Financial institutions are turning to unified communications (UC) to provide streamlined connections between a variety of internal and external stakeholders. This allows financial organizations to quickly resolve issues, develop strong internal systems for business growth, and deliver exceptional customer service — all through a safe and secure communications platform.
Here’s a closer look at the benefits of unified communications for financial institutions and how firms can best leverage UC to streamline communications, share critical information about network security, and better serve customers.Toward a More Connected Network: Advantages of Unified Communications for Financial Institutions
UC is one of the enablers of digital transformation for financial organizations, and the demand for the technology continues to grow. Global spending on unified communications is estimated to reach $45.8 billion in 2022, according to Gartner’s worldwide unified communications forecast.
So what benefits can financial companies gain from unified communications? Here are the advantages of UC for financial institutions:
- Centralized collaboration: Through a unified interface and cloud-based services, UC provides financial firms with instant, all-in-one access to communications services. The centralized nature of UC makes it quick and easy for organizations to conduct voice and video calls, collaborate online, send instant messages, and share files and documents.
- Enhanced scalability and reliability: UC technology takes less time and effort to maintain and update than aging, legacy communication systems. Additionally, multiple branches share a single communications infrastructure, resulting in better scalability and visibility. UC technology is also more reliable than traditional communication systems, allowing for automatic switchover between network nodes in the event of a failure or outage.
- Improved productivity: UC enables a financial company’s employees to communicate and collaborate from any location using any device, allowing for on-the-go productivity and efficiency. Through unified communications, staff members — especially telecommuters and remote workers — are given the flexibility to do business off-site. This means employees can go directly to customers and engage with them through mobile channels.
- Personalized customer experiences: UC provides more personalized relationships with a financial organization’s customers through their communication channel of choice — be it email, instant messaging, SMS, video, or voice. UC also increases customer satisfaction through seamless omnichannel communications, ensuring customers get a consistent experience regardless of the communication channel.
UC offers various benefits for financial institutions planning to improve and upgrade their communication systems. Financial companies can take advantage of UC’s potential to transform their business and give them a competitive edge.
Powering a New Generation of Communications
A customer shift toward multi-channel communications and advances in digital communications technology are prompting financial organizations to invest in UC. For financial companies looking to adopt UC technology, here are some use case scenarios of how to best leverage unified communications:
- Security awareness training: Instead of the expensive and time-consuming approach of deploying a team of trainers for each branch, financial institutions conduct remote security awareness training sessions through video conferencing. These sessions can then be recorded and reviewed any time by employees, allowing firms to save on training time and get teams up to speed quickly.
A financial organization’s security and IT team can also create pre-recorded videos containing essential information about the latest cybersecurity threats and periodic reminders on security protocols and procedures. These videos are then shared with other teams through a secure, cloud-based workspace. This ensures regular awareness and understanding of potential security threats and best practices to prevent security breaches.
- Modern customer experiences: UC offers innovative services to customers. As an example, Bank of America launched new financial centers across the U.S. These financial centers feature a digital greeter to guide and assist customers, an interactive smart wall where customers can learn more about new products and services, and a video conferencing room for private conversations with subject matter experts.
Through UC, customers get access to products and services that would otherwise be unavailable in certain branches. For instance, customers who would like to speak to a mortgage expert even if the mortgage expert is at a different branch can do so through a dedicated video conferencing room. The video call is made through a secure connection and the mortgage expert can launch a shared workspace to start an application and share documents with the customer.
- Better business processes: UC provides opportunities for more efficient business processes. For instance, when a critical issue arises, key stakeholders can be notified immediately through email, instant messaging, SMS, or other channels. Taking it a step further, the UC system automatically sends out invites to a private and secure video conferencing session where stakeholders can make a decision on how to solve the issue. This enables swift resolution of urgent problems and enables financial firms to improve their issue resolution process.
- Digital transformation: UC requires network speeds to be fast enough to accommodate bandwidth-heavy voice and video applications. By combining UC with SD-WAN technology, financial companies transform their network and communications services into more agile, optimal, and high-performing systems that can readily adapt to future changes in technology.
UC presents promising opportunities for financial institutions. Before embarking on the UC journey, it’s important for firms to determine how the technology best meets their needs.
3 Essential Considerations Before Implementing Unified Communications for Financial Institutions
Implementing UC technology can be a significant undertaking for financial organizations. Here are three key considerations before rolling out your UC system:
- Evaluate your communication requirements.
Identify what your communication requirements are prior to choosing a UC solution. A few questions to consider as you review what you need:
- Does your financial firm need an on-premises UC system powered by VoIP, or do you need to migrate your entire communications system to the cloud?
- Which channel does your financial company want to prioritize: mobile, online, or video?
- How does your firm plan to manage your UC system: self-managed, co-managed, or fully managed?
- Does your UC solution support integration with third-party applications?
Considering these issues will help you develop a strategy for UC adoption with clarity. There are several options available and knowing what your needs are before you explore options helps you reign in the budget while ensuring all parties within your organization get access to UC technology.
- Develop a UC strategy.
Create a strategy for integrating different business communication channels and coordinating customer interactions across a varied number and type of channels. It’s essential for your financial organization’s UC strategy to include the design for your communications environment, a plan for deploying the new system, migrating any legacy components, and rolling out the system to all branches, and training staff on your UC solution.
- Work with a recommended partner.
With the complexities of UC technology, you’ll need expertise to implement the right solution. DataComm has partnered with Mitel to offer financial institutions safe and secure access to the benefits of UC. Mitel’s unified communications and collaboration services are a comprehensive suite of services — from designing and planning to deployment and support — to help your financial organization achieve your UC business objectives.
Financial companies can deliver seamless and secure cross-channel experiences for both the business and its customers through unified communications. With the right help, financial organizations can make the best of what unified communications has to offer.
Trust DataComm to help you manage your financial institution’s network while integrating the latest and most effective technology such as unified communications. Contact us today to find out how we can help.