"My Video Appointment" provides secure video communication for digital citizen services.
Federal Employment Agency in Germany (Bundesagentur für Arbeit) ensured contact with citizens during the COVID-19 pandemic using a video communication solution built on the Pexip Video platform and designed by Voigtmann GmbH in just a few months.
About the Federal Employment Agency (BA) in Germany
The Federal Employment Agency (Bundesagentur für Arbeit, BA) is Germany's leading job and training placement provider. Every day, it advises people on career-related issues. It supports millions of citizens with financial benefits such as unemployment and child benefits. Its stated mission is to be "close to the customer."
The Federal Employment Agency comprises 100,000 employees in 156 employment agencies with around 600 branches, 302 job centers, and family welfare offices at approximately 100 locations. About 14,000 counseling sessions take place every day.
As a result of the Covid pandemic, the Federal Employment Agency in Germany had to massively accelerate its digitization processes, as personal consultations were no longer possible due to contact restrictions. The primary goal was to stay in touch with customers. They sought out a data protection-compliant and highly scalable video communication solution to ensure that day-to-day work and consultations could continue.
BA's IT-Systemhaus and Voigtmann GmbH designed a solution that has facilitated BA's communication with citizens since October 2020. They chose to use the Norwegian technology platform Pexip as the video gateway as it meets high-security requirements and matches the certification for the existing video conferencing platform. The BA decided to implement Pexip on-premise.
"My Video Appointment" (Mein Video Termin) now enables a secure exchange via video, chat, audio, and collaborative document editing, bringing people together from anywhere and using any device, giving them quick and easy access to the services of the Federal Employment Agency (BA).
- The mission was to be "close to customers." To do this, the agency needed secure video communication as a new customer consultation channel as part of the digitization strategy and in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic
- Requirements for the solution: very high security and data protection standards, low-threshold access to the service, and participation in consultation appointments with just three clicks
Solutions in use
- Pexip Infinity self-hosted, on-premise solution
- Pexip Cloud Video Interoperability (CVI) for Business Skype for Business
- Customized web app and booking system created by Voigtmann GmbH
- Positive customer feedback and relaxed atmosphere during consultation appointments
- 1,000 locations connected, 60,000 video appointments conducted, 3 million call minutes completed (usage volume as of July 2021)
- 95 percent of customers recommend the Federal Employment Agency's video telephony solution more (survey as of July 2021)
As part of their "Strategy 2025," Germany's Federal Employment Agency wanted people to access their advisory services from home or on the road without much effort. "Everyone should have easy access to an advisor at the BA, even without a long commute to one of our branches," says Kai Burkard, Senior IT Architect for Communication & Collaboration at the Federal Employment Agency (BA). "This, in turn, means that BA could only provide consultations with a suitable technical solution."
Based on this challenge, the BA began pursuing the "My Video Appointment" project for secure video communication, starting in October 2019. The most critical requirement criteria for the solution, according to Burkard, were:
- Very high standards of security and data protection.
- Low-threshold access to the service.
- Being able to participate in consultation appointments with just three clicks.
At the beginning of 2020, all public authorities, including the BA, faced a significant challenge due to the global COVID-19 pandemic, as all offices had to close immediately. Nevertheless, employees needed to be able to reach customers. "The pandemic massively accelerated and scaled the video communication project," says Kai Burkard. "This turbocharge accelerated the project so much that we are at a point today that we otherwise wouldn't have reached for five years."
BA designed the "My Video Appointment" solution to achieve the following objectives:
- BA customers should be able to attend counseling appointments online from home or on the go with just three clicks.
- They can participate using any device without installing additional plug-ins.
- They are offered secure exchanges via video, chat, audio, and collaborative document editing, regardless of the operating system.
- The solution complies with the BA's very high security and data protection requirements (GDPR/DSGVO-compliant use as well as hosting of data per European law)
To ensure the highest level of security, the Federal Agency chose Pexip's self-hosted, on-premise solution. BA uses Pexip Infinity as a video gateway to the existing Skype for Business environment, as Microsoft certified it. Using Pexip, the Federal Employment Agency always has complete control over its data. It thus combines proven functionalities with the highest European data protection standards in its established IT landscape.
"Pexip, with its focus on security and its certification for Skype for Business, has fulfilled all the requirements for us for the right on-premise video gateway and enabled us to integrate it into our workflows," explains Kai Burkard. Pexip's open API interfaces also play a role in the desired interoperability with Skype for Business, enabling integration with the various services and workflows and thus representing an essential building block for the web app developed by Voigtmann GmbH.
"My Video Appointment" - the secure video communication solution designed and implemented by the BA's IT-Systemhaus and Voigtmann GmbH - has been available since October 2020 and fully reflects the look and feel of the Federal Employment Agency. Through "My Video Appointment," BA advisors can maintain customer counseling online - even during pandemic times.
Pexip, with its focus on security and its certification for Skype for Business, has fulfilled all the requirements for the right
on-premise video gateway and enabled
us to integrate it into our workflows.
Access to video meetings in just three clicks
Customers of the Federal Employment Agency (BA) can get to their virtual consultation appointment in just three clicks:
1. select an appointment
2. open the access link
3. connect with the respective consultant
"My Video Appointment" works independently of the browser, the end device, or the operating system and is ready for use immediately. It does not require downloading any programs or plug-ins that may compromise security.
Another important feature: BA customers can access advisory services even in low-bandwidth environments by choosing between high and low image quality on their mobile devices, allowing them to save data volume. The integration of business intelligence rounds off the scope of the solution - this enables analyses and statistics on "My Video Appointment" at the touch of a button.
Another central component of the Federal Employment Agency's "My Video Appointment" solution is Voigtmann GmbH's comprehensive shell application. Audio, video, and chat features cover all aspects of the consultation.
Thanks to reliable end-to-end encryption, it ensures that no personal data is accessible from outside. It also integrates functions ranging from customer directories to individualized correspondence and test calls to feedback options.
95% recommendation by BA customers
All services in the SGB III legal area - i.e., the employment services - can use "My Video Appointment" for online counseling. Over 1,000 locations of the Federal Employment Agency are already connected. For the SGB II legal area - primary benefits for job seekers - there is currently a pilot project involving 46 job centers.
At the end of each video call, customers see a mini survey about their satisfaction with the digital consultation, and a recommendation rate is determined. In previous surveys, 95 percent of customers recommend the Federal Employment Agency's video solution to others.
Over 3 million call minutes have occurred via this (as of July 2021). "The employees report a relaxed atmosphere on the part of the customers through the use of "My Video Appointment." Our solution eliminates the stress of commuting. Therefore we will continue to rely on consultations via "My Video Appointment" even after the pandemic and continue to scale the solution," says Lucas Albracht, Product Manager "Mein Videotermin, "Bundesagentur für Arbeit.