Cairo Amman Bank set a goal to reduce employee travel costs and improve collaboration among its commercial banking branches in Jordan and Palestine. The bank opted for Microsoft Lync 2010. By using audio and video conferencing, branch managers and head office staff are able to cut business travel for face-to-face meetings. In addition, the sales cycle for financial transactions is shorter due to faster decision making.
Cairo Amman Bank is a medium-sized commercial bank in Jordan with a strong presence in Palestine—one of the most underserved banking markets in the region. It offers various retail banking products, along with providing money market, online trading, and treasury services. It operates 70 branches in Jordan and 21 more in Palestine. Cairo Amman Bank was founded in 1960 with its head office in Amman.
Like many banks in the Middle East and North Africa, Cairo Amman Bank has been looking for greater efficiency in a number of areas, one being the collaboration between remote branch locations and head office. In the past, branch managers were required to travel to Amman twice a month—a four-hour drive each way—to attend meetings with senior management. In addition, they travelled to head office for all training courses. In response, the Cairo Amman Bank wanted to give its branch managers equal access to new unified communications tools that would help them spend more time with customers and less time on the road.
Marghrait M. Makhamreh, Project Management Office Manager, Cairo Amman Bank, says: “Our branch managers were wasting time in congested city traffic to join face-to-face meetings because there was no alternative. Our office managers in remote locations in Jordan, as well as those in Palestine, carried the biggest burden of business travel—and their productivity as a result.”
||In many instances, our branch managers were spending up to eight hours for each round-trip journey to the head office—with Microsoft Lync 2010, they can use that time more productively.
||Marghrait M. Makhamreh
Project Management Office Manager
Cairo Amman Bank
Cairo Amman Bank was already using Cisco telephony throughout the organisation, and was keen to integrate its existing Cisco telecommunications infrastructure with the third-party unified communications solution. Makhamreh says: “We wanted to achieve maximum benefits in the workplace, but also needed a cost-effective licensing arrangement for the new software.”Solution
Microsoft Gold Partner Professional Advanced Infrastructure Solutions (PAIS)—a Microsoft Voice Specialised Partner for unified communications—recommended that Cairo Amman Bank adopt Lync 2010 as an appropriate platform to achieve its objectives.
Especially appealing for Cairo Amman Bank was the existence of a Microsoft Services Enterprise Agreement for Volume Licensing. This meant the bank was able to save money on licences, making Lync 2010 more cost effective compared to other unified communications solutions. Taking the opportunity to perform a comprehensive system upgrade, the bank also adopted the Windows Server 2008 operating system, Microsoft Exchange Server 2010, and Microsoft SharePoint Server 2010.
Wajeeh Al Mesherky, Chief Executive Officer, Professional Advanced Infrastructure Solutions (PAIS), says: “PAIS handled the first deployment of Lync 2010 in Jordan at Cairo Amman Bank. We brought our specialist knowledge of unified communications to the project, especially in regard to integration with Cisco telephony expanding to 2,000 extensions throughout the organisation.”
PAIS configured both the Microsoft and Cisco technology to allow users to benefit from the convenience of having one number for both desktop and mobile calls. Al Mesherky says: “We have a server dedicated to linking the Jordan and Palestine operations. Our goal is to improve communications and help create a single bank network covering two countries.”
With the new tools, employees can communicate using instant messaging, voice, and—most importantly—video conferencing. Flexibility in the workplace is supported by giving employees the ability to switch seamlessly between different communications channels. Calls route automatically to mobile devices when users log off from their local area network.
Hani Quteineh, Customer Account Manager, Microsoft, says: “The bank will move further toward its goal of reducing its expenses-to-income ratio, and enhance the efficiency of its sales and customer support. We also expect the upgrade to lower the costs related to voice communications and hardware.”Benefits
With the video conferencing feature in Lync 2010, Cairo Amman Bank will cut the need for travel to and from head office for face-to-face meetings and training. Customer service is already improving, with the sales cycle time in some cases shortened by as much as 80 per cent. Makhamreh says: “In many instances, our branch managers were spending up to eight hours for each round-trip journey to the head office—with Microsoft Lync 2010, they can use that time more productively.”
Video conferencing cuts travel and training costs. The bank is confident that significant time savings will be achieved in business travel. Branch managers will no longer need to drive several hours each way to attend routine face-to-face meetings or training courses.
Unified communications helps improve environmental sustainability. Cairo Amman Bank is making a contribution to cutting the carbon footprint of the local financial services industry by reducing vehicle use. Lower mileage results in less fuel consumption and decreased carbon emissions. This success complements other green initiatives at Cairo Amman Bank.
Customer service is enhanced with shorter sales cycle. Previously, approvals for sales transactions could be protracted, with communication by phone, traditional mail services, and fax machines. Now approvals take up to 80 per cent less time.
Instant messaging and presence awareness boosts collaboration. Instant messaging and presence awareness with Lync 2010 are improving communication between the bank employees, whether they’re at head office or elsewhere in Jordan or Palestine. Due the expertise of PAIS consultants, the software integrates well with Cisco telephony.This case study is for informational purposes only. MICROSOFT MAKES NO WARRANTIES, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, IN THIS SUMMARY.