“Skype for business is improving the way we work within Westpac - it’s amazing to see how collaboration and teamwork has sky rocketed with the ability to share and create digitally.”
Richard Jarrett, Head of IT Foundation & Frontline Experience, Westpac
Westpac New Zealand is focused on cutting down process and speeding up the time it takes to make decisions for its customers-it wants to be recognised as one of the world’s great service companies. The bank says that its latest partnership with Spark for a Skype for Business deployment is helping make this a reality, as it finds smarter ways of working.
Coming together using digital
Using Skype’s latest unified communication and video conferencing tools, Westpac staff are able to collaborate more effectively than ever before. It’s especially benefiting teams that are dispersed across the country, such as its Agribusiness unit who is using instant messaging, desktop sharing and video to collectively strategise better ways to help its rural customers.
Westpac’s technology team, based out of Wellington and Auckland, are using most of the Skype tools on offer to share work and progress ideas as a team. Head of IT Foundation & Frontline Experience, Richard Jarett, says significant benefits are being realised and it’s showing up via faster release cycles for new digital banking solutions for Westpac customers.
Accelerating the shift to digital
Keen to embrace Skype for Business as quickly as possible, Westpac and Spark formed a close knit-team to manage the design and deployment of Skype for Business across its 5,000 staff.
Using agile methodology, the team was able to quickly establish a Minimum Viable Product to roll out in stages-saving more than 12 weeks in time over using a conventional waterfall approach. Jarret says that a staged release has not only allowed the agile team to detect technical constraints early on, but its also provided ‘breathing space’ for staff to come up to speed with new ways of working.
Just seven months into the project almost 70 per cent of staff are using the more advanced services of Skype, such as video conferencing, voice calling, desktop sharing and Outlook meeting bookings. “With Spark’s help, we’ve recently added Skype to the meeting room screens, which is proving ideal for team huddles and other internal collaboration meetings.”
As a Spark managed solution, Spark manage all of the patching and updates, freeing up the bank’s IT team to focus on innovation that will better serve its customers.