When its Blackberry Enterprise Server licensing agreement expired, Banrural was determined that it needed an alternative that would support more centralized IT management and better security. The company switched to Nokia devices running Windows
Phone. The new phones better interoperate with the company’s Windows-based environment, and employees in the field can more easily access email and Microsoft Office documents, which makes them more productive.
When Banrural was founded 15 years ago, it embarked on a mission to promote development opportunities for low-income people, who are generally underserved by traditional providers of financial services. This includes offering lines of credit and targeted
micro-loans to small and midsize businesses, small agricultural producers, and artisans.
The bank has also been able to achieve its goals while becoming a highly profitable enterprise. At its inception, Banrural ranked twenty-fifth among national financial institutions and made no profit, but it has risen to second place, with the best performance
in its market sector.
Banrural serves the entire country of Guatemala, which covers 109,000 square kilometers (42,085 square miles), including everything from urban centers to rural farmland. Consequently, its field employees are highly mobile, and they need the ability to access
email and other corporate documents on the go and cost-effectively.
||We’ve streamlined IT processes by eliminating Blackberry Enterprise Server. And with Windows Phone, we now have more control over devices and better protection for our people and data.
| Juancarlos Chacón Castro
IT Infrastructure Director, Banrural
Juancarlos Chacón Castro, IT Infrastructure Director at Banrural, explains, “When it was time to renew our contract for Blackberry Enterprise Server, we decided that our BlackBerry technology didn’t meet our needs, especially in terms of centralized IT management
He also notes that, as a financial institution, Banrural has a special obligation to enforce policies that maximize protection of corporate data. This provided yet another reason for the bank to carefully consider different mobile technology options.
As part of its evaluation process, Banrural looked at Android devices but ultimately chose the Windows Phone 8 operating system as its mobile platform. For its hardware, Banrural selected the Nokia Lumia line of smartphones, which are designed to take
full advantage of Windows Phone. They include award-winning Nokia Lumia cameras and support Microsoft Office Mobile applications.
“In order to provide our sales force, agents, supervisors, and managers with a homogenous communications and collaboration platform, we decided to use Nokia Lumia devices with Windows Phone,” says Chacón. “We have 1,000 people who need to continually communicate
with the central offices.” He adds that Lumia phones and Windows Phone are ideal for this purpose. The bank will also continue to use Claro as its telephony and Internet service provider.
Chacón was impressed with simpler management and straightforward interoperability with the bank’s Windows infrastructure—including the Windows Server operating system and Microsoft Exchange Server—and the inherent security benefits that arise from a more
Company executives have been equipped with Lumia 1020 devices; managers and supervisors are working with Lumia 820 and Lumia 920, all with video call capabilities. The rest of the employees use the Lumia 620. All of them can access email through Microsoft
Exchange Server and open and edit Microsoft Word documents, Excel spreadsheets, and PowerPoint presentations.
Additionally, Banrural is working with a Microsoft and Nokia development partner on a Windows Phone application that will track the bank’s business operations. The plan is to give every executive a tool that shows where they are, identifies which clients
or potential clients they have visited, and allows image sharing.
By adopting Windows Phone and the Nokia smartphones, Banrural gained several benefits, including:
Simple IT Management with Stronger Security
Chacón notes that the bank’s IT operations now operate more efficiently, and IT staff can implement security and usage policies easily through Exchange Server and Active Directory. “We have saved a software layer by eliminating Blackberry Enterprise
Server, and we now have greater control over the devices, which means greater protection of people and data.”
Phones, Features, and Services to Get the Job Done
The choice of Nokia devices with Windows Phone went hand-in-hand with renewing the corporate telephony and Internet service with Claro—all to give employees reliable hardware and superior mobile service. “Our personnel are very satisfied with the switch
to Windows Phone because they now have advanced, fast smartphones with the right mix of features,” says Chacón. He adds that the three providers focus on the customer’s needs and have created a solution that offers concrete, positive results and helps employees
do their jobs effectively.
Increased Employee Productivity
Banrural agents in the field visit with their customers to verify how well the loans are working. These agents are able to take pictures and send and receive documents for analysis in any Office file format. “One of the essential benefits of the Windows
Phone platform is that it gives us a consistent user experience over different devices,” says Chacón. “It’s easier to view email and edit attachments.” He notes that the productivity benefits of Office will continue as employees more widely adopt Microsoft
Chacón adds that Windows Phone is already paying off. “Utilization of our investment in the company’s technology infrastructure, through new mobile devices, is increasing employee productivity through better management of mobile devices.”
Chacón concludes, “Our mission is to help people rise out of poverty using their own initiatives. Now, we have in our hands a powerful tool to be more effective in our daily tasks, which opens the doors to continued growth.”
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