Financial services

Financial Services Unified Communications Case Study Focus: Cisco Webex and UniCredit

The pandemic has presented a slew of new opportunities for the financial services industry, just like many other industries around the world. Faced with the new challenges of lockdown and travel restrictions, brands in the financial services industry needed to find a way to empower their teams to continue working effectively, wherever they are.

Implementing cloud-delivered UC solutions has become a significant investment for many organizations. UCaaS and collaboration tools have become part of the essential assets of any business, ensuring that employees can continue to thrive wherever the changing landscape takes them. Fortunately, there are plenty of great providers out there to help teams transition into the new era of work.

When UniCredit, a pan-European commercial bank offering investment and corporate banking options, had to scale during the pandemic, Cisco Webex emerged as the ultimate tool for innovation.

Let’s see how Cisco Webex helped UniCredit survive the pandemic.

Meet the sudden demand for remote work

UniCredit, a leading pan-European commercial bank offering a range of corporate and investment banking options, was already in the midst of a crucial digital transformation initiative in 2019 before the pandemic hit. Despite this, like many companies, the UniCredit brand has felt the pressure of suddenly having to accelerate into a new era of work much faster than expected.

When the pandemic started causing lockdowns and travel restrictions in 2020, UniCredit decided it needed a scalable and flexible solution to help it thrive. Before the pandemic, face-to-face meetings with customers were central to how the business operated. When the pandemic hit, the team needed a way to support employees in a distributed workforce and ensure a consistent level of excellent customer service.

With financial services expertise and products offered in 13 major markets in Europe and 16 countries worldwide, the team needed a scalable and secure solution. Even with the digital transformation journey already in full swing for the brand, some countries still needed additional help to transition to the unified communication and collaboration pipeline.

Cisco Webex to the rescue

During the pandemic, UniCredit was one of many banking and financial services companies to immediately shift workforces to the cloud when the virus began to spread. Before February 21st2020, all 60,000 employees working in Italy were already working remotely.

Unfortunately, this put a strain on the VPN solution that UniCredit was already using to help empower its team. February 20and, only about 4,000 people were working remotely. By 21st, the number had increased by about 15 times. The company needed a fully operational remote working solution that offered stunning UCaaS functionality and operated independently of the VPN platform to keep UniCredit running smoothly.

Although the UniCredit team only had a few days to develop their new solution, they already knew which company they would be working with. Cisco and the Webex ecosystem made perfect sense as a go-to service for the UniCredit team. The company was already using the Cisco Telepresence platform, and Webex’s cloud-based solution was perfectly suited to the team’s remote work requirements.

According to UniCredit, the company wanted to offer its teams an easy-to-use and robust solution, offering high-quality video and voice calls. Cisco Webex offered these benefits and was already fully compliant with all banking privacy and cybersecurity regulations. The system could also work on various devices, which was a crucial factor.

A flexible and scalable cloud solution

Because, like many businesses, UniCredit had no idea how long their business would be stuck in restrictions and out of the office, they felt it was essential to implement a highly flexible and scalable solution that they could manage remotely. Cisco’s Webex service enabled UniCredit to immediately secure 7,000 emergency licenses so they could begin onboarding their team.

Knowledge of the Cisco Telepresence ecosystem, combined with the ease of use of the Webex platform, was a significant help, according to UniCredit, ensuring their IT team could stay ahead of the crisis. Additionally, Cisco offers a range of easy-to-understand video tutorials and online content to help new users learn about Webex.

These reference materials offered information on using important tools to send invitations, join a meeting, or take advantage of various voice, video, chat, and file sharing features. Most users started taking advantage of the solution with minimal support, which freed the IT team to focus on other ways to keep UniCredit operational.

UniCredit believes Cisco and Webex provided the people and technology needed to access a sustainable, functional and scalable response to an unpredictable situation. With up to 1,000 people now connecting via Webex at the same time, the company has been able to hold conferences in people’s homes, allowing them to maintain an open dialogue with colleagues and customers.

Although the implementation of Cisco Webex was initially intended to be a temporary solution to navigate the lockdown, it has become a useful and essential additional tool to improve the remote work of colleagues on an ongoing basis in external and internal interactions.

Now, UniCredit’s wealth managers use Webex to offer personal consultations to clients, and investment bankers regularly use the same technology for client interactions. Additionally, the UniCredit team has adapted to new ways of working at an incredible pace, with over 295,000 meetings scheduled in a single year.

The perfect fit at a tough time

Countless companies have had to change their working style over the past couple of years. UniCredit was one of the few financial services companies able to make this transition seamlessly, thanks to the choice of the right technology provider.

The company was able to scale access to Webex in record time and leverage today’s technology to improve employee collaboration and the customer experience.