 8.
  • Increased competitive advantage. “I’ve lost business in the past due to outdated technology,” says Chesworth. “Using Windows 8 tablets helps to set us apart from competitors. Our customers see that we are ahead of the game, ready to meet them face-to-face and keep them at the center of everything that we do.”

  • Improved customer engagement. Financial planners spend more time listening to their customers and less time dealing with technology. “With the Windows 8 device together with Your World, the whole meeting is about customer connection and engagement,” says Meinrath. “Customers can touch the screen and open up the app to delve into areas that are important to them. Meanwhile, I learn about their goals and gain their trust—for a much better outcome.”

  • Enhanced mobility. “By using Windows 8 devices, it’s much easier to visit more customers on the road,” says Meinrath. “Once everything is uploaded to the tablet, I can do all my work remotely and stay connected to customers and the business without having to sit at my desk.”

  • Increased sales potential. BTFG can use Windows 8 tablets for more frequent and collaborative customer interactions. “I want all my financial planners to carry Windows tablets to enable deeper customer engagement. This will translate into more effective conversation to ensure we meet and surpass the needs of our customers,” says Chesworth.

  • Improved productivity, compliance. By using Windows 8 tablets to access customer data and BTFG line-of-business applications, financial planners no longer have to search for paper files. “Easy access to stored data from a mobile device saves an immense amount of time for us and makes us compliant, both from a policy point of view and in the regulator’s eyes,” says Chesworth. “That’s a big win.”

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Solution Overview



Organization Size: 30000 employees

Organization Profile
Based in Sydney, Australia, Westpac Group owns the BT Financial Group Australia (BTFG), which has more than 2,500 employees. BTFG is the largest administrator of superannuation, retirement, and investments in Australia, with more than US$107 billion in total investments.

Hardware

  • Lenovo ThinkPad Helix Ultrabook
  • Surface Pro


Software and Services
  • Windows 8 Enterprise
  • Microsoft Consulting Services
  • Client Solutions - Flexible Workstyle

Vertical Industries
Insurance

Country/Region
Australia

Business Need
  • Business Productivity
  • Mobility

Languages
English

Partner(s)
Microsoft Services

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